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by Abigail Van Buren

Lessons in Addiction Are Part of Co Ed's Education

DEAR ABBY: My husband was ill for many years, but we maintained a large circle of social and professional friends until his death. We were happily married for 58 years and four months.

Now I find myself addressed as "Mrs. Mae Jones" or "Mae Jones." This happens even when I receive mail from family members. My legal signature has not changed, and I'd still prefer to be known socially and professionally as "Mrs. William C. Jones."

I'm sure that many other widows besides me would appreciate guidance in this delicate area, since so many people make this frustrating mistake. -- WILLIAM'S WIDOW IN MESA, ARIZ.

DEAR W.W.: I have mentioned this in my column before, but here's the answer. Photocopy this item and send it to the offenders with a courteous note:

Only divorced women are addressed as "Mrs." followed by their first names. A widow keeps her husband's name until she remarries.