Friday, March 9, 2012

Mabel DeGeer Welles Owen - Obituary

"Aunt Mab" was my grandpa - Sam Welles - sister. 
The Hartford Courant published this obit of Mabel DeGeer Welles Owen on June 15, 2010. 
Mab's husband - Uncle Charlie - was a world renowned Chaucer scholar.

OWEN, Mabel DeGeer Welles-- Mabel Owen was born June 14, 1915 in Chelsea, OK, the daughter of the Reverend Samuel Gardner Welles and Mabel DeGeer Welles. The family moved to Trenton, NJ, and after her father's death to a farm in Crosswicks, NJ. Mab attended St Mary's Hall, Randolph Macon Academy, Wellesley College, receiving her BA in Botany in 1937, and Columbia University, where she received her MA in Library Sciences. Following World War II she was working as the librarian of Bordentown, NJ, when she and Charles A. Owen, Jr., became engaged. They were married on June 8, 1946, and in 1947 moved to Storrs, CT, where Charles joined the English department of the University of Connecticut. In 1953 they began spending their summers in Freedom, NH, renting a house with her sister and brother-in-law, Muriel and Ted Hall. In 1955 the two families bought the Towle house in the middle of Freedom Village and for the next 45 years Charles and Mab joyfully spent their winters in Storrs and summers in Freedom. Charles died in 1998 and was buried in the small graveyard behind their house in Freedom. Together Mab and Charles raised four children, Lucy, Sarah, Jennifer and Charles, and nurtured their two grandchildren, Philip and Jennifer. Mab was a gentle soul, whose quiet strength was the bedrock for her children and extended family. She loved her garden and her friends, and watered the lives of all who came to know and love her. She died in her bed on the morning of June 8, 2010 where she could see from her window the flowers and trees she had planted during 58 years of living in her house. She was looking forward to finding out what comes next in the hereafter, and in recent months, though still healthy, had become impatient to begin the journey. It is fitting that she joined her husband on their wedding anniversary. A memorial service will be held on June 19, 2010 at 3 p.m., St Mark's Episcopal Church, South Eagleville Rd., Storrs, where she has been a member of the congregation since before it was built in 1955. A joint celebration of her life and Sarah's husband Jerry's life will be held at the Towle house in Freedom on June 26, 2010 at 2 p.m., and her ashes will be buried next to her husband's. In lieu of flowers a donation to St Marks Church ongoing flower fund would be appreciated.

From Left: Sam, Mabel, Mary, Muriel, Bishop Edward
Mabel DeGeer, Canon Welles

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