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Leah (Rice) Abbott

December 12, 1921 ~ April 25, 2019 (age 97)

Leah Jean Abbott, 97, of Lake Odessa, passed away on April 25, 2019 at Woodlawn Meadows in Hastings, MI. 


She was born on December 12, 1921 to Harlow and Marion (Meredith) Rice at Galesburg, MI. She attended Western Michigan University where she received her degree in education in 1943. In 1946 she married Wall “Coach” Abbott and moved to Lake Odessa in 1948 where they both had gotten teaching positions.  Leah worked as a Junior High teacher in Breckenridge, Portage, Constantine and Lake Odessa.  She enjoyed a 35-year career teaching her students vocal music, English and Social Studies.  Leah in her retirement enjoyed playing cards, gardening, sewing, traveling to all 50 states and Europe. 


Leah felt especially blessed in life that she was able to help her daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren with either college expenses or starting a business. 


She was a member of Central United Methodist Church for many years where she was a past Choir director for both the youth and adult choirs.


Leah will be dearly missed by: daughter, Mary Jo (Scott) Rainnes; Jim (Barb) Wickham, grandchildren Doug (Julie) Wickham, John (Ava) Wickham, great grandchildren Anthony, Marissa and Alec, along with many nieces and nephews.


She was preceded in death by her husband Coach Abbott, father, Harlow George Rice, mother, Marion (Meredith) Rice, sisters; Ruth Kirklin, Sarah Cook, and Mary Kohl, brother Dale Rice.


The family would like to give a heart felt thank you to Woodlawn Meadows, Spectrum Health Hospice and Great Lakes Hospice for all the excellent care she received. Along with the friends and family that visited her or sent cards and letters. 


According to her wish’s cremation has taken place and a private family memorial will take place. She will be buried next to Coach in Lakeside Cemetery in Lake Odessa, MI.


Memorials are suggested to the Central United Methodist Church or Great Lakes Caring Hospice. Online condolences can be given at

Donations may be made to:

Central United Methodist Church
912 Fourth Ave, PO Box 485, Lake Odessa MI 48849

Great Lakes Caring Hospice
630 Kenmoor Ave SE Ste 200, Grand Rapids MI 49546
Tel: 1-616-956-2968

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