OLD TOWN – Muriel "Ardis" Abbott passed away Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, in Bangor. She was born May 21, 1917, in Northport, the daughter of Clarence O. and Edna M. (Miller) Woodbury.
Ardis attended a one-room schoolhouse in Northport through eighth grade, and then went on to Crosby High School, Belfast, graduating in 1935. Subsequent to high school she worked for a couple of years to save money to put herself through Maine School of Commerce – Husson College, Bangor, where she graduated with honors in 1940. Her first teaching assignments were at high school level, in Sherman Mills and then in Oakland. While working one summer at Cold Stream Pond in Enfield, she met her future husband, Robert F. Abbott. Robert served in the Army during World War II, and they wrote many letters back and forth while he was stationed overseas. When he returned from England as the war ended, Ardis and Robert married in Belfast, Feb. 4, 1946. Together, they built a house and settled on Abbott Street in Old Town. Ardis taught at Bangor High School until their children, Gail, Priscilla, Janice and Jeffrey were born. While her children grew up, Ardis worked as a special education teacher at the Cerebral Palsy Center, Bangor. Additionally, Ardis worked as a salesperson for the Laurene Co. and later for Friendly Home Parties, where she earned many awards for her sales and recruiting efforts. Always a hard-worker, Ardis retired from her sales career at age 90, but only because the company went out of business. Her church was very important to her, and Ardis was a member of United Methodist Church, Old Town, for 67 years, serving on the board of trustees for a period of time. Ardis was also an active member of the Old Town YMCA where she swam daily for 17 years, organized a quilting club and participated in senior fitness classes. Ardis created many beautiful quilts and particularly enjoyed making quilts with intricate designs. Ardis treasured her family and was supportive, loving and caring to them as well as others in so many ways.
Ardis was predeceased by her husband, Robert; her son, Jeffrey; her sister, Dorothy; and brother, Osgood. She is survived by her daughters, Gail and her husband, Michael Kay, of Skowhegan, Priscilla Abbott of York and Janice and husband, Jim Ellis, of Dover-Foxcroft and Spring Hill, Fla.; sister, Betty Collins; brother, David Woodbury; her grandchildren, Theresa, James, Jeffrey, Meaghan, Rory, Melissa, Katie and Matthew; and great-grandchildren, Zachary, Bryce, Mason, Dawson and Courtney.
A memorial service will be held to honor Ardis' life 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at United Methodist Church, Stillwater Avenue, Old Town. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to causes meaningful to Ardis: Old Town YMCA Senior Citizens Fund, 472 Stillwater Ave., Old Town, ME 04468; Old Town United Methodist Church, 744 Stillwater Ave., Old Town, ME 04468; or Crossroads Ministries, 2 Wood St., Old Town, ME 04468. Notes of condolence may be sent to the family at www.birminghamfuneralhome.com.