It has been a privilege to be able to live my life to try to fill the task… the best way I could……. Dorothy Abbey
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Dorothy Sickler Abbey, 92, graduated to heaven on Dec. 23, 2013 at Park West Hospital in Knoxville, Tenn. A wife of the late Wilbur Abbey, mom to four daughters, Donna Abbey Fearnside of Merced, Calif., Gloria Abbey Rader of Spring City, Tenn., Joyce Abbey George of Snow Camp, N.C. and Rebecca Abbey Hawkins of Brazil, South America; one son, Timothy Abbey of Wisconsin; and a sister Deloris Sickler Moore of Oregon; a grandmother of 15; great-grandmother of 21; and a great-great grandmother of three.
She was preceded in death by her husband Wilbur Abbey of Snow Camp, N.C.; a brother, Charles Sickler; a sister, Doris Sickler Moody of Nevada.
Mom wasn't your normal missionary. We can only describe her as a true follower of Jesus. Like Jesus, who helped so many, Mary Magdalene and the woman at the well, she was the lady who spent her time loving and caring for the neighborhood prostitute and was the voice for the down and out. She quit high school to help her mother raise her sisters and brother. She told us once, " I was the kid from the other side of the tracks." She said she was star struck when she saw her future husband and blushed when she said, "I unashamedly chased him until I caught him. He was, after all, my Sunday School teacher." Together they raised five children on the mission field. There is a book entitled "Commandos For Christ" that tells about one of their jungle adventures. The Abbeys were on the mission field and spent 40 years in foreign missions and retired at the age of 80. (Dorothy was 11 years younger than her husband.) They came out of retirement and helped their daughter and son-in-law co-found Siloam Missionary Homes in Snow Camp, N.C. in 1992 . Dorothy spent the last seven years with her daughter Gloria and family in Spring City, Tenn.
We found this letter she wrote on Sept. 27, 2009:
"I can't sleep so I had better tell you why! Today my glasses frame broke so I went to my eye doctor, Reid Woodard, and I ended up with a beautiful glasses and frames. Since I am 88 (Thank the Lord) I got to thinking about laying in a coffin. What a shame to see those beautiful glasses just lying there, not needed… why not give the new ones to someone who can't afford a pretty pair that size? So put a one dollar frame on my face, and if I take my trip soon, why not give them the new ones to a live person who can't afford the like, Ok ? Do tell them my story, maybe they can tell of Jesus too. I wanted to serve the Lord from when I was seven years old. The story- A missionary lady had been to India, but became too sick to stay. She told my Sunday School Class that now there was no one to tell the people about Jesus - I wanted to be that one from then on. It has been my privilege to be able to live my life to try and fill that task-the best way I could.
Enough said for now,
P.S. excuse the bad writing - No glasses yet (being made)
Mom, we love you and will miss you. You did what most of us will never do and that was to live out your dream. Thank you for being the example of a Believer finishing well.
The funeral will be at the McClure Funeral Home in Graham, N.C. Tuesday, Dec. 24,2013, at 2:30 p.m. Visitation with family and friends will be one hour before the service, with burial in Alamance Memorial Park. Officiating will be Pastor David Neff of New Covenant Fellowship and Pastor David Jackson of Bethel Baptist Church in Graham, the Rev. John Hawkins Jr. and Chaplin Hank Rader.
Memorials can be made to Siloam Missionary Homes P.O. Box 705, Snow Camp, NC 27349.
Online Condolences may be sent to the family at www.mcclurefuneralservice.net
McClure Funeral Service - Graham
1030 S Main Street
Graham, NC 27253
Published in TheTimesNews.com from Dec. 23 to Dec. 24, 2013