A Connection to Abbe

In memory of his wife, Abbe, Fred Tesch had a beautiful fountain installed at the Center for Comfort Care & Healing. The sound of the water that flows in it reminds him of the gurgling stream that runs through his and Abbe’s yard.

Fred Tesch met his wife Abbe at Western Connecticut State University. Fred describes his wife as having a “wicked sense of humor… a master of snark.” Abbe was a master puzzle solver, and an incredibly clever woman. She loved music, partly because of her daughter, Meredith, who played various instruments in bands. She loved to read, often with her husband.

When Abbe’s amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) disease started to rapidly progress, her family decided to have Regional Hospice care for her at home. Her husband, Fred, says, “I appreciated the little things that the hospice team did… Abbe had a strange wish. She wanted to pet a big cat, like a tiger. She told somebody at Regional Hospice, all I’ll be damned if they didn’t contact the Beardsley Zoo to try to make that happen. Of course, the Beardsley Zoo said no. But it was just that kind of thing that made the difference.”

Due to the nature of her disease, Abbe wore a Medical Alert necklace in case of an emergency. Fred remembers a time when Abbe fell and he couldn’t lift her back up, so he immediately called Regional Hospice, who arrived right away. The Medical Alert company called, asking if they should send someone to help. Fred responded, “No. We are under control.” It was a Saturday morning, a time when most people wouldn’t expect anyone from Hospice to show up to help; but the opposite happened. Regional Hospice cared about Abbe.

After Abbe’s passing, Fred arranged for a fountain to be installed outside of the Center for Comfort Care & Healing. He says, “My reasoning was partly that at my house, there is a stream that runs in front of the yard, and you pretty much hear that water constantly. I thought a water fountain at the Center would be kind of a connection to Abbe.”

Fred was interviewed in July on the fifth anniversary of Abbe’s passing. He said, “When I realized this morning that this was the 21st, I thought it’s great that we’re talking about her. I usually visit the Center and sit on the bench by the fountain… I don’t do anything special. Just  remember her.”

Abbe and Fred were married for 22 years before she passed from ALS in 2016, when she was just 64 years old.

Written by Tallulah Whaley