Evelyn Buddell Abbuehl, 95, passed away quietly at her home in Chanute, on October 21, 2012. Evelyn was born and raised in Reading, Pennsylvania on September 9, 1917, the daughter of R. Hooper and Margret (Fredericks) Buddell. She attended Reading Public Schools and attended several post-secondary institutions including: Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, Davis College in Binghamton, New York, and The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, finishing with an advanced degree in Occupational Therapy shortly after WWII. She was united in marriage to Dr. Don R. Abbuehl in 1947, and worked at the Wadsworth Hospital at Leavenworth, while Don completed his surgical residency before moving to Chanute in 1952, where they raised four children.
Evelyn was locally involved in the American Red Cross, The Safari Museum, The Chanute Art Gallery, Great Books, Shakespeare and Art and Literature Clubs, taught Sunday school at the Methodist church, as well as practicing as an occupational therapist throughout southeast Kansas and surrounding states, where she provided support services to over ninety nursing homes. “Occupational therapy was a brand new field in 1945”, said Evelyn. “After WWII, there were so many soldiers in need of help that the “O.T.” program was initiated to fill that need…to help these men regain some part of their lives.” Her work continued in the nursing home industry, where she helped in setting up programs for facilities to better the lives of elderly people.
She and her husband Don enjoyed such passions as travel, art, literature, cooking, paddle tennis, going to the opera and KU football. Music was a vital part of her life and opera was a big passion. The Abbuehl couple would often attend KU football games on Saturday afternoon, change clothes and see the opera in Kansas City that same evening before driving back to Chanute.
She is survived by her sister, Doris Ann Johnson (83) of Aqaba, Jordan, four children: Ross Abbuehl of Chanute, Abigail Abbuehl of San Francisco, Christopher Abbuehl of Wilmington, Delaware, Edward Abbuehl of Topeka, adopted son, Edwin Hwang of Palo Alto, plus three grandchildren: Eunae Abbuehl and Jian Abbuehl of Pittsburg, and Zaji Abbuehl-Lieberman of Ada, Ohio.
Evelyn will be remembered for her outstanding devotion to community and family, her love of life and the inspiration she gave to those who knew her. There will be a celebration of Evelyn’s life at The First United Methodist Church, Saturday, November 10th, at 2:00.