Don Abbott

Don Abbott

Tuesday, October 26th, 1926 - Saturday, February 9th, 2019
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Donald Elmer Abbott
October 14, 1926 | February 9, 2019
Born in Ovid, Colorado to Elmer Abbott and Violet Marshall.
Don graduated from Ovid High School in 1943 and joined the Navy in 1944. He served in WW II and the Korean War on the USS Iowa and Colorado. He earned his private pilot’s license in 1947.
Don and Irene Crumley were married December 18, 1951 at First United Methodist Church in Windsor, Colorado. He joined the Windsor School District in 1953 as a transportation mechanic and groundskeeper, retiring in 1993.
Don proudly served as a member of Windsor/Severance Fire Department for 36 years (1954-1990) and was elected Chief seven different times. Additionally, Don served on the Board of Directors for the Fire District from 1978-1986. He also served on the Northern Colorado Radio Board for Fire Districts and was a Town of Windsor Trustee 1960-1962.
Don is survived by his brother Bob Abbott, son Jim Abbott & wife Grace, grandchildren Derek and Denton Shaffer, Amy & Chris Thacker, Nichole Abbott, Kelly & Zeke Rodriguez, Carrie Wissell & Trent Weitzel, 6 great-grandchildren and many nephews, nieces and cousins.
Don was predeceased in death by his wife Irene, daughter Donna Shaffer, parents Elmer and Violet Abbott, brother Jim, sister Jean Dillon & sister-in-law Joan Abbott.
A memorial service will be held 10:30a.m. Friday February 22, 2019 at First United Methodist Church, 503 Walnut St., Windsor.
The Abbott family would like to thank Home Instead for their unwavering kindness and care.
In Lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be made to Realities For Children in care of Marks Funeral Service, 9293 Eastman Park Drive, Windsor, Colorado. 80550
Online Condolences may be at www.marksfuneralservice. com
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Service Details

  • Service

    Friday, February 22nd, 2019 | 10:30am
    Friday, February 22nd, 2019 10:30am
    First United Methodist Church of Windsor
    503 Walnut St
    WINDSOR, CO 80550
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Mark Curtis

Posted at 05:13pm
My deepest condolences to all the family and friends. I worked with Don for 11 years at the school district.....he was my supervisor and helped mold me as a professional and a man. Of course he taught me directly so much about all things irrigation related, but more than that it was observing him from afar that shaped my work ethic to this day.

When I first started on the RE-4 grounds crew, I was only about a year or so out of high school. And while I spent my formative years living on ranches.......learning so much from my parents about life and the rewards of working hard.....Don was every bit as influential on my ability to move forward with confidence in a professional environment.

Beyond all the things Amy mentioned in her eulogy today (of which so many who were at the service could relate), I wanted to recount a few of my memories working with him.

When I first came in to the break room (at the shop behind Windsor Middle School) to meet Don on my first day (as irrigation oriented groundsman) I recall being rather intimidated by his size and maturity. I had been working on the janitorial night crew for a few months, and with the encouragement of John Moore (my buildings supervisor at the time), I transitioned abruptly to my new surroundings outside. And to no surprise Don was very patient. But I remember him saying to John when he first saw me "is that all of him?" (I was about 130 pounds soaking wet at that time). Then he shifted his cigar in his mouth and displayed that signature, half apologetic laugh I so thoroughly came to appreciate. He completely disarmed the moment, and my intimidation quickly grew to admiration.

I spent the next 11 years trying to show that it was no mistake to promote me to that position. It's not that I felt pressure from anyone beyond myself to do this.....rather, I just wanted to do everything I could to represent that crew in anyway close to the same respectable manner that Don initiated so many years earlier.

And in the wonderful eulogized words today, Amy mentioned how Don was a great teacher. But he wasn't the gratuitously overt, know-it-all dispenser of knowledge type of supervisor. No, Don was the epitome of a leader by example. Certainly he would share anything you specifically asked about, but I quickly discovered his style was to allow you to make mistakes and learn from them yourself. He obviously knew that was the best character building way to learn, and I so respected his quiet confidence as a leader in that regard.

I remember one morning in particular......I don't even remember what happened as to why this came about, but I remember what he said to me like it was yesterday. I was late for work. And I felt bad, primarily because I didn't want to reflect poorly in his eyes, but also because I knew it wasn't like me to behave that way. So I apologized to him right away. He said, "you weren't sorry when you came in early all those days, were you? And you weren't sorry when you stayed late all those other days, were you? I will never forget those words, and rather than react like I deserved that latitude to the fullest only reinforced my commitment to not let it happen again regardless. I think not only did he know I would react that way accordingly, but that he realized it was not me....and that's why he said those things more sincerely than strategically.

And that sense of humor. He was quick with his wit, and then the self-deprecating laugh that frequently followed was so genuine (often with the hand over the face gesture to reinforce the authenticity of the semi-embarrassment). All who knew him know exactly what I'm talking about! I remember when anyone would compliment him on the condition of the grounds he would reply "well, just don't look TOO close". Then the laugh. Classic Don.

And, yes.....the work ethic. Wow. Just watch and learn! Something I came to equate with Don in that sense definitely became iconic to me......almost as much as watching him drive around his beloved green pickup. On Friday evenings, and on weekends from essentially April to October, one could find Don moving the sprinkler pipes on the Middle School football field. Most other turfgrass areas on the campus had automation, but not this field. And in fact, it was the best grass because of the deeper roots from that kind of watering. You had to move three rows (running east/west across the field) of two 10-12 foot long pipes (connected to each other by a tricky hook attachment) from the one end of the field to the other in a very systematic fashion. Each set would run for about 6 hours, so it would take all weekend to complete. I remember the first time I tried to move them like he did, and I failed miserably. I had to move them one at a time and it was so much more time consuming. Yes, Don's height helped facilitate the elevation needed to hoist both pipes high enough to move them from section to section, but even more it was technique that was required. Even after he retired and I started doing it full time, it took me awhile to get nearly as adept as he was at moving those around. More importantly though, it was a commitment. Grass doesn't wait. Nor do the mowers or the football teams! I only fully appreciated that commitment he started after doing it myself for several seasons. And he deserves all the credit for not only doing it tirelessly year after year, but also laying down the foundation for that commitment by doing so without a complaint.

In fact, one day I commented on that attitude to him. Again, the cigar shift. And again the humility. He casually replied.... "yeah, you just get to the point where you don't think a thing about it." And I remember thinking then as I do's not just anyone who gets to that point!

I remember countless times during work hours he would get the beeper signifying there was an emergency. The time would vary for those (volunteer!) emergencies, but he always came back to finish his shift. We also knew when he responded overnight on a call....and often you could see his eyes were tired from the lack of sleep. But he never used it as an excuse to miss any time at work. There's no doubt that same toughness is how he managed to live such a full life of over 92 years. I felt privileged indeed to be even a small part of that life, and that those memories will stay with me always.


Posted at 09:19am
Dear Family, I am very sorry for your loss. Grief can be so hard especially the first year. Losing someone we love so much and is so dear is very difficult. While you can not communicate with them and they can not communicate with you right now because they are asleep in death, this is temporary for God through his son Jesus Christ assured us they would undo death through a resurrection, which means a standing back up—a restoration of life again! But when and where will this take place? Jesus promised at John 5:28 that there will be a resurrection and at John 6:40 he said he will resurrect those asleep in death. Psalms 37:10,11,29 along with Revelation 21:4,5 help us discern this resurrection will be after the world is made new. When true peace and security abounds and death is once and for all eliminated. So we know by this it hasn’t begun yet but be assured it will happen and you can be reunited here in paradise with your dear one! In the mean time John 17:3 invites all to get to know Jehovah God and Jesus Christ so that you may be comforted by these glorious promises! May these bible truths help sustain you as they do me. For more comforting and accurate truths please visit today. With my heartfelt sympathy, Jillian

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