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Date of Passing: Aug 19, 2020

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(née MCLEOD)

On August 19, 2020, Nora Anne Abbott (née McLeod), aged 93 years, of Winnipeg, MB, passed peacefully in her sleep at West Park Manor.
She is predeceased by William (Bill) Abbott, her beloved husband of 67 years, and her sisters, Mary Saunders and Margaret McLeod. She is survived by her brother Captain William (Bill) McLeod, her children, Brad Abbott (Susan Pridham), Sharon Vanderschuit (Wybo), and Fred Abbott (Barbara) and six grandchildren.
Nora was born and raised in Kenora, ON, on beautiful Lake of the Woods.
Her father, Colonel William (Bill) McLeod returned from the Great War and took on the family shoe store, McLeod Shoes, on Main Street in 1920. The family lived in Lakeside and later in the apartment above the store. The McLeod family enjoyed their summers on Coney Island at their red log cabin surrounded by a vast lawn with towering birches and beautiful gardens. The family would move there as early as possible in the spring, with Nora canoeing to town with her sister Mary to finish the school year. Being very social and fun-loving, Nora attracted a wide circle of friends, including many summer residents from Winnipeg and beyond, who referred to her fondly as "Nora from Kenora".
One of those friendships blossomed into so much more. As a teenager she worked as a waitress at CPR's Devil's Gap Lodge and became smitten with a charming fishing guide named Bill Abbott who had a family cottage nearby. Their relationship took off, so much so that Nora asked her parents to allow her to attend Riverbend School for Girls in Winnipeg for Grade 12 to "follow" Bill. It was not an insignificant expense, but her parents relented and supported the move. After high school, Nora worked at a law firm while Bill pursued his medical degree. In 1952 they married at St. Alban's Cathedral in Kenora.
Bill's path to a successful OB/GYN career could not have occurred without Nora's unwavering support, especially after children arrived. She persevered as sole caregiver while Bill studied in Ottawa and Toronto and she also moved her young family to Bakersfield, CA for two years during Bill's residency. Back in Winnipeg, she was always there for her family while Bill was on call every second night and every second weekend.
We will always be grateful for how she led our family through the ups and downs of life. Whether it be the family ski cabin being demolished by a tornado or the summer cottage being destroyed by a fire, she maintained strength and focus.
Nora was devoted to her friends. She nurtured her friendships through the activities she loved, whether it be skiing, skipping her Winnipeg Winter Club curling team, playing tennis, golfing trips in retirement to BC and, of course, dinner parties. One of her most notable annual events was heading out on Halloween to raise money for charity with her closest friends. Examples of themes through the years included Quinton's Cleaners drivers and Ambulance drivers/patient. Unfortunately, they could not get the 1970's Winnipeg Blue Bombers Booster Buggy licensed for the streets of Winnipeg!
Her games and hobbies also provided her with joy day-to-day, whether it be "bridging" with her Winnipeg and lake foursomes, card games with family and friends, and knitting and needlework.
Nora also devoted her time and energy to help others, including the Junior League, the United Way, and St. Andrew's United Church.
Nora's legacy is our commitment to our family, our love for our friends, and our passion for Lake of the Woods. She lives on within us all.
The family would like to thank the staff of West Park Manor, for their kind and caring support of Nora in her final years.
A private family ceremony celebrating Nora's life will be held at her birthplace on Lake of the Woods next summer.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the W.E. Abbott Memorial Fund at The Winnipeg Foundation, 1350 One Lombard Place, Winnipeg, MB R3B 0X3. Tel. 204-944-9474.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Aug 29, 2020

Condolences & Memories (8 entries)

  • My deepest condolences on the loss of your Mom and Dad. The close passing is probably a good thing because your Mom and Dad were always best as a team. When my parents and your parents were together at The Wellington it was always a special time to run into The Abbotts. When I think of The Abbott family I always think of happy times. We had a connection in so many ways. It is said that it is not about the passing. It is about remembering the people who have passed. Time and frequency will always be with me when I often think of The Abbotts. The Abbott smile! Brad,Sharon and Fred. Could you have had better parents? - Posted by: Trevor Porritt (Friend) on: Sep 10, 2020

  • Brad, Sharon and Fred ...I was very sorry to hear of your mom's passing. She was definitely one of a kind. Always that big warm welcoming smile and hearty laugh. The memories we all had at the cabin will be with us for all forever. Auntie Nora and uncle Bill were always a big part of our family. I was especially glad I got to have a visit with her with your dad the last time I was in Winnipeg. We brought up some great memories of the trip to Banff and the many fun times at the cabin. The end of a era now with all of them now together. Take care ..sending lots of love Ginny - Posted by: Ginny Dennehy (Family friend) on: Sep 04, 2020

  • On behalf of the entire Balmoral Hall School Family, we extend our sincere condolences to Nora's family and friends. In 2001, she donated her Riverbend Class of 1945 white dress (graduation) photo to the school to display in the main atrium of the school. It remains there now, and will for years to come. Thank you Nora for this donation. You will be missed but not forgotten. BH Alumnae Office - Posted by: Genevieve Cloutier (School) on: Aug 31, 2020

  • My condolences. - Posted by: Elizabeth (Lisa) Harman (Friend) on: Aug 30, 2020

  • I am so sorry to hear of Nora’s passing, Sharon you’ve lost a great deal of family this year, my sympathies go out to you and yours. - Posted by: Joe fisher (A friend) on: Aug 30, 2020

  • Hi Sharon, Brad and Fred, I was so sorry to hear of the passing of your dear, fun mom. I remember at a Christmas party that ended about 0200, I offered to help her clean up. She wouldn’t hear of that ...she said that was her time to have a scotch, be alone and enjoy some downtime. Great, I hate doing dishes. Your mom was a lady that enjoyed and loved her life, from what I saw. You will have so many happy memories of this wonderful mother. Fondly, Trudy - Posted by: Trudy Baker (Family friend) on: Aug 29, 2020

  • I first met the Abbott Family when I married their cousin David Roberts in 1974. We had a son Stephen (43) three years later that Dr. Bill Abbott delivered. I remember his parents as well who were very kind people. David’s Mother lived across the street from them on Grenfell Blvd. Until they moved later to Shaftesbury Blvd. I send our sympathies to Brad and family, Sharon and family, and Fred and family. Even though many years have gone by, the memories always live on. My family had a cottage at Falcon Lake for 25 years until my late parents sold it as they were aging and unable to keep it up any longer. Both Nora and Bill were wonderful people and will always be fondly remembered. Joan (Rosner) and Stephen (Roberts). - Posted by: Joan Hargrave (Family friend) on: Aug 29, 2020

  • Sharon, Brad, and Fred, I’m so sorry for the loss of your mom. I think until we moved I spent as much time at your house as ours and your mom was always very welcoming and good to me. Through the years I always enjoyed seeing her whether she and your dad were at our place for a party, or the many times I’d run into her at the Tuxedo Safeway and we’d have a good catch-up chat. I was always very fond of her. My condolences to you and your families at this difficult time. - Posted by: Cathy (Gilbert) Therrien (Ex-neighbour/friend) on: Aug 29, 2020

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