Everett Woolman Abdill – Captain, United States Navy

Abdill, Everett W
Born April 18, 1902
Died December 13, 1944
United States Navy
Section 11, Grave 595 SH
Buried September 8, 1948

CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina — Dorothy F. Miller died at Carolina Meadows retirement community, where she had resided since 1989, on February 12, 2000.

She was born Dorothy Marie Fairbairn in Chicago, Illinois, on May 27, 1905, the daughter of Frederick and Mame Ophelia Lovgren Fairbairn. Educated at Sweet Briar College in Virginia and at Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio, where her parents had later made their home, she was married in the Episcopal Cathedral in Cleveland in 1927 to Everett Woolman Abdill, a young naval officer who had been an outstanding midshipman in the Class of 1924 at the United States Naval Academy and a classmate there of her brother Donald Fairbairn.

She and her husband with their growing family-three daughters born variously in Manila, P.I., Washington, D.C., and Long Beach, California, served their country at Naval duty posts around the world. Everett Abdil, who had become a submariner, was posted to Manila; Tsingtao, China; Washington, D.C., the Panama Canal Zone, New London, Connecticut, Newport, Rhode Island; Long Beach, California, and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, before the Second World War. In Tsingtao, faced with a squad of Japanese soldiers determined to bivouac on her lawn, while her Chinese house boy beat on pots and pans in the kitchen , Dorothy drove the Japanese off her lawn with a Flit Spray.

In 1944, Captain Abdil was chief of staff to the Admiral commanding the task force that carried General McArthur's forces back into the Philippines. The Captain was killed at Leyte Gulf in December, 1944, on the deck of the task force flagship by a Japanese Kamikaze bomber. Dorothy Abdill, left with a widow's pitiful pension, moved her three daughters from San Francisco back to Alexandra, Virginia, found work in the Department of State and then in the Department of the Navy, nurtured and brought up her daughters and sent them all to college. When she had done that, she sold the home she had bought in Falls Church, Virginia, and bought a cottage at Virginia Beach. There she offered her children and grandchildren a haven by the sea. There the whole family repaired to be with her and enjoy the warm hospitality she provided them and all her friends.

No passive witness to a disturbing world, she was an active member of the League of Women Voters, managed locally the campaign of a candidate for the Lieutenant Governorship of Virginia, vigorously opposed United States involvement in the Viet Nam War, earned a distinguished service award for her work with the United States Association for the United Nations, and fought for the rights of service widows.

Twenty-six years after Captain Abdill's death, she was married to Commander Lermond (“Red”) Miller, by then retired both form the Navy and from the faculty of Old Dominion University. He was a widower whose grown children she cherished as she had done her own. For nine years the Millers enjoyed their “retirement”, traveled, visited their children, fished from the beach, and grew old together. When “Red” suffered a stroke, Dorothy drove thirty miles a day to keep him company in the hospital. After his death, she continued her loving role as mother to both families of children.

Eighty-four years of age by 1989, she sold her home in Virginia Beach, moved to Carolina meadows, and lived out her life there, loved by her children, and supported by them as she gave them her loving support.

She is survived by her sister, Charlotte Fairbairn McGinnis, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, her daughters, Mary Jane Abdill Hunt, of Chapel Hill, Evelyn Abdill Sweet, of Bethesda, Maryland, and Charlotte Abdill Nevin, of Johnson City, Tennessee, her grandchildren, Kristin Nevin, of New York City, Trisha Nevin Reid, of Johnson City, Havilah Hunt, of Chapel Hill, Douglass Hunt, III, of New York City, Amanda Hunt Austell, of Tampa Florida, and Arthur Hunt, of Raleigh, and her great grandchildren, Mary Evelyn Austell and Sarah Jeslyn Austell, of Tampa, and John Harrison Hunt of Raleigh the latter born the week Dorothy Marie Fairbairn Abdill Miller died.

A Memorial service will be held at the Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill at two o'clock Friday, February 18, 2000. At a graveside service in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date, her ashes will be interred.


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