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Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Theron Timothy "T" Abston, 94, died peacefully at his residence in Ridgeland December 27, 2011. Visitation will be held at Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home, 1161 Highland Colony Parkway in Ridgeland, 1-3pm Friday, December 30. A graveside service will be held immediately following at Parkway Memorial Cemetery, adjacent to the funeral home.
T was born in Coker, Ala. on February 3, 1917. He lived and worked on his family's farm and mill until he entered college at the University of Alabama, majoring in Business Administration. During college he played semi-professional baseball and enrolled in ROTC before graduating in 1940. Following graduation he married Nina Spencer on July 12, 1942 in Columbus, Mississippi and was commissioned in the Army as Second Lieutenant, serving in the Pacific Campaign. He entered the United States Air Force in 1947 following World War II.
During his service, T and Nina were stationed across the United States and in Okinawa at Kadena Air Base. They returned to the US and welcomed two children. The family was stationed in Louisiana, Ohio, and Illinois before moving abroad to England, where T served as Base Commander of Sealand Air Base. The family returned to the US and resided in Alabama, where T retired in 1961 as Lieutenant Colonel. He continued to work for the military as a civilian in San Antonio, Tex. until his second retirement in 1988. Following his retirement, T and Nina moved to Madison, where they spent many years entertaining their beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Throughout his life, T remained dedicated to his family and to the US Air Force. He was a faithful member of Trinity Presbyterian Church. An avid gardener and carpenter, T could often be found tending his garden, building furniture in his wood shop and in his later years, climbing ladders despite familial advice. The "gentle giant" will be missed by all who knew him.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Jane and Charles Abston, and siblings Francis Abston Watkins, Aaron Alexander Abston, and Katie Belle Abston Houston. He is survived by his beloved wife of 69 years Nina Spencer Abston, children Lynn Abston Vann (Thad), Dr. Phillip Allen Abston (Joan Maybury), and sister Elizabeth Abston Waldrip. He also leaves his grandchildren, Margaret Lynn Vann, Michael Murray Vann, Allen Maxwell Vann, Erin Abston Kice (Sean), Dr. Sarah Abston Sterling (Timothy), Dr. Timothy Alexander Abston (Elizabeth Jones), Robin Kelli Riddell, and Charles Ross Riddell and great-grandchildren Sela Suzanne Sterling and Coen Duke Kice. He is also survived by dear family friends, Robert Riddell and Dr. Susan Buttross Riddell.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to Palmer Home for Children, P.O. Box 746, Columbus, Miss. 39703
Published in Clarion Ledger on Dec. 30, 2011