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Lake View Cemetery

12316 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44106

216.421.2665

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Deborah A. Abbott, Ph.D.

Deborah A. Abbott, Ph.D.

Lake View Cemetery offers a wide variety of educational tours, highlighting those who are buried here and their historic impact on Cleveland. The stories presented on these tours are all the more meaningful when the guide is a teacher, writer, and a seasoned lecturer with a life-long passion for those narratives.

Deborah A. Abbott, Ph.D. is a professional genealogist specializing in genealogical methodology, manuscript collections, and African American family research. Among her many titles and accolades, she is the past President of the African American Genealogical Society and can be found teaching a course for Ancestry.com entitled Needles & Threads. For several years, Lake View has been proud to partner with Deborah to bring our “Notable African Americans Tour” to visitors. Our guests have delighted in her wealth of knowledge and anecdotes about such Cleveland luminaries as Carl & Louis Stokes, inventor Garrett Morgan, and City Council member Fannie Lewis. Recently, Deborah became a member of the Lake View Cemetery Foundation’s Outreach Committee, where she will continue to share her expertise on partnering with the community, to enrich our tour offerings.

Deborah is penning her own life story, “My Life Best Told in Chapters”, which she began writing in 2014. Although a work in progress, we are pleased to share with you an excerpt from the portion titled “Last Chapter, New Address, Beautiful Place.” In it, Deborah describes her “future residence” in our Community Mausoleum as one would describe searching for a new house.

“To ensure that I would make the right decision, I decided to treat the tour like an “open house” and my Memorial Advisor, Karen, as the “real estate agent.” I knew right away that I wanted to be in that space, but all the “prime properties” there were sold. As I pondered this, Karen suggested another ideal place, one right outside of the “living room.” She indicated that the new property would give me the same amenities.

Karen brought to my attention that in addition to the illumination of the niches, light would flow from the windows, doors, and skylight. It would gently stream through the front and sides of the corner niches, which would give me a sense of freedom.

The new space, which I immediately named the “China Cabinet” was one of four units, standing against the walls around the “great room.” They were beautiful structures containing individual niches in assorted sizes. Karen brought to my attention that in addition to the illumination of the niches, light would flow from the windows, doors, and skylight. It would gently stream through the front and sides of the corner niches, which would give me a sense of freedom.

I am pleased to say, that I eventually will be moving to a corner niche, third level from the top in the “China Cabinet.” I am excited about my new environment and my beautiful surroundings. My neighborhood is wonderful! I am only one mausoleum away from Pres. James A. Garfield. In addition, not so far away, are other neighbors; John D. Rockefeller, Garrett Morgan, Louis and Carl B. Stokes, Elliot Ness, Charles Chesnutt, and of course, thirteen members of my own family.”

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