Floral-143
Welcome to the memorial page for

Joan Lundberg Abbott

July 29, 1930 ~ December 21, 2017 (age 87)

Share using:         

SERVICES

Visitation
Thursday
December 28, 2017

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
First Congregational Church
41 Main St.
Hatfield, MA 01038

Funeral Service
Thursday
December 28, 2017

11:00 AM
First Congregational Church
41 Main St.
Hatfield, MA 01038


Joan (Lundberg) Abbott passed peacefully in her sleep at Pierce Care Memorial Baptist Home on Thursday, December 21, 2017. In recent years, she had struggled with the aftermath of brain cancer and several strokes, but had made her peace with those limitations and found comfort in music and family as she always had.

Born on July 29,1930 in Framingham, Massachusetts, she was the daughter of George Dewey and Vivian (Wolf) Lundberg. Both of her parents were teachers and her mother was also a noted children’s author, and they passed along a love of words and reading that stayed with her throughout her life. Joan was a night owl and managed to steal an hour or two for reading in the wee hours even when her children were small.

Joan was a 1948 graduate of Framingham High School, where her father was the tennis coach. She shared his passion for the game, as well as for duckpin bowling, and participated in leagues for both sports for many years. While attending the University of Massachusetts (Class of ’52) she met the love of her life, Varnum Abbott, a Navy veteran of World War II who was a few years her senior. From the moment they met they were inseparable, continuing until his sudden passing in November of 2014 after 62 years of marriage.

After graduating, Joan and Varn moved to Connecticut where he began his actuarial career. Until her first child was born, she worked in the insurance business in Hartford as well. Later she became a part-time teacher and school librarian, and an office manager for the Futures Group consulting firm.

During her children’s school years, she was heavily involved in their activities, as a Brownie and Girl Scout leader, chaperoning school trips, and opening her home for after school gatherings. As her children went off to college, Joan decided she didn’t want to miss out on all the fun they were having, and went back to Southern Connecticut State for a Master of Library and Information Science degree, with which she was able to achieve her career dream by becoming the Head Librarian at Andover (CT) Public Library. This job also afforded her a nearly limitless creative outlet for another of her talents, calligraphy – her elegant signs and labels were legendary.

After retirement, Joan and Varn moved back to the area where they met and enjoyed the many cultural offerings in the Five College Area as well as reconnecting and sharing laughs with many old friends from their own college years.

Joan was also a dedicated singer, singing alto (and sometimes tenor!) parts at her church, with the Pioneer Valley Chorus and the prestigious Berkshire Choral International, with whom she performed at the Canterbury Cathedral in England. She and Varn loved to travel, visiting historic sites around the U.S. and in Europe and the UK. Closer to home, Joan and Varn cherished the many summers they spent at their cottage on Crystal Lake in New Hampshire, rowing, listening to the loons, and of course, reading.

She is survived by her children, Nancy of Willimantic, Connecticut, David of North Scituate, Rhode Island and John and his wife Nancy of Nashville, Tennessee. She is also survived by her brother, Chuck Lundberg and his wife Helga of Sommerhausen, Germany, and two granddaughters, Hannah and Emily. Family will receive relatives and friends at the First Congregational Church 41 Main St. Hatfield, MA 01038 Thursday, December 28, 2017 from 10am to 11am with the Funeral Service at 11am. 

© 2018 Potter Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS