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Evelyn J. Abel, R.D., 82, of West Lafayette, passed away at her home at 2:20 a.m. on Wednesday, March 26, 2014. Born September 11, 1931 in Zearing, Iowa, she was the daughter of the late Clarence and Mary (Barnard) Reischauer.
She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics from the University of Minnesota and her Master's Degree in Science from Indiana University. She did her Dietetic Internship at the University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa. Evelyn came to West Lafayette in 1974 and was a Professor and Registered Dietitian at Purdue University in the Department of Foods and Nutrition until 1992. While at Purdue, Evelyn was the first Director of the Coordinated Undergraduate Program in General Dietetics, the first program of its kind in the United States.
Evelyn married Dr. Francis L. Abel on September 11, 1954 in Blue Earth, Minnesota and they were married for 19 years. Her memberships included Trinity United Methodist Church, where she was a trustee and also taught adult Sunday school, United Methodist Women, Western Indiana Dietetic Association, American Dietetic Association, where she served as a delegate for 6 years, past president of the Indiana Dietetic Association, and secretary and past president of the Indiana Nutrition Council.
Evelyn is survived by two daughters, Wanda Abel (husband, Randy McClure) of Denver, CO and Donna Braun (husband, Peter) of Burleson, TX, a sister, Kathryn Reischauer of Loveland, CO, and three brothers, Delbert Reischauer of Zearing, IA, Bennett Reischauer (wife, Judy) of Muscatine, IA, and Howard Reischauer (wife, Judy) of Zearing, IA. Also surviving are seven grandchildren, Zachary McClure, Bonnie Badman (husband, Nick), Matthew Braun, Kelsey McClure, Joshua Braun, Caleb Braun, and Noah Braun, and four great-grandchildren, Lexy, Lilly, Hailey, and Emily. She was preceded in death by a daughter, Carolyn J. Abel, on December 20, 1988, and a brother, Gordon Reischauer.
Visitation from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday at Hippensteel Funeral Home. Funeral service 1 p.m. Saturday at Trinity United Methodist Church with Pastor Paul Arnold and Pastor David Schmidt officiating. Burial to follow at Tippecanoe Memory Gardens. Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church or the PKD Foundation. Hippensteel Funeral Home is entrusted with care. Share memories and condolences online at