James D. “Jake” Abbott, age 87 died February 22, 2013 in Wabasha, Minn.
He was born November 20, 1925 in Green Isle, Minn., the son of Howard and Mary (Egan) Abbott. He served four years in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific during WWII, serving as a radioman on the transport ship USS War Hawk. He attended the University of Minnesota where he received a degree in Mortuary Science.
He married Anne T. Flahavan August 23, 1952. The couple purchased the Wise Furniture and Funeral Home business in 1960 and moved their family to Wabasha, renaming the business Abbott-Wise Furniture and Funeral Home. He operated the business until selling the business to his son in 1989. During his time in business he also had an ambulance service for the community.
Most important to Jake was his longtime commitment and dedication to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother and to Ministry Health Care. He served on the hospital board from 1962 until the mid 1990s when he moved to the St. Elizabeth’s Foundation Board. He was instrumental in beginning and maintaining the hospital’s “Field of Beans” program and its Guardian Angels program. He received the Bishop’s Medal from Bishop Bernard Harrington of the Diocese of Winona in 2005 for his volunteerism and dedication to his church, the hospital and the community. He was awarded the Distinguished Citizen’s Award from the City of Wabasha in 2009.
Jake is survived by children and their spouses, Jim and Claire Abbott, Wabasha, Joe Abbott (Rita Kothbauer), Wabasha, Bob and Kathy Abbott, Baton Rouge, La., Cia and Jack Bullemer, Yardley, Penn., Matt and Mary Abbott, St. Paul, Minn., Kass Abbott Bailey, Wabasha, Tom and Elizabeth Abbott, Petersburg, Alaska; 13 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and many brothers and sisters-in-law.
A funeral Mass was held March 1 at St. Felix Catholic Church in Wabasha with the Reverend Monsignor Thomas Cook officiating and co-officiating the Reverends Eugene Abbott, Robert Stamschror, Joseph LaPlante, Milo Ernster and Robert Meyer. Interment will be in St. Felix Cemetery. Military rites were performed by members of the Wabasha American Legion and VFW Posts.