The administration, staff, students and families of the Washington Township Public Schools in Gloucester County mourned the passing of former school board president Eileen Abbott, who passed away on Aug. 25.

Mrs. Abbott, 77, leaves behind her husband of 49 years, current board of education vice president Bob Abbott. She is also survived by three daughters and eight grandchildren.

A 26-year board member, Abbott served during years of incredible growth in the community, and was instrumental in the increase in Advanced Placement courses; and the creation of a childcare facility and the Military Hall of Honor at Washington Township High School. She was a vocal proponent for special education programming, a tireless advocate for creating opportunities for all children and a devoted supporter of the efforts of the Washington Township Education Foundation.

In March 2013, the district honored Mrs. Abbott’s legacy of leadership by renaming the central administration building the “Eileen Abbott Central Administration Building” during a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony. The building became the first building in the district dedicated to an individual.

“The Washington Township School District family is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mrs. Eileen Abbott,” Superintendent Joe Bollendorf said, in published reports. “She served our community in many capacities for most of her life, and did so formally as a member of our board of education for 26 years. Mrs. Abbott was a kind and compassionate leader who led by example. She was always there in a volunteer capacity through a multitude of service projects initiated in our schools…She will be greatly missed.”

Bob Abbott is also active as the vice president of the Gloucester County School Boards Association.

Funeral arrangements were by Egizi Funeral Home, 119 Ganttown Road, Turnersville.