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ITHACA - William Hugh Abbott, 84, passed away at Cayuga Medical Center on May 29, 2010 after a long and valiant battle with lymphoma. Bill was born in Gratiot Township (Detroit) Michigan on June 30, 1925, the only child of William Hugh Abbott and Gertrude Bartsch Abbott. At 17 he moved alone to Chicago, Illinois to attend the University of Chicago, where he met Eleanor Louise Wilson, his wife of 66 years. During World War II, Bill served as a US Army combat medic in France and Germany, achieved the rank of sergeant, and was awarded the Purple Heart. Following the war, Bill earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology. During his 42-year career as an electrical engineer, Bill, Eleanor, and family made their home in Brooktondale, New York in 1972. For the last five years of his career, Bill and Eleanor lived in South Carolina, and returned to Brooktondale following his retirement in 1991.
Bill was always a self-directed student of just about anything, a voracious reader, and devoted fan of The New York Times crossword puzzle. He enjoyed camping and sailing, taking his family on extensive camping vacations throughout the United States and Canada. Bill was a skilled handyman and collector of antique wood-working tools, licensed ham radio operator, and member of the City Club of Ithaca.
Bill is survived by his wife Eleanor; daughter Lynn of Brooktondale; son William of Ann Arbor, Michigan; daugher Louise and her partner James Giordano of Ithaca, New York; and daughter Laurie, her husband Wayne Van Voorhies, and their son Skyler of Las Cruces, New Mexico.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, June 26, 2010 from 2 to 4 pm at the Bangs Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations in Bill's memory may be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Donor Services, P.O. Box 4072, Pittsfield, MA 01202. leukemia.org
Published in Ithaca Journal from May 31 to June 1, 2010