Robert S. Abernethy ’62

Robert S. Abernethy III, MD of Medfield, formerly of Dover, MA, died suddenly but peacefully Friday morning October 14, 2022 after a valiant struggle with dementia.

Dr. Abernethy was beloved husband for 60 years of Caroline (McClain) Abernethy; father of Robert Abernethy IV of Fort Worth, TX, Frances Abernethy Armstrong (Gregg J. Armstrong) of Medfield, MA, and the late Enloe McClain Abernethy; cherished friend of Joan Abernethy, M.D.; and beloved grandfather of Kate and Owen Armstrong and Robert V and Thomas Abernethy. Born on June 18, 1940 in Charlotte, NC, to Robert S. Abernethy, Jr. and Belle Ward Stowe Abernethy, he was brother of Margaret Martin of Charlotte and the late Sally Eads of Fincastle, VA.

Rob attended Davidson College and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. After his internship at Pennsylvania Hospital, he fulfilled military service at the NIMH’s Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, DC before completing his residency training in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. Deeply committed to the individualized care of his patients, Dr. Abernethy practiced medicine at MGH with honor, humility, and integrity for over 40 years.

Dr. Abernethy will be remembered for his adventurous, but humble spirit, his abiding optimism, and his keen sense of humor. He found joy in sailing the coast of Maine, caring for an island home, skiing (quite slowly) at Sugarloaf, and visiting with his children, friends, and his beloved grandchildren. He remained kind and good humored to the end, never squandering an opportunity to express his earnest gratitude and appreciation to those who cared for him.

His family extends special thanks to Dr. Michael J. Barry of MGH who so lovingly guided Rob through his progressive illness and to the devoted staff at Birch Grove Assisted Living at Fox Hill Village in Westwood.

A celebration of Dr. Abernethy’s life will be held on February 4, 2023 at 11:00 at the Dover Church in Dover, MA. Remembrances may be made in his name to the Epiphany School, 154 Centre Street, Dorchester, MA, 02124 or the Davidson Trust, the scholarship fund supporting Davidson College’s commitment to needs-blind admission: Davidson College, Box 7170, Davidson, NC, 28035.