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Lyle Abbott

Monday, July 26, 2010 | 5:32 p.m. CDT; updated 11:05 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lyle Abbott always made time for fishing.

Whether he was fishing in the lakes of Wisconsin or stream fishing for trout in Missouri, Mr. Abbott found time to spend with a fishing pole in hand.

Mr. Abbott died at his home at the Lenoir Woods Senior Living Community on Saturday, July 24, 2010. He was 92.

He was born on Dec. 14, 1917, on a farm two miles outside of Afton, Iowa, to Charles and Ethel (Orwan) Abbott. As a boy on the farm, he cultivated his love for rural America and the Midwest.

On Aug. 29, 1942, Mr. Abbott married Margaret Schwanz in Luther, Iowa. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and was called into active duty in early 1943. He flew a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter plane for air support in Italy until the end of World War II in August 1945. When he returned home, Mr. Abbott founded the Flying Farmers of Iowa and continued flying planes with his commercial license for about five years.

After the war, Mr. Abbott went to school at Iowa State College (now Iowa State University). Although he graduated with a degree in technical journalism, Mr. Abbott began as a forestry major.

Communication and the outdoors were two of Mr. Abbott’s greatest passions in life. The two often intertwined in Mr. Abbott’s work in journalism and advertising. He worked briefly at Iowa State University Extension before working at the Osceola Sentinel-Tribune, a bi-weekly rural newspaper. He became an editor and one of the three partial owners.

Mr. Abbott began working in advertising in 1952 when he moved to Milwaukee, Wis. He spent seven years at Klau van Peterson and Dunlap Advertising Agency.

In 1959, he moved to St. Louis. There, he worked for Gardner Advertising Agency, where he handled advertising for large agricultural companies like John Deere, Ralston Purina, Eli Lilly and Northrup-King Seed until his retirement in 1978. He enjoyed helping the user connect with the product they needed.

Columbia was a good fit for Mr. Abbott. He loved flowers, trees, plants, woods and the outdoors. When he moved to Lenoir Woods, he joined the grounds committee where he worked on the trails and trees in the woods on the property. He enjoyed the view of the MU research fields out his back window, which reminded him of Iowa farms.

Although Mr. Abbott had Alzheimer’s disease, he was always able to remember his family members and play a game of cards.

He is survived by his wife; a daughter, Linda Allen of Churchville, N.Y.; two sons, Eric Abbott of Ames, Iowa, and David Abbott of Boulder, Col.; eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

His sisters, Viola Abbott and Ruth Shelley of Pontiac, Mich., died earlier.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Epple Chapel in Lenoir Woods, 3710 Lenoir St., Columbia, MO 65201. There will be a private burial at Greenlawn Cemetary in Afton, Iowa.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, either online or mailed to P.O. Box 96011 Washington, D.C. 20090.


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