Theo Frick Abelmann, beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and sister, passed away peacefully on January 10, 2014, in Santa Barbara, California, surrounded by her family.Theo lived in Santa Barbara since May 2014, to be near her daughter Suzette.
Born in Chapin, South Carolina, on Oct. 26, 1920, she grew up in Columbia, S.C.,graduated Magna Cum Laude, University of South Carolina, Phi Beta Kappa.
Theo married the Reverend Vernon Frazier in 1942. Together they served a number of Lutheran parishes in South Carolina, including St. James Lutheran Church in Sumter, Ebenezer Lutheran Church in Columbia, St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in Lexington, and St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Charleston. In the mid 50’s, they moved to London, England, doing missionary work with refugees and established a church serving an international congregation. In 1963, the Fraziers moved to La Canada, California serving the Lutheran Church of the Foothills.
Following a divorce from Pastor Frazier, Theo moved to La Crescenta, California, working for the Bible Fellowship Hour in Montrose. She met William (Bill) Abelmann, a real estate appraiser, and, with much happiness, married him in 1974. They traveled throughout the world, visiting all 50 states. Joining the La Canada Presbyterian Church in 1982, they often entertained friends and family in their lovely antiquefilled home. Active in her church, Theo served two terms as Deacon, spending many happy hours in the church’s social groups, including the Pathfinders and Voyagers. She was an expert on world crosses, and made presentations to religious and secular groups.
Theo and Bill’s marriage was a loving one, and Bill often referred to Theo as “my little angel.” After the passing of Theo’s beloved in 2002, the Kiwanis Club made her a honorary member. Theo epitomized a gracious southern lady. She had a welcoming and encouraging smile for anyone she met. She appreciated the true beauty of others, looking beyond appearance into a person’s heart. She was always dressed to the nines, with matching jewelry, clothes, purses, and, especially, shoes. She cultivated an innate sense of style.
Theo is survived by her three children: Suzette Caroline Cobb, (“favorite son-in-law” Malcolm), identical twins Thomas Frick Frazier and Luther Frank Frazier, granddaughter SamanthaAnnTighe (Sugar), (Kevin Tighe), and most beloved great grandson, Jason Donald Tighe. She is also survived by her sister Martha Trotti (Marion Trotti), her “little brother” Elmer Frick, Jr., (Mary Frick). Theo enjoyed an especially loving relationship with Elmer’s daughter, Elizabeth Potter. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, and many cousins in South Carolina. Theo is survived by Bill’s daughter, Carol Abelmann, and his son William (Bill) Abelmann Jr., (Susan), and their families.
The family would like to thank Care At Home, Glendale, Ca., Clark Coastal Senior Care, and Visiting Nurses, both in Santa Barbara, CA., for the loving care and comfort they gave Theo during her last year.
Remembrances in Theo’s memory may be made to the La Canada Presbyterian Church’s General Fund, 626 Foothill Blvd., La Canada, CA. 91011, or to the charity of your choice.
Theo always told her children that all you have when you depart this life is the service you have given to others, she truly led by example. We celebrate her life and her loving spirit with her favorite verse by Sam Walter Foss: “Let me live in a house by the side of the road, and be a friend to man.”
There will be no service. A gathering of her family to remember and celebrate her life will be held at a later time. If you wish to send condolences you may direct them to: Suzette Cobb, 1216 W. Valerio Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.