Anthony P. Abate, 86, formerly of Bristol


Anthony P. Abate, 86, passed away peacefully on July 21. Born in Bristol, on Sept. 28, 1927 to Maria and Frank Abate, he graduated from Colt Memorial High School in 1945 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

Mr. Abate served in the Pacific Theater during World War II on landing craft support ships generating smoke for amphibious landings. In the waning days of the war he served on a mine tender on the Yangtse Sea in China. He later took advantage of the GI Bill, and obtained his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rhode Island.

During his career, he was conferred Masters degreess in computer science (Union College), high calculus (North Adams State College) and education (Union College). He married Caroline A. Ferri, of Warren, whom he met while working at US Rubber during college.

Mr. Abate had a remarkable electrical engineering career that began with Allis Chalmers in Racine, WI, then Sperry Rand in Charlottesville, VA. He completed 29 years with GE, first in Pittsfield, Mass., then Huntsville, Ala., Coco Beach, FL, and finally back to Pittsfield.  He worked on designing Servo and Guidance systems for post-WWII submarines, the Gemini and Apollo space programs, and the Trident Missile submarines.

Mr. Abate was known to be a humble man and did not discuss his accomplishments. He was most proud of his five children and his grandchildren. He and his wife Carol were avid BSO and Tanglewood enthusiasts and loved to attend concerts throughout the summer.

President of his high school class, he enjoyed visiting with high school and college friends at the RI shore. He leaves his wife of 62 years, the former Caroline Ferri; his daughter Stephanie and spouse Suzanne Coffey of Amherst, Mass.; their children, Luke and Mikaela Rioux, Bradford and Mark Coffey; grandchildren Charlotte and Axel Rioux, Sadie and Aria Coffey; daughter Paula Abate and spouse Frank Virzi of Holden, Mass., their children Margaret and Sam Virzi; son Anthony Abate II and wife Deborah Oakes-Abate of Burlington, Conn., and their children Nicholas and Patrick Abate; a daughter, Joanne Abate and spouse Tom Moffatt of Yarmouth, Maine, and their children Hannah, Will and Emma Moffatt; a son Thomas Abate and wife Helen Wong of Newton, Mass., and their son Christian Abate-Wong.

Mr. Abate also leaves Beth Butrymowicz Horgan and her husband Dr. William Horgan of Grafton, Mass., and their son Ben, whom he considered another daughter and family of his own.

His family is grateful for the care he received from Porchlight Home Care and VNA, and the wonderful staff at Kimball Farms in Lenox.

Funeral Services and burial at Richmond Cemetery for Mr. Anthony P. Abate will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Richmond Volunteer Fire Department, care of the Dwyer Funeral Home, 776 North St., Pittsfield MA 01201, in his memory. Please visit to leave condolences and remembrances.



No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

2016 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Prudence Island · Riverside · Rumford · Seekonk · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.