Patricia O'Callahan Abell


Died peacefully at the Hospice of Washington on April 11, 2003. She had been preceded in death by her beloved husband of 63 years, William S. Abell, in 2001.

Patricia Abell was known to family and friends as a beautiful, elegant, witty, gracious and generous person. Her numerous charities, large and small, were done without fanfare and often in secret.

She had lived in the Washington area since 1940, most of that time in Chevy Chase. She had been born in New York City and grown up in Montclair, NJ. She had been educated at Marymount College in Tarrytown, NY and the Sorbonne in Paris.

After her marriage, she lived in Cambridge, MA while her husband completed law school and then returned to Washington. She was a devoted mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother and aunt.

Mrs. Abell was active in the St. Gertrude's Guild and the Christ Child Society, as well as raising funds for the "Chol-Chol" Maryknoll mission. She worked every week for many years in the Christ Child Opportunity Shop in Georgetown, where she was widely known for her keen eye for collectibles.

Mrs. Abell was a member of the Order of Malta and a long-time parishioner of Blessed Sacrament Church in Washington and then Our Lady of Lourdes in Bethesda. She was an ardent Catholic and attended Mass daily for much of her life.

She belonged to Chevy Chase and Columbia country clubs. She was an enthusiastic golfer and golf-watcher. Antique collecting, reading, travel (she visited Paris in her 88th year), ballet and opera were among her many other interests.

Her sister-in-law, Margaret Abell Powell, and her sister, Peggy Dorment, had both died in the past five months. She is survived by two daughters, Patricia E. Abell of Chevy Chase and Marguerite Elaine Nurmi of Washington; five sons, W. Shepherdson Abell of Chevy Chase, Anthony F. Abell of Bethesda, Christopher S. Abell of Chevy Chase, Kevin O'C. Abell of Baltimore and Gregory T. Abell of Austin, TX; 18 grandchildren, Charles, Brian, Mary Kathryn, Jessica, Alicia, Hilary, Meghan, Christopher, Tom, Jennifer, Elizabeth, Christina, Eleanor, Luke, Sarah, Jane, Kelly and Andrew Abell; one great-grandchild, James Abell, and numerous nephews and nieces.

Visitation Monday 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at JOSEPH GAWLER'S SONS, 5130 Wisconsin Ave., N.W. (at Harrison St.). Funeral service at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, corner of Western Ave & Quesda St N.W. Tuesday, April 15 at 11 a.m. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be sent to the Christ Child Society, 5101 Wisconsin Ave. N.W., Suite 304, Washington, D.C. 20015.

Funeral Home

Joseph Gawler's Sons, LLC
5130 Wisconsin Ave NW Washington, DC 20016
(202) 966-6400

Published in The Washington Post from Apr. 13 to Apr. 14, 2003