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Abigail Ryder Neal

Date of Death: April 23, 2023

Date of Birth: December 5, 1941


Topsham - Abigail (Abby) Ryder Neal, 81, passed away April 23, 2023, peacefully from pneumonia.

Abby was born on December 5, 1941, to the late Henry White Ryder, MD, FCAP and Katherine Klintrup Ryder in Cincinnati, Ohio. After graduating from Walnut Hills High School in 1959, she obtained a Batchelor of Arts in mathematics at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio in 1963.

While there, in 1962 Abby met and married John Stephen (Steve) Neal, who was studying at nearby Miami University and after graduation she supported him in his US Naval career. She raised two children: a daughter, Morgan Neal Russell, and a son, John (Jack) Fletcher Neal.

In supporting Steve, she exemplified the qualities of resilience, determination, adaptability and diplomacy, raising their children alone and yet gracefully bringing him back into the family upon his return. Their travels took them to Virginia, Florida, Texas, Bermuda and Maine. Living also in South Bristol and Arrowsic, they called Brunswick home.

During her time in Maine, she was a primary teacher in Lewiston, eventually becoming a teacher with Head Start in Brunswick, a prekindergarten program for disadvantaged children, of which she was fiercely supportive. She also taught secondary school math while in Bermuda as well as adult education classes.

After Steve’s retirement from the Navy, she focussed on accounting and eventually became a realtor with Art LeDuc at LeDuc Realty. She moved to Brunswick Realty Group where she was a partner until she retired. She could be seen driving her classic 1950 MG sedan around town for business and daily trips.

She was active in local causes as a member of the National Organization of Women, a Girl Scout Leader, a director and President of the Merrymeeting Board of Realtors and was the Chairperson of the Equal Housing Opportunity Committee and supported Tedford Housing. She proudly caucused for Barak Obama, had knitted her pussyhat and marched in the 2017 Women’s March.

Abby was a prolific knitter, whose work was greatly admired by those fortunate to receive one of her creations, a card shark who played to win, a gardener with a breath-taking perennial garden that inspired others. She loved puzzles of all kinds and tried all things creative. One of her last projects saw her turn her hand to welding. She and Steve were very active in their car club and had many adventures in her MG including a coast-to-coast round trip.

She is survived by her husband Steve, her children and their spouses, Jon Russell and Jen Neal, her brothers Ely MT Ryder and his wife Joanie and Peter M Ryder and his wife Billie. In addition, she has three grandsons, Garrett and Griffin Neal and Tom Russell, as well as nephews, Matt, Ethan and Michael Ryder, Phil Keating, a niece Marni Collins and 6 great nieces and nephews.

Dear to her heart was the Ryder family farm in Brewster, NY where her ashes will be scattered in the summer.

There will be a remembrance gathering for her friends and family in Brunswick, Maine May 5.

Many thanks and gratitude for the kind care, compassion and love shown to her from the staff of Avita of Brunswick.

Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to Tedford Housing (

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