John Robert Abbott, SR (1915-1989)
My grandfather was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, on January 12, 1915. He died on December 31, 1989. He married Eleanor Arnold, after a very short courtship, on November 25, 1937. She was born on August 1, 1919 and died October 28, 1999. They are buried in the “Buttonwoods” section at the Highland Memorial Cemetery in Johnston, Rhode Island. They had four children, all boys. John started a new government job in Baltimore, Maryland, about 1938-39. After about a year, he resigned his position and moved back to Pawtucket. John purchased an oil business from Harold Knight of Pawtucket. He is the grandfather of Christine Briden, who later married my brother John David Abbott. Interestingly, John and Harold were also in an “investment club” together for a period of time during which they jointly owned property in Pawtucket. John worked at Brown University for a while. Eleanor worked in a bakery owned by Helen Crowell for a time, and also worked in the jewelry industry and for Texas Instruments in Attleboro, Massachusetts. They lived on Heaton St., 543 Power Road and 31 Stearns St., all in Pawtucket, then the Apple Valley section in Smithfield, Rhode Island, and New Smyrna Beach, Florida where Eleanor worked in the local hospital as a volunteer for many years.
They were heavily involved in all activities their children and grandchildren participated in over the course of their lives. The family attended Bethany Baptist Church on Walker Street in Pawtucket. We were very involved in the various activities at the church. Eleanor sang in the choir (very beautifully I might add), and John was a very respected church elder and assistant basketball team coach. On most weekends during the summer months, the family gathered at Buttonwoods in Warwick, Rhode Island, a private park for Masonic members (John was affiliated with the Barney Merry lodge). Grandpa liked to sit at “the point”, a great spot with a giant oak tree and spectacular, unobstructed views of the water. He was an excellent horse shoe player and quahog and clam digger. We would cook on a charcoal grill and I remember him particularly enjoying the baked potatoes, skin and all. My grandfather was also an avid fisherman in both fresh and salt water. For several years, we would vacation at Newfound Lake, New Hampshire. I remember how clean and COLD the water was in this spring-fed lake. We rented the “pink cottages” across the street from the lake. One of my fondest and most vivid memories was when we made a daily visit to a home near town where they made home-made pies. We would go early in the morning because they would make only a limited number of pies and once sold out, they would close. The smell as you walked up to the bakery was amazing, as were the pies. (Click here for poetry dedicated to my grandfather)
List of Children:
1. John Robert, JR, (“Bob”), (my father) born November 6, 1938, Married to Nancy Lawton of Assonet, Massachusetts. currently living at The Villages, Florida. First wife Eleanor Howes Messier (my mother), born June 10, 1938, died April 25, 2002. She is buried at the Highland Memorial Cemetery in Johnston, Rhode Island. They had two children, Ernest James born January 10, 1956, married to Deborah Robinson, from Fitchburg, A 19977-1984, one child, Carrie Ann Abbott, born November 18, 1981, married Deborah A Lefebvre Turgeon, May 29, 1999, one step-son, Raymond C Turgeon, legal custody of her great-nephew, Hunter Leo Lefebvre, born February 10, 2011. and John David, born May 27, 1959, married Christine Briden, 6 children.
2. Arnold, born March 24, 1941, currently living in The Villages, Florida. First wife Jeanette White, they had two children together, both teachers: Kimberly Ann (Hand) Abbott, born March 29, 1963, died November 5, 2013. Diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and forced to retire from teaching, Kim still volunteered her time for many worthy causes assisting those who are less fortunate in her community, continuing a legacy begun by our distant heirs George and Hannah Abbot. She married James P. Hand on August 11, 1990. They have two daughters: Kaileen J. Hand, born August 27, 1993 (currently attending the St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas on a full academic scholarship) and Karissa M. Hand, born September 10, 1995 (currently a student at Attleboro High School). James Joseph Abbott, born June 16, 1964. He married Joan Roscoe on August 10, 1989. They have two children: Brianna E. Abbott, born May 17, 1993 and John Robert Abbott (named for his great-grandfather), born May 5, 1996. Arnold is married to Marie Ann Santoro.
3. Dennis, November 23, 1944 - December 2, 2017, first wife Patricia Mary Perry, born September 17, 1944, they had two children together, first born Robin Lee (Abbenante) Abbott, born July 25, 1966. Married Louis Charles Abbenante, on November 20, 1993. They have two daughters, Morgan Patricia Abbenante, born April 21, 1996, and Ella Irene Abbenante, born May 5, 2002. Second born Debra Dawn (Baccarie) Abbott, born May 30, 1970. She married Joseph Michael Baccarie on October 28, 1989, they have three daughters, Amanda, Kaitlin and Jenna Lee. Amanda has a daughter, Julia Williams. Dennis is now married to Elizabeth (Betty). They reside in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
4. Bruce, born May 13, 1955, married Elizabeth “Lisa” Oden on May 29, 1982. They currently reside in Brewster, Massachusetts and have lived on Cape Cod since 1981. He is a professional musician and she is a retired special education administrator. A favorite quote of Bruce: “Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars”. Henry Van Dyke
Kimberley Ann (Hand) Abbott
March 29, 1963 ~ November 5, 2013
This is a speech Kim gave back in June, 2013 to the Oncology Department at Sturdy Memorial Hospital and her daughter's "Answer for Cancer" group in Attleboro, Massachusetts. RIP Kim...
Photo Memoir of John R. Abbott, Sr.
Created by Bruce Abbott, 2006
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