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Abigail Arms

abigail arms

December 10, 1947 ~ May 19, 2021

Ms. Abigail Arms, 73, of Alexandria and Chincoteague (East Piney Island) passed away May 19, 2021 after a long brave battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.  Abbie did not go gently into that good night.

Abbie was the daughter of the late John Taylor Arms III and Jean Abberley. Abbie grew up in rural Connecticut and as a child was happiest riding a pony, playing tennis or otherwise being outside.  During college she suffered from a misdiagnosed burst appendix that led to multiple surgeries.  After college she earned a Masters in Economics and worked as a corporate banker in New York City.  Abbie eventually returned to school for her law degree and had an illustrious career as a public servant at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission before joining the law firm of Shearman and Sterling LLP.  Abbie was a mentor and role model to many young lawyers, particularly women.

As an adult her love of the outdoors continued, especially boogie boarding, bird watching and bike riding.  She never let her lung disease slow her down.  Abbie managed to ride a bike with an oxygen tank strapped to its fender and walk the shore with an oxygen tank in her backpack.  One of the best and happiest days of Abbie’s life was when after her lung transplant, she completed the 27th Between the Waters Bike Tour on her beloved Virginia eastern shore.

Abbie was a very kind, thoughtful and generous person and will be greatly missed by her many friends and family.  Abbie had a caring heart for those who live on the margins and taught us the importance of generosity to others.  Prior to her illness, Abbie served on the board of United Community a non-profit that has for over 50 years served those in need in the Route One community in Alexandria. For decades, Abbie was also deeply involved in the life of Christ Church, Alexandria, including serving as Junior Warden on the Vestry.

Abbie was a brave and deeply compassionate person, touching so many lives with her kindness, integrity, love and generosity. Left to cherish wonderful memories of Abbie are her beloved spouse Paula; loving sisters Pen, Leslie (Peter) and Sara; and her much-loved nephews and niece and grandnephews and grandniece.

Memorial donations may be made to fund the lung tissue bank at Temple University Hospital Lung Center, where Abbie had her lung transplant and subsequent loving and amazing care: or checks may be sent to:

Temple Institutional Advancement, PO Box 827651, Philadelphia, PA 19182.  Please note "Lung Center Tissue Bank" in the memo.

Please consider giving the gift of life by registering to be an organ donor.

A memorial service will be held for Abbie on Saturday June 12th at 2:00 at Christ Church, 118 N. Washington St., Alexandria VA.

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  1. Rest in peace dear friend
    The Lord has called you home.
    You fought with grace and dignity.
    Forever loved

  2. Abbie and I were sorority pledges at Jacksonville University. We were on the news when the local Jacksonville TV station caught us going over to the laundry room she had a foot cast from a tennis accident,I had an ankle to thigh cast from a surfing one. Hysterical actually. When we both went to the Baptist Hospital to get my leg drained of fluid,the nurse peered over the desk and askedWere you two just in an accident? Abbie was the best!!! I left after my freshman year,and became an Art History Major and Studio Art Minor at Franklin&Marshall College in Lancaster,PA. I then went to grad school(LOL) at FIT in NYC. What I will now regret,is the fact I NEVER got in touch with her and we were probably in NYC,AT THE SAME TIME! I became Design Director for Sanyo Seiko and have been married for 43 years and have a much loved an extremely talented son. Im writing this as if Abbie is still aliveI actually tried to google her years ago but came up empty. Well,Abs,heres to you and tonight Ill have a VANILLA COKE in your memory!!!!

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