Shirl Curtis Abbey

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SHIRL CURTIS ABBEY 1924 ~ 2014 Shirl Curtis Abbey passed away peacefully January 30th, lovingly surrounded by his wife and family. The family came from Tennessee and Florida to celebrate his 90th Birthday on January 19th, only to come back to be with him at his deathbed. Death resulted from complications of a November 3rd leg fracture. He was in amazingly good health and had never been in a hospital before his fall. Shirl was born in Mahoning, Ohio, to Cora Irene Nye and Shirley Dane Abbey. The Abbey family of twelve brothers and three sisters emigrated from Bergdorf, Switzerland where the original name was Aebi. The Shirley Abbey family lived on a farm and Shirl rode a horse to the one-room schoolhouse. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Dannemiller Rogers Abbey, son Leslie A., of Albuquerque, daughter Christine Abbey-Carlton (Bernie) of Shelbyville, Tenn., son Victor G. (Kathleen) of Melbourne Beach, Fla., grandchildren Kaitlin and Jordan Abbey, Philippe Abbey (Jennifer), and Eric Abbey, and great-grandchildren Broden, Dylynn Joy, and Becken Abbey. He was predeceased by his wife Ruth Wellhoffer Abbey, wife Peg Knapp Abbey, brother Wally, and sister Thelma Abbey McDevitt. He is survived by numerous nieces and nephews, step-children, -grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is a first cousin of the deceased environmentalist author Edward Abbey. Shirl landed a munitions truck on Omaha Beach in World War II and managed to survive D-Day and become a French translator for the Allied Forces during and after the war. He often claimed that his fluency in French saved his life. He studied French at Carlton College School of Linquistics (U.S.Army sponsored), the University of Paris and Ohio State University through the support of the G.I. Bill, and finally the University of Maryland where he received a Master's Degree. Shirl had a successful career as a city manager and retired in the late 1980s after fifteen years in Shorewood, Wisc. Having observed many serious injuries among refuse disposal employees, he helped pioneer the automated garbage bin lifter, an invention that spread all over the country and remains in widespread use today. Shirl and his wife Ruth retired to Santa Fe after touring the entire country in their search for Shangri-la. Shirl was an avid reader and, in his 80s, one of the first to use a Kindle. He loved life, his terrace and birds, his books, a fine glass of red wine, chocolate, his cat Nibs, his family and friends. His heart went out to friends in nursing homes, whom he visited regularly. He was cited by the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper in 2007, at Thanksgiving time, as one of "Santa Fe's Citizens Who Made a Difference." Cremation is with Direct Funeral Services, Albuquerque. A private memorial service will be held in April. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be sent to doctorswithoutborders.org or a .
Funeral Home
Direct Funeral Services - Albuquerque
2919 4TH Street NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107
(505) 343-8008
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Published in Santa Fe New Mexican on Feb. 4, 2014
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