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Mary Edna Abbott Diffenbaugh

April 14, 2013
Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Edna was born on a farm in Belpre, Ohio, near the Ohio River. She was raised there by William and Lucy Bell Reese Abbott with three brothers, Owen, Wilbur and Earl, and one sister, Augusta, all now deceased.

River water ran in her blood. Few things made her smile more than the first glimpse of the Ohio as the road turned to follow the river from Marietta to Belpre and her family and friends who lived there.

During the late 1930's, Edna moved to Akron to work, first for Kresge's, then for Goodyear. She shared a house with another Belpre girl and lifelong friend, Vaun Burkhart. In 1944, she married Bruce Diffenbaugh. They bought a bungalow in Tallmadge and started a family. Their oldest daughter, Sandra, lives in Kent with her husband Ed Miller. The younger daughter, Barbara Jean, passed away in 1959 at the age of 10.

A good 35 years passed in Tallmadge while Bruce worked for Goodrich and at a local grocery store. After Bruce retired, the couple turned to Belpre where they built a home on a piece of the old farm. Edna renewed early friendships and regularly attended meetings of the class of 1935. Eventually, country living became too challenging for Bruce and Edna so they moved to town, finding a cozy ranch house across the street from her friend, Vaun, and made new friends on Morgan Avenue. Bruce passed away in 2009 and Edna moved to Kent to live with her daughter, Sandra, son-in-law, Ed, and furry companion, Rascal.

Edna was a wonderful mom, known for her generosity, warmth and red velvet cake. She was always happy to 'play in the mud', which was how she described gardening. Her creative skills as a seamstress benefited not only her daughters but many neighbors as well. She brought a marvelously creative touch to everyday life, dying sheets black for Halloween costumes, fashioning doll furniture from orange crates, and constructing Christmas decorations from wooden spools and spray can lids. She had a joyous and adventurous spirit, wanting to hitch a ride every time she heard a motorcycle. Edna had dreams of piloting a blimp and an airplane. She wanted to own an elephant and drive in the Indianapolis 500. For her it was wonderful that women could now be doctors and thought endless hot running water was a great improvement over a bucket in the cistern.

Edna had a good, happy life and is missed by all who knew her.

Cremation has taken place. Edna requested there be no services.

 
 

 

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