Dorothy Loretta Baden Abbott of Westhampton Beach died at her home on Wednesday, September 18. She was 83.
Ms. Abbott was born on January 9, 1930, in Oceanside to Harry and Grace Baden. She grew up in East Moriches and graduated from Eastport High School. She was devoted to caring for her ailing parents during high school and after graduation and worked for the New York Telephone Company until she met and married her husband, Norris, a New York City fireman, in 1950. She returned to the New York Telephone Company as an operator supervisor.
Ms. Abbott and her husband built their dream home in Westhampton Beach in 1958, so they could be closer to Mr. Abbott’s elderly parents. They started a family, and she also began a career with the United States Post Office. She was very proud to be the first female letter carrier at the Westhampton Beach Post Office in 1966, her survivors said. Ms. Abbott then decided to change her career path to become a clerk at the Eastport Post Office. She often had the opportunity to take over the duties of postmaster when the postmaster was away from the office, which inspired her to become a postmaster herself.
Through hard work and dedication, she was appointed postmaster of the Upton Post Office located at Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1976. She joined and became an active member in the National Association of Postmasters of the United States, attending training and conventions to further her knowledge and skills and prepare for advancement. She was later promoted to postmaster positions in larger offices in Westhampton in 1981 and then Southampton in 1983. She remained in Southampton until her retirement in 1990, after 23 years of service.
Throughout her career, Ms. Abbott received recognition and many awards for her dedication to duty and involvement in the Long Island District Women’s Program. She provided guidance, support and inspiration to many other women who wished to become postmasters. Her career highlights included meeting Senator Bob Dole during a postmaster gathering in Washington, D.C. She was also proud to have been invited to U.S. Postal headquarters in Washington, D.C., to accompany one of her Southampton customers to present a picture, to be hung in the hallway of the headquarters, to Postmaster General Preston Tisch in 1989.
Throughout her life, Ms. Abbott was involved in many charitable, humanitarian and religious activities. She served as a Girl Scout leader, a 4-H leader and a teacher and mentor for Junior Bowling League. She volunteered her services in raising funds for the Cancer Society, the Heart Fund, UNICEF and East End Hospice. She also served as a volunteer at Southampton Hospital.
Ms. Abbott served as director for the Suffolk County Women’s Bowling Association for many years. She delighted in traveling around the United States to participate in bowling tournaments, survivors said. She also loved singing in the Hampton Council of Churches choir.
Her strong Catholic faith taught her to reach out to those less fortunate, and her family said she greatly enjoyed bringing smiles to people’s faces. She would often invite friends and acquaintances, who might be alone, to holiday meals at her home. She was a familiar figure around the Westhampton Beach village, as she took a daily walk from her home to Rogers Bridge, along Dune Road to the Swordfish Bridge, to the post office and back home again. She loved greeting friends along the way. She also enjoyed traveling with her children both in this country and abroad.
Ms. Abbott was predeceased by her husband of 36 years, Norris. She is survived by her three children, Pamela of Pennsylvania, Patricia Froiseth and husband Bart of Westhampton Beach, and Bruce and wife Elaine Marshall of Westhampton Beach. She is also survived by a grandson, Eric E. Abbot Sr. and wife Kelly Quartuccio of Patchogue, and two great-grandsons, Eric Jr. and Dylan, both of Hampton Bays.
A funeral Mass was said on Monday, September 23, at the Church of the Immaculate Conception on Quiogue.
Memorial donations may be made to East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978.