Hudson LaVon Abbott, 88, of Crossett, passed away on February 15, 2016 following a brief illness.
He was born on October 24, 1927 in Sheridan, and was the son of the late Weldon B. and Lou Ella Winningham Abbott.
Mr. Abbott joined the Navy in 1945, at the age of 17 and served until 1946. While serving, he received three medals and was honorably discharged and then returned to Camden to finish high school in 1947. After graduation, he attended Arkansas State Teachers College in Conway, graduating in 1949.
Mr. Abbott’s first teaching position was at Annie Camp Jr. High School in Jonesboro. In 1950, he moved to Fordyce where he was the junior high school history teacher, basketball coach and football coach.
A summer job with Tri State Mill Supply Co. led to a change in career. Mr. Abbott moved to Pine Bluff, to open and manage Tri State Mill Supply there. In 1960, he moved his family to Crossett, the headquarters for Tri State, where he held several positions, including purchasing agent and district manager. In 1975 he transferred to Georgia Pacific, where he established and managed Investment Recovery. He held that position until his retirement in 1989.
After retirement, Mr. Abbott became an avid gardener and was well known for his organic gardening. He also shared the many vegetables and flowers he grew with friends and neighbors. He was known as being an encourager by his ever-present smile and many acts of kindness. He is especially remembered by his grandchildren for his patience and perseverance in teaching them all things about gardening, driving and finances. They are blessed with many memories of those times.
Mr. Abbott was a member of First Baptist Church of Crossett and taught a men’s Sunday school class for many years. He became a Rotarian in 1953 in Fordyce and later in Pine Bluff and Crossett and was a Paul Harris Fellow.
In addition to his parent, Mr. Abbott was preceded in death by his step mother, Betty Taylor Abbott and a great-grandson, Parker Ryan Langston.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Mary Ruth Dedman Abbott; two daughters, Shirley Langston (Rene) of Springdale and Margaret Pope (Max) of Crossett; one brother, Jim Abbott of Bahia Kino Mexico; one step-brother, Bud Taylor of Sanford, NC; one step-sister, Mary Ross Taylor of Houston, Texas; seven grandchildren, Hudson Pope (Melissa) of Peachtree City, Georgia, Mason Pope of Crossett, Meredith Pope White (Faber) of Longview, Texas, Emily Pope Koelling (Adam) of Longview, Texas, Rob Langston (Heather), Ryan Langston (Shannon), Ross Langston, all of Springdale, AR; twelve great-grandchildren and three nieces and five nephews.
Funeral services will be held on February 18 at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Crossett. Burial will follow at Pinewood Memorial Park under the direction of Jones Funeral Home of Crossett.
Visitation will be Wednesday from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church of Crossett, AR, 701 Main Street, Crossett, AR 71635 or Gideon’s International, PO Box 83, Crossett, AR 71635.