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Myrtle Lydia Abbott

Myrtle Lydia Abbott, a gentle and loving mother, grandmother and friend to all who knew her, died on Feb. 15, 2009 at the age of 95.

Memorial services will be at 11:00 am Feb. 28, 2009 at the Cease Family Funeral Home in Bemidji.

Myrtle was the youngest of the 13 children born to John and Lydia Forsythe, she entered the world on October 10, 1913 in Dugdale, Minn. Times were rough for her pioneer family as they struggled to survive, on their small farm, through the harsh Minnesota winters. She especially loved high school where she learned German, studied poetry and participated in competitive girls' basketball.

In 1934 she married Wallace Abbott from Sebeka, Minn. After assisting Wallace through college, she helped him in his work as a teacher in Angus, Minn. and as a school principal on the White Earth Indian Reservation near Detroit Lakes, where, as a volunteer, she made hot lunches for the children. Tragedy struck early when they lost their first daughter, Joan Madonna, to pneumonia at the age of three months. During the 1940s and 50s, they lived in Greenbush, Minn. where they owned a hardware store and became very active in the Lutheran Church and in the community.

After living briefly in Crookston and Cambridge, Minn. from 1954 to 1957, the family moved to Duluth, where Myrtle was employed in the school food service program, while her husband worked for the State Employment Service. Myrtle was an enthusiastic gardener, baker and cook. She delighted her family with her roast beef dinners, delicious pies, cookies, and breads. After retirement, they settled in Bemidji near their nephew, Jerry (Sandy) Abbott, where they lived until Wallace's death in 1998.

Myrtle spent the last eleven years of her life in Ridgecrest, Calif. and in Colorado Springs, Colo., where she lived at the Life Care Center.

Myrtle is survived by her three daughters, Patricia (James Amato) Richard-Amato of Woodland Park, Colo., Jennifer (Richard) Johnson of Cotton, Minn. (Richard) and Wendy (Mark) Hansen of Grand Marais, Minn.; her grandson, Daniel Hansen of Duluth and several close relatives.

She was the best mother and grandmother anyone could ever ask for and we will all miss her very much.

--Paid Obituary