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C. Opal B. Abernathey, 86, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, due to complications from COVID-19. She was a native of Gloucester County and a Peninsula resident for the majority of her life. Opal spent the last six years between the Chamberlin at Fort Monroe and WindsorMeade in Williamsburg.

Opal was the daughter of the late Cecil M. and Lorene H. Booker and daughter-in-law of the late Charles H. and Sadie L. Abernathey of Gloucester.

In 1952, Opal married her childhood sweetheart, the late H. Leslie Abernathey, with whom she spent 44 years and had four children. She retired in 1993 from Newport News Shipbuilding, Department 053, after 20 years of service.
Opal was a caring woman who loved Jesus and her family. Her pleasing personality and engaging smile endeared her to many. Opal’s greatest joy was spending time laughing, talking, playing games, and sharing meals with family and friends. Opal loved the beach and spending time in the Outer Banks with the girls. Kind and generous beyond any obligation, she was the glue that held us together. She lovingly adopted our friends and godchildren as her own.

In addition to her parents, Opal was preceded in death by her husband, H. Leslie Abernathey and her brother, Cecil M. Booker Jr. Left to cherish her memory are her devoted children, Wanda A. Kissinger (Jack) of Hampton, A. Colleen Allen (Phil) of Newport News, L. Dale Abernathey (Lucy) of Warsaw, and Kenneth B. Abernathey (Sheli) of Gloucester; four grandchildren, Christopher M. Baker, Leslie B. Baker, Kenneth B. Abernathey Jr., and Jamie A. Dawson; seven great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Betty B. Dame; sister-in-law, Kathryn Lemmon; several nieces and nephews, and countless lifelong friends.

Heartfelt thanks to the caregivers, staff, and leadership at Bedford Terrace, WindsorMeade for their devoted care of Mom and the empathy and support shown our family during this difficult time. The family also wishes to thank Heartland Hospice for their comfort and guidance as Mom approached the end of her life.

Due to elevated COVID-19 risks, the service and interment at Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home and Memorial Park will be private. The service may be viewed live or later on Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home Facebook page.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in memory of our courageous Mom who endured Alzheimer’s and COVID-19 as long as she could with a smile and an indomitable spirit.


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