William Pepperrell Abraham

March 12, 1930 to May 15, 2021


Died on May 15, 2021, William Pepperrell Abraham of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, age 91.

Leaving to mourn his wife Jessie, son Geoffrey (Barbara), daughter Ruth (Dennis), grandchildren Hannah, John and Noah Davis-Abraham and Robin and Margaret Peters, brother Martin Marriott and a large circle of family and friends, including his devoted niece Philippa Warren.

Predeceased by his parents Bishop Philip Abraham and Cecily Abraham, brother Rev. Charles Abraham and his wife Ann, sister Janet Gibson and her husband Rev. Alan Gibson, sister-in-law Judith Marriott, father-in-law Augustus Fifield and mother-in-law Bertha Fifield.

Bill lived a full and purposeful life, always underpinned by strong Christian faith and his commitment to family, education, volunteerism and community. He will be dearly missed.

Born in Quebec City in 1930, Bill spent his earliest years in England and moved to Newfoundland in 1937 upon his father’s appointment as Co-adjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Newfoundland. The war years were spent in St. John’s and after graduating from Bishop Feild College in 1946, Bill attended Memorial University College until 1948 before moving to London where he studied at the London School of Economics for a time until he returned to Newfoundland (now Canada) in 1950.

After five years farming in the Stephenville Crossing area, studying during two of those winters at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Bill returned to St. John’s and completed his Arts and Education degrees at Memorial University. Following an initial three years teaching in Upper Island Cove, Bill moved on to Bishop White High School in Port Rexton where he taught for the next nine years until 1970, seven of those as Principal. During that time he met and married his wife Jessie Fifield of Trinity East in 1965 and in 1970 they and their young family moved to Springdale where Bill continued to teach, first at Grant Collegiate and then at the elementary school, until his retirement in 1985.

Volunteerism was always a significant part of Bill’s life, although it never felt like what he did but rather just who he was. At Memorial, he was president of the Student Representative Council and a national chairman of the Student Christian Movement and, on graduation, a proud Recipient of the Birks Medal for Student Leadership. In Springdale, he continued as a lay reader in the Anglican Church, became a member and eventual president of the Lions Club, served on the local Library and Hospital Boards as well as on the Central Newfoundland Library Board. After retiring to St. John’s, he recorded books on tape for the CNIB, became editor of the Newfoundand Churchman newspaper, guided tours at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and collected for the food bank, among other things. Until just prior to his death, he was still volunteering as the resident representative on several committees at Chancellor Park. And Bill was a consistent, lifelong Blood Donor, despite having a well-known tendency to faint at the sight of blood. Most personally significant to Bill, however, was his election as the Mayor of the Town of Springdale from 1985-1989. He felt strongly that it was one of his life’s most surprising and humbling experiences, to be entrusted by his community with a stewardship role for their town.

Bill’s family would finally like to share their deep gratitude for the remarkable care, compassion and respect Bill received while residing at Chancellor Park in St. John’s from 2016 and previously at Meadow Creek Personal Care Home in Paradise from 2012.

Resting at Carnell’s Funeral Home, 329 Freshwater Road, on Monday, May 17 from 7-9 p.m. and Tuesday, May 18 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral service will take place from the Anglican Cathedral on Wednesday, May 19 at 2 p.m. with interment to follow at the Anglican Cemetery, Kenmount Road. The service will be livestreamed for those who cannot attend. www.facebook.com/anglcathstj/

To observe COVID protocols, those planning to attend the funeral service will need to register first by calling the Cathedral Office at 726-5677 or by following the registration link on the Cathedral website at https://ourcathedral.ca/

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Retired Teachers Foundation or the Canadian Bible Society.



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Sorry for the loss of The Late Mr. William Pepperrell Abraham. My deepest sympathies and condolences are with you all at this sad and difficult time.

To Jessie , Geoff , Ruth and entire Abraham family. So very sorry to hear of Bills passing. Many fond memories of him teaching in Springdale. He was such a great and wonderful person.. Our sincere and deepest condolences to all the family. God Bless.

Jessie and family, my deepest condolences on Bill Passing. I have many fond memories of Bill and his passion for all he met. May he rest in Peace and rise in Glory.

Rev Canon Duncan Granter
An old Feilding
And a son of a Peddle from Lockston.

Jessie, I am so sorry for your loss. Please accept my deepest condolences.

To Jessie, Geoffery and Ruth.
Sorry to hear of Bill’s passing and please accept our sincere condolences. We have many fond memories from Springdale.
sending you our prayers and thoughts during this difficult time.

So sorry to hear of Mr Abraham’s passing . He was a great teacher at Grant College,Springdale . Condolences to His family .

My deepest sympathy to you and your family.
Elaine Underhay

Jessie and Family
So sorry to learn of Bill’s passing. He was truly a wonderful man. I got to know him when I took my turn with him at morning Eucharist at the Cathedral. We shared many services together. Shirley and I will hold you in our thoughts and prayers. With every blessing:
Eugene & Shirley Castella

Jessie, Geoffrey, Ruth and families.
We are saddened to hear of Bill’s passing and sorry that Covid is preventing a visit with you right now. Both of us have great memories of teaching with Bill at Grant Collegiate and Springdale Elementary. .Over the years our friendship grew stronger and stronger and we very much enjoyed your visits with us and ours with you We especially remember how smoothly you and Bill floated around the dance floor and remember Geoffrey and David getting lost as little boys.. It has been a joy to have shared so much of our lives with you, watching our children grow from babies into young men and women with their own children in HIgh School and Post Secondary education. Good bye, Mr..Mayor—- we will miss you.

Jessie and family, My heartfelt condolences to you on Bill’s passing. He will be fondly remembered and greatly missed. May flights of Angels carry Bill to his rest. May he Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. God bless.
Janice Evans and family

Jessie and family

Deepest sympathy you are all in my thoughts and prayers. God has gotten another angel..

Jessie and family, I’m so sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. He certainly had a full life and I’m sure he will be missed so much by you. When I sang with Avalonia at Chancellor Park ,Bill and most times you as well would be in the audience enjoying our music,. My deepest condolences may he Rest In Peace.
Maxine Winsor

Dearest Jessie, Geoff, Ruth and family,
So extremely saddened to hear of Bill’s passing and sending my deepest sympathy. My heart and prayers are with you at this very difficult time and the days ahead. Bill was such a kind, genourous and gentle soul who I feel honoured to have known. I will always chersish all of our (Jessie, Bill, my mother Barbara and myself) visits together over the years, especially the times doing puzzles and great conversation for hours that never seemed long enough. May God be with you now and hold you close, and take comfort in all of your beautiful memories together 🙏

Sending deepest condolences to you and your family on the loss of your dear husband. May he R.I.P.


Noreen and Ken Jones

I met Bill while facilitating a pen pal project at Chancellor Park with Old School Intergenerational Projects. I sat with him at each visit and asked him questions and assisted him with the letter writing. The letters were then passed to grade six students to write back and share news about themselves and ask about him. As an educator, he was excited to learn about young peoples interests in school.

Bill and I had a great friendship during those few months. He always had a big smile on his face and well wishes to share. We were happy to make the connection that he knew my father during his time as mayor in Springdale.

I am so grateful to have gotten to know him in the last few years of his incredible life. I will certainly never forget the impact he had on me. I would love to share some photos and the letters I helped him write.

Sending my love to Jessie and the family. He really was such a special man.

To the Abraham family
I am saddened to hear of Mr. Abraham’s passing. He was one teacher (grade 3) who had a lasting impact on my life. He was always encouraging, thoughtful and so kind. He had a genuine concern for his students and that showed through his teachings and actions. He always encouraged my imagination and he never forgot his students, even when they had long since moved on, as my own family and siblings can attest to. We are all blessed to have known and been taught by him. My condolences to the family as you begin to say good bye.

Another Beautiful Soul Gone Home.
My Grade Three Teacher…. that was quite some time ago but I can still remember him.
He was a VERY kind hearted, caring, gently spoken, Teacher.
My sincerest condolences to his Family and Friends……
Rest in Perfect Paradise Mr. Abraham.

Geoff and family, I was so sorry to hear of your father’s passing. Keeping you all in my thoughts.

Jessie and. Family;
We’re sadden to hear of Mr. Abraham’s passing.
We have fond memories of him as our. School. Principal at. Bishop. White. School.
Our thoughts and Prayers are with you all.

My sincere sympathy to the Abraham family on the passing of Bill. He was a true gentleman and exemplified all it means to be Christian.
He was kind, caring , thoughtful and giving of himself throughout his life.
Bill was a friend of my parents for a very long time but I also knew him as a fellow Cathedral parishioner.
Rest in peace, Bill. Godspeed.

So sorry to hear of Mr. Abraham passing. I was a neighbour of his in Wedgewood Park. He was also so kind and spoken in such a gentle manner.
I only passed by his old house the older day and thought of him.

Warmest condolences
Heather Sparkes & Family

Please accept our sincere condolences. Bill was a wonderful person whom we got to know in Springdale many years ago. His was a life well lived and his Christian example inspiring. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family at this time. Affectionately,
Sharon and Morley Whitt

So sorry to hear of Mr. Abrahams passing. He was a great teacher to us. Condolences to the families 💞🙏💞🙏

Jessie Geoff Ruth and families
We have many pleasant and memorable thoughts of Bill especially when we’ were at Springdale. He was a blessing and inspiration to us and his leadership in the congregation of St. Luke’s is commendable.. We give thanks for his long and productive life.
May he Rest In Peace and rise in glory
Iliffe and Vivian Sheppard

Dear Jessie, Geoffrey, Ruth and Families,
We have many happy memories of Bill at the Anglican Cathedral, always a pleasant smile, a greeting and a chat for everyone. He was a dedicated volunteer, a man of faith and will be missed by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
Love Anthea & Michael

Jessie and family.
Every blessing to you and yours on the passing of your husband,father etc.We have great memories of visits to the home with his stories and love shown for family and people in general..May he rest in peace.

Charles and Marjorie Hiscock

Warmest sympathy and best love to Jessie for the loss of my oldest friend


We are so very sorry to hear of Mr. Abraham’s passing. We both have fond memories of him back in our school days. He was always such a quiet and gentle man. Thinking of you all.

Sorry to hear of Mr. Abraham’s passing. My sincere condolences.

To Jessie, Geoff and Ruth. So sorry to hear of Mr. Abraham’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during these difficult days.

Grace-Ann (Jenkins) Lodge & family

Jessie and family
I was saddened to hear of Bill’s passing. I have known of him and his brother, Rev. Charles for many years from my attendance at The Anglican Cathedral since I was a little girl. His sister-in-law, Ann ( Chatwood) Abraham was my Brownie Leader. My brother, Selwyn Noel, was named after Bill’s father, Bishop Philip Selwyn Abraham. My mother, Annie Noel, knew Bill’s family from The Cathedral, as well as from teaching. One of the last times I saw him was at my sister, Muriel King’s funeral service at St. Mark’s. I also bowled with him at The Retired Teachers Bowling League for 10 years. Bill was such a gentleman and conversationalist. May you be comforted by your many wonderful memories of your life together. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. R.I.P. Bill, thou good and faithful servant.
Lois(Noel) Jones and Darroch

So very sorry to hear of Bill’s passing . I have many fond memories of you and Bill when you and I worked together. Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers at this sad and difficult time. Hugs to you!
Lynn and Bob French

Jessie, Geoffrey, Ruth & families:

So very sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. Be assured that caring thoughts are with you in this most difficult time. May the happiness you all shared be warmly remembered, and may those memories help to ease the pain in the days ahead. May God bless and comfort you.

Love and Prayers always
Patsy & Derek Coombs

To Jessie, Geoffrey, Ruth & families,

So sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. My thoughts and prayers🙏 will be with you as you face the difficult days ahead. I have fond memories of him while you lived in Springdale, he was a kind and generous man. Be comforted by the good memories you shared.

Vivian & Dennis Mercer

My thoughts and prayers are with you

Mrs. Abraham & Family: I had Mr. Abraham as a teacher at Bishop White back in the 60s. He was a great teacher. My wife (Jean) and I extend our condolences to all of the family on his passing.

Dear Jessie and family
Stephen just told me that bill passed away.. I will miss him. A very dear and special friend. Jessie and bill were always welcome in my home and in my life.
I hope to get home to Newfoundland soon. This virus has kept me away too long.
I will be in touch Jessie. God bless and love you
Sandra Mosher
In Orillia, Ontario

Dear Jessie and family
My thoughts and prayers are with you as you face the days ahead. It’s difficult to find the words how I feel and yet I hope that somehow you will feel my love around you.
I will miss our talks, hugs and ice cream cones.
Miss you always
Pam Howse and family

Dear Aunt Jessie and Family,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. We are holding you in our hearts. Also we remember all the good times we shared with Uncle Bill. He was such a kind, loving and caring man. We know Jesus’ words to Uncle Bill were “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”
Love Mae, Roland and Linda.

Jessie and Family,

So sorry to hear of Bill’s passing, be assured of our love and prayers for the days ahead.

Dear Aunt Jessie & family.
Our thoughs and prayers are with you all at this sad time.
Love: Jessie & Wade

Sincere condolences.

Ruth & Abraham Family
So sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad, in the difficult days & months ahead, hug each other often and share his memory. God Bless. 🙏🏽

Dear Jessie,

We were so sorry to learn of Mr. Abraham’s passing. We always enjoyed our conversations with him. He was a very interesting and gentle man who certainly lived a very full life. We send our sincerest condolences to you and your family.

Marilyn and Rennie Wakeham
Vera and Alex Butler

Thinking of you Jessie at this time . A fine gentleman. May God bless all the family at this time.

Carl Major

Mrs. Abraham & family,

My thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time. My husband had a short stay at Chancellor Park and there we were blessed to meet the kind Abraham Family. May cherished memories warm you hearts in the days ahead.
God Bless.

Jessie and family. Edith joins me in sending our sincere sympathy. Truly his legacy will live on in the lives of those who knew him. May he rest in peace and rise in glory. Prayers and condolences. William & Edith Noel

Bill was a man of so many admirable qualities. We valued his friendship over the years. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Jessie and your family at this time..
Charles and Loretta Green

My sincere condolences to Jessie & family

Mr. Abraham was my teacher at Bishop White in the 1960’s and he introduced us to so many experiences s that we were unaware of .

I can honestly say that he was the best teacher I ever had.

May you be comforted at this time to know that he made a difference in so many lives.

Philippa and family
Sending my thoughts and prayers on the passing of your Uncle. I remember quite well, you speaking of him fondly. He certainly made a significant contributed to his Christian faith and to society.
Dorothy , Calgary

Bill was a true gentleman in every sense of the word.
His kindness, love and respect for others were a true testimony to his character.
Bill was a long time member of the retired teachers bowling league. This is where I got to know him. He thoroughly enjoyed the game but most of all he loved socializing with his many bowling buddies.
I will miss his presence . May Bill rest in peace.

As a congregate of the Cathedral for many years, Bill, and the Abraham family were well known.. I am so very sorry to read of Bill’s passing. Please accept my deepest sympathies.
Alison Moore

Verna and I extend sincere condolences to Jessie and her family on the death of Bill.. He was a very dedicated man to Church and Community. We will keep you in our prayers. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Jessie, Geoff , Ruth and families,
So sad to hear of Bill’s passing, I have great memories of you all while living in Springdale, A great man indeed.
My condolences to you at this time.

Sincere condolences to the Abraham family on Mr. Abraham’s passing. I first met him during my time as Principal at Bishop Abraham School & will always appreciate his subsequent visits to the school to inform our community about the history of the Abraham family.. He truly brought alive the significance of the Abraham name relative to the history of the school.

Dear Jessie and family:
I was so saddened to learn of Bill’s passing. Bill and his brother, Charles, have been special friends of mine for more than 40 years. We first met during my first visit across the island as District Secretary of the Canadian Bible Society. Arriving in Springdale, I was immediately invited to stay at your home overnight and I continued to do so until my retirement 20 years later. Ruth joins me in the assurance of our love and prayers for you, Ruth, Geoffrey, and all family members at this time and in the years ahead.
(Rev.) Gerry and Ruth Benson

My sympathy to family and friends know that you are in my thoughts and prayers at this time.Eternal rest grant unto him o Lord and may light perpetual shine upon him.

Dear Jessie and family:
I was so saddened to learn of Bill’s passing. Bill and his brother Charles have been special friends of mine for more than 40 years. We first met during my first visit across the island as District to stay at your home and I continued to do so until my retirement 20 years later. Ruth joins me in the assurance of our love and prayers for you, Ruth, Geoffrey, and all family members at this time and in the years ahead.
(Rev.) Gerry and Ruth Benson

Bill Abraham was a man of immense grace. The life he led exemplified Christian Holiness. During my years at the cathedral, it was a privilege to know him and work beside him.

Sincere condolences to Jessie and family on Bill, passing after a long and very active and productive life. RIP

Condolences to family and friends. I met him once or twice years ago through his late brother, Rev. Charles Abraham, who was a member like me of the local Amnesty International human rights group. They were a remarkable family.

The members of the Retired Teachers’ Bowling League offer our sincere condolences to Jesse, Bill’s children and grandchildren, and other members of his family, on the passing of a wonderful man. Bill was a devoted member of our League from the time of its inception up to his illness when he couldn’t bowl any longer. He loved coming each Wednesday to bowl with his team of ladies, and they, in turn, loved having him there. He was a true gentleman who will be missed.

Rest in peace, Bill.

Dear Jessie, I was saddened to learn of Bill’s passing while I was at church yesterday. Bill was always a bright spirit with a smile for everyone. He was a wonderful tour guide at the Cathedral , always welcoming visitors and giving knowledgeable tours with anecdotes to go along with his knowledge. He had a calming attitude which so befit the church and those he came in contact with., myself among those. My sincere condolences to you and your family at this time of grieving. I wish you peace In the days to come. With my love, Julia

Mrs. Abraham and family, My deepest sympathy on Mr. Abrahams passing. He was principal at Bishop White for my high school years and I was very happy to see him again at the 50th anniversary.

So sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. Our sincere condolences to you all, he will be greatly missed.

Jessie and family. I was very sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. I have fond memories of him at the Cathedral and volunteering at Emmaus House Food Bank. He was a kind and thoughtful person and will be missed. May he rest in peace.

Bill was a very dedicated volunteer and an overall great person to know. Our condolences to all of you.

Jessie, Geoff, Barbara, Hannah, John and Noah,
We offer our love and sincere condolences on Pa’s passing. We enjoyed our visits with him and could always count on being warmly welcomed and entertained with interesting stories from a well lived life! Not only was he an inspiring conversationalist, but also a great listener…genuinely concerned for the well-being of others. Fittingly, he passed on many of these qualities to Geoff and his grandchildren thereby keeping his memory alive.
You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
With much love,
Mary-Lou and Darrell

So sorry for your loss Jessie. Fond memories of you and BILL WHILE YOU LIVED IN SPRINGDALE.

Jessie and family,
Our thoughts and prayers are with all at this time. Over the years we became good friends. He was always so thoughtful of others. We feel so sorry that we couldn’t continue visiting, because of the pandemic, during the past year..

Hannah and the Abraham family thinking of you at this sad time. We just said goodbye to a beloved family member and a friend of your granddads but we like you have sad hearts but wonderful memories. stay safe

Our heartfelt condolences to Mr Abraham’s family. I remember him well at Grant Collegiate as a teacher. My mother volunteered with him often on various committee’s. He’s left a big foot print with his generously and kindness. He will be remembered and missed by those who knew him.

My deepest condolences to the family.

To Philippa, Ruth, Dennis, Margaret, Robin, and family,

Sincerest condolences and heartfelt sympathies on the loss of Mr. Abraham. He was truly a pillar of the community – and, undoubtedly the family as well – and his absence will be felt greatly. You are in my heart and in my mind at this time.

Jessie, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in your time of grief. Ron and Delpdine Bannister

Jessie, Geoff, Ruth and family.
I am so sorry to hear of Bill’s passing, I am more familiar with referring to him as Pa and know that Pa will be greatly missed. He had a full life, well lived and left many people with many happy memories. It sure sounds like he was a trailblazer with his charitable work and volunteerism, which I am sure, benefitted many marginalized or less fortunate people. He was blessed to have such a beautiful, loving family and you, my friends, were blessed to have him for so long.. Enjoy your happy memories and funny stories of a man with such wonderful character.
With regards and deepest condolences,
David Hynes

Jessie, Geoff and Ruth,
Wayne and I are saddened to learn of Bill’s passing. Wayne has fond memories of him from Port Rexton days, and we both enjoyed knowing him during our Springdale days. Pease accept our sincere condolences.

To Jessie and Family,

We were saddened to learn of Bill’s passing. Please accept our sincere sympathies and condolences at this most difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Jessie and family:
Sincere condolences on Mr. Abraham’s passing. May he rest now in peace. A wonderful gentleman, teacher and principal. It was so good to see him at the Bishop White 50th anniversary celebrations. May loving memories bring you comfort at this sad time.

Jessie, I am so very sorry for your loss. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

Jessie, Ruth , and Geoff. Whenever you hear the news of a loved one’s passing, for a brief moment, everything stops. There is a heavy pause, a moment of reflection, and a deep feeling of sadness. We send our deepest sympathy, love , and some tears. All our love, Janet, Andy, Cynthia, and Graeme.

My condolences to Bill’s family on the loss of your husband, father, grandfather, brother and brother-in-law. Bill was a fine gentleman. I met Bill through the Retired Teachers’ Bowling League. He enjoyed his Wednesday morning games.

Dear Jessie, Geoff, Ruth and Families,
I am so very sorry for your loss. I have so many wonderful memories of our friendship, our lives together in Springdale. A good husband, father and friend who will be sadly missed.
Best wishes always,
Michelle Funk & sons, Alex, Ben and Tim

Ruth and family,
My sincere condolences on the loss of your father. A life well lived. May you all be comforted by special memories.

Stephen and Chris join me in offering sincere condolences to you and all the family.. You have a lifetime of precious memories. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

To: Geoff, Barbara, Hannah, John, Noah &
Abraham Family
Sorry to hear of the loss of your loved one.
Please know we are thinking of you and sending our heartfelt condolences.
You are in our thoughts and prayers. God grant you peace and comfort during this difficult time.
We hope the precious memories you carry in your heart will help you through this challenging time.
The Rowe Family

My deepest condolescences to you Jessie and your family. I feel so honored to have known Bill when he would pop into the office at the Anglican Cathedral from time to time. I would often chat with him while he volunteered at the Cathedral too as a Tour Guide which he did so proudly. I am sure he will be missed. Rest in peace!

Condolences to the Abraham family on your loss.
I remember Bill very well from the retired teachers’ bowling league. Bill was a great bowler and a great guy.