Dr. Robert M. Abel
1924 - 2017
BORN
1924
DIED
2017
FUNERAL HOME
Thompson Lengacher and Yoder Funeral Home Wakarusa - Wakarusa
501 North Elkhart Street
Wakarusa, IN
Dr. Robert M. Abel

Nov. 10, 1924 - Jan. 14, 2017

WAKARUSA - Dr. Robert M. Abel, age 92, of Wakarusa, died at 2:30 am, Saturday, January 14, 2017 at Elkhart General Hospital. He was born November 10, 1924 to Ralph M. and Edna (Pletcher) Abel in Wakarusa and grew up on a farm near Wakarusa.

On August 13, 1948 he married Betty Ann Hattery in Martinsville. She preceded him in death November 4, 2014.

Dr. Abel was a 1942 graduate of Wakarusa High School. He then attended Goshen College for 2 years before joining the United States Army and serving overseas during WWII. After returning home from the Army he graduated from the Indiana University School of Medicine in 1950.

Dr. Abel began his medical practice in Wakarusa, July 1, 1951 and in 1957 built the Wakarusa Medical Clinic. In 2010 he opened the WaNee Medical Walk In Clinic, continuing to practice until December 27, 2016.

Dr. Abel was a member of AMA and Indiana Medical Association for over 60 years. He was a member of the Elkhart General Hospital staff for over 66 years. He proudly delivered approximately 10,612 babies to local families. He served as the Medical Director for Bashor Home of the United Methodist Churches for 60 years. In 1995, he was elected to the Elkhart County Sports Hall of Fame for his years of service as team medical doctor and in 1996 was elected to the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.

Dr. Abel's love for his hometown of Wakarusa was shown in many areas. He was a member of the Wakarusa Chamber of Commerce, Wakarusa Lions Club, Historical Society, and Friends of the Wakarusa Public Library. In 1989 he was instrumental in Miller's Merry Manor coming to Wakarusa and building a 132 bed nursing home, and in 2000 adding a 40 unit assisted living complex. He served as the medical director for these facilities. In 1989, he developed Orchard Park for 19 new homes and Orchard Park Apartments. In 1982, he bought the closed Wolfberg Stores in Wakarusa and renovated them into offices and retail stores to serve the town. In 1999 he was honored as the Citizen of the Year by the Wakarusa Chamber of Commerce. In 2013, WaNee Community Schools dedicated and named the NorthWood Middle School football field “Doc” Abel Field in honor of his life-long commitment and service to our communities.

Dr. Abel was appointed by the Judge of Elkhart County in 1962, to develop the WaNee School System under the new School Reorganization Act and served on the school board for 34 years - 18 years as the president, which is one of the longest tenures in Indiana.

Dr. Abel was active in Indiana 4-H since 1934 as a member, leader, and advisory board member. He was a past president and was still serving as a member of the Elkhart County 4-H Board, and the review and expansion committee. From 1980 to 1986, he served on the Indiana 4-H Foundation Board and served his last 5 years as president. This board also serves with the Dean of Agriculture of Purdue University. In 1985, he was awarded the Outstanding 4-H Alumni Award by Purdue Extension Service. In 1985 he was elected to the Hall of Fame for State and County Fairs.

Dr. Abel was the recipient of 3 Sagamores of the Wabash awarded by 3 different governors and in October, 2016 was a Torch Bearer for the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay.

Surviving are his children, Nancy (Tom) Roeder, Robert Abel II, Randy (Jane) Abel, all of Wakarusa and Michael (Linda) Abel of North Platte, Nebraska; grandchildren, Andrew (Billie) Roeder, Charlie (Kristin) Roeder, Molly (Dave) Wilson, Samantha Abel, Spencer Abel, Lacy Abel and Tyler (Jackie) Abel; and great-grandchildren, Owen, Anna, Olive, Pia, Urban Roeder, Jesse, Miriam, Hudson, Holden Wilson, and Taytem and Rylee Abel. He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; sister, Kathryn Weaver; and brother, Paul Abel.

Family and friends may call from 2-8 Monday, January 16, 2017 at the NorthWood Middle School Gymnasium in Wakarusa and for 2 hours prior to the funeral service which will be at 7pm, Tuesday, Jan. 17th.

Memorial contributions may be given to the Dr. Robert Abel memorial fund.

Arrangements are with Thompson-Lengacher & Yoder Funeral Home, Wakarusa.

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by South Bend Tribune on Jan. 15, 2017.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
Jan
16
Calling hours
2:00p.m. - 8:00p.m.
NorthWood Middle School Gymnasium
, Wakarusa, IN
Jan
17
Calling hours
5:00p.m.
NorthWood Middle School
, IN
Jan
17
Funeral service
7:00p.m.
NorthWood Middle School
, IN
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Thompson Lengacher and Yoder Funeral Home Wakarusa - Wakarusa
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78 Entries
I will always recall Doc Able as a loving caring man who delivered myself, the mother of my children and my two kids. I m probably just one of a hundred Conrads that Dr Able delivered. God resr his soul!
Larry Conrad
April 11, 2017
I will always recall Doc Able as a loving caring man who delivered myself, the mother of my children and my two kids. I m probably just one of a hundred Conrads that Dr Able delivered. God resr his soul!
Larry Conrad
April 11, 2017
Love working with him , very kind and loving person to work with !!!
Nizza Tallon
Coworker
April 5, 2017
Thank you for shining your light on my life.
[email protected]
Jennifer Cook
March 16, 2017
One of the best men I have ever known. The Lord without a doubt, said to you " well done my good and faithful servant." I love him so very much he delivered me at Elkhart General Hospital in 1965. My mother worked in his medical office when I was just a small child.I remember late at night as a small child at Dr. Abels office as my father brought me in and Dr. Abel popped a big thorn out of my hand when I fell running through the forest at our farm. He always set an example christ-like.Yes Dr. Abel was an example to every human being of the true meaning of humility. I immediately think of Ephesians 2:8,9; for by Grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves it is a gift of God not as a result of works so that no one may boast.That was Dr. Abel though perhaps public media would boast of his many accomplishments and contributions, rightfully so. However one would not hear Dr. Abel boasting of his achievements. He did it all for God's glory. He let our Lord Jesus Christ shine through him. I know he humbly accepted the Lords gracious words when he met him face-to-face, well done my good and faithful servant. Thank you for the example you set for me, the community, your family, and all who were touched by you.He wouldn't complain when he wasn't feeling well you would never know it. His concern was for others. I saw you last Dr.Able couple years ago. I'll never forget your dear sweet smile when I showed you my original birth certificate with your signature on it. You're sweet gentle smile and laughter touch me and always will. I have never met a Doctor Who is so intuitive and caring as you. I love you Dr. Abel. Thank you,In Christ,Jennifer Lynn Cook
Jennifer Cook
March 16, 2017
To all of the Abel family, We are so sorry to hear of the passing of our good Dr. and friend.Doc smacked me on my bare butt 66 years ago.He and my Dad went through all their years of school together. Doc & my Dad had a competition going between them these last few years as to which one of them would retire 1st. Each one said he would retire when the other one would. My Dad, Russell, still gets around on the farm at age 92. Ron & Bobby played sports together, & to be a friend of one of the Abel kids was to be a friend of Doc. He will be greatly missed.
Ron & Sally Drudge
January 19, 2017
Wakarusa lost a patriarch, an elder who spent his life serving and caring for others. There will never be another Doc, always on call, willing to be present committed to making every situation better! Thank you Doc!
Scott Truex
January 18, 2017
A Tribute To A Dear, Loving Special Friend: Dr. Robert Abel

My husband Gale and I have so many fond memories of Doc.

Gale met Dr. Abel over 50 years ago and doc invited him to come and speak to Northwood football team and they became instant friends for life. When Gale and I married, the first thing he said was, "There is a family in Wakarusa you have to meet. Dr. Abel is a really special guy". When we went to meet at doc and Bettys home, he greeted us with open arms and a beautiful smile....just like family. Gale and I have spent many nights along with our kids at Dr. Abel and Bettys home. Going to 4-H affairs along with Dr. Abel and his family. Seeing his children participate in the different events and that became an annual event for us.
Dr. Abel was a mentor for Gale and I. We could talk to him about anything and he never judged. He would give us one of his warm smiles and he would always tell the us the truth.
We've attended many events in Wakarusa, like The Maple Syrup festival. Anything that went on in Wakarusa, doc made sure that Gale and I knew and attended. If any family was sick doc was always right there. I remember one time at 3 a.m I was sick, doc was right there with his black bag and all making sure I was alright. How many doctors would do that? Doc cared about all and loved serving people.
Then he told us one day, "Don't you need a place to escape to? To get away from Chicago sometimes?" Doc Abel is the reason Gale and I are in Wakarusa today. Doc is definitely how God wants us to be towards each other.
Gale and I cannot say enough to pay tribute to Dr. Robert Abel. We feel as though God put Dr. Abel in our lives. There will always be a place in our hearts for Doc. We will never forget Doc and we will try to keep his legacy going in whatever way we can.
Gale & Ardythe Sayers
Family Friend
January 18, 2017
My sincere condolences to the family of Robert. May God comfort and strengthen you during this difficult time because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6,7
Cheryl
January 18, 2017
Thank you for sharing Doc with all of us. He was a great doctor and friend Rest in peace Doc
Sherrilynn Metcalfe
January 17, 2017
God Bless you DOC .
william Becraft
January 17, 2017
Nancy, Bob, Randy, Mike - As I look at the picture of your dad, the first thing that comes to my mind is the distinctive 'shuffle' that I would listen to the times that I was in the hospital, waiting for him to come and check on me. Throughout the years, our lives (yours and mine) intersected at various times and we we matured, I could always catch up with you as I looked at your pictures on his office walls. I am sure that you have many memories of 'dates' broken as that unexpected delivery or broken bone had to be dealt with. He was so proud of each of you and I want you to know that I am praying for you as you mourn, as we all mourn his passing. He was truly one of a kind.
Becky Metzler-Kelly
January 17, 2017
to the abel fam. Always remmber precious memorys, how they linger. I have so many nice memorys, of working beside him at elkhart gen hosp in the nursery, I was a c.n.A. But he always treated me like I was the Dr. Told every one I was in the class ahead of him at med school. Ah yes precious memorys.... sharon marchese.
January 17, 2017
We are so grateful for the support Dr. Abel gave to the IU School of Medicine-South Bend. He loved our home football game parking pass program!
January 17, 2017
Sorry for the loss to your family. Dr. Abel was our family doctor 45 years ago when our family lived in Wakarusa. He was a wonderful man, as well as a great doctor. You are in our thoughts and prayers at this time.
Rick Hand
January 17, 2017
Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Abel Families during this difficult time of great loss.
Doc was a man of great respect who shared his time and passion for all people. He was there at a moments notice after hours and there when you needed him to come to the house.
He will always be remembered of his beautiful smile and warm personality.
Thanks Doc for your time as a physician, friend and a great example of a loving ma who loved what he did. Rest In Peace Doc!
Sheldon Blosser
Acquaintance
January 17, 2017
Doc was my favorite board president during my 25 years employed by the Indiana 4-H Foundation. Such a kind, gentle man. He will be missed by many!
Nancy Sala
January 17, 2017
We are so sorry for your loss. May you all hear wonderful stories and take comfort in knowing he touched so many people's lives. I always enjoyed my time with him as we worked on the concert tickets for the 4-H fair. We will miss his dedication and wisdom that he brought to the Elkhart County 4-H Fair that he loved.
Jeryl and Pat Hochstedler
January 16, 2017
God Bless you Doc and thanks for all you've donr for me and my family.Your are my buddy and my friend and my pal Id like to think you for all the times we talk. Once again Doc GOD BLESS YOU.
William Becraft
January 16, 2017
My buddy my pal my friend and my great doctor .Thanks for all you done for me and my Family God Bless You Doc
January 16, 2017
My Doctor my buddy my pal my friend God Bless you DOC well never forget you and Betty.
January 16, 2017
You were a blessing to our community and will be greatly missed!! God Bless You!!!
Sarah Filley-Stout
January 16, 2017
Dr. Abel will be missed. He was a wonderful man and doctor.
Karla Funnell
January 16, 2017
Thank you Doc for everything that you have done for my family and I! It really means a lot that the people meant so much to you! And for that everyone will be totally greatful!
Christina
January 16, 2017
Doc Abel was a "giant" among men with his dedication and love for serving others. His impact on 4-H youth leaves a legacy in so many of us who were touched by his kind spirit and tireless work.

Wishing peace and sympathy to all who knew and loved Doc, especially his family.

Love,
Kenda Resler Friend (Elkhart Co. native, now in Indianapolis)
Kenda Resler Friend
January 16, 2017
Paris Bryan
January 16, 2017
I don't know what else to say, It has all been said previously in this guest book. I think Dr. Abel was a GREAT man, doctor, friend and confidant. Thank you for all your doctoring, and help you have given me through the years. You will be sorely missed. REST IN PEACE
Doug Heil
January 16, 2017
We will always remember his gentle voice and giving heart. He was always able to lift a broken spirit and took the time with each one of us no matter how busy he was. We suffer with you in this great loss of one who was so loved by so many. May our Lord's grace be with you.
Douglas Scheets
January 16, 2017
Randy and the entire Abel family,

We have lost a 'gem' of a man. I am so sorry for your loss.
Natalie Gryscha
January 16, 2017
Thanks Doc for all you did for the world! We are all better for having known you and the example you set will live on in your family and in the 4-H members you touched. Rest in peace and watch over us.
Shelly Bingle
January 16, 2017
An inspiration to so many.
Godspeed to a brave, humble, sweet man
Craig Morehead
January 16, 2017
Rest In PEACE Dear Soul. I will miss you always.
Brenda Wrisley
January 16, 2017
If there was ever a man whose calling in life was a healer, it is Doc Abel. The epitome of love, caring and wisdom in his calling. Whenever I think of him, I smile. He warmed your heart and soul and ALWAYS made you smile, no matter how bad you felt. He had that "something special" about him. The country doctor that made house calls? NO WAY! Yes way!!!! The good old fashioned down home kind of doctor. What a blessing he has been to so many, in many different aspects. He helped me and my little family through all kinds of sickness for many years. We moved here from Alabama in 1980 and while living on Beech Road in Wakarusa, discovered this gem of a soul. Our new doctor. There aren't enough words to thank him for the GOOD he has blessed so many with in his journey here on earth. Heaven has gained another angel. And he is reunited with his Sweetheart. Smile when you remember him. I bet that is what he would want us all to do. Deepest sympathy to his family. Oh and as he always told me, "Drink lots of water." Will do doc. You always knew best! Here's to you my friend.. Love you always...RIP dear soul. You will be missed. <3
Brenda Wrisley
January 16, 2017
Doc Abel delivered all 3 of my children and has been my Dr. for 46 years!!! He was an amazing man and there will never be another like him!!! You are missed by many!!! Prayers for his family. Thank you for sharing him. RIP DR ABEL
Sheila Smallwood
January 16, 2017
Now my parents can welcome him to heaven. He took such good care of them that Daddy lived until 94 and Mother til 86. For years he would come to their home and provide the care they needed. The night before mother died, he came to Milllers Merry Manor and told me she was near the end. He did so much for so many. It is with gratitude that I extend sympathy to his family.

Alice (Lechlitner (Culp) Pontius, Fort Wayne, IN
Alice Pontius
January 15, 2017
Doctor Abel was one of the best guys I know .You will definitely be missed and you where loved by many for what you did throughout your life .
Robin O'Brien
January 15, 2017
I cannot imagine a world without Doc in it. He was more than a doctor. He was an important part of my life, my family, and my friend. He brought me into this world, was there for me when both my parents died, there for me, my husband, and my children through sickness and in health. He was a great man who touched so many lives and was always so kind, understanding, and caring. He always encouraged me. My heart breaks as another dear person has gone that I've known my entire life. My thoughts and prayers are with his children and his grandchildren. Thank you for sharing him with all of us. I will never forget him and will mourn his loss deeply. My family and I share your sorrow. There will never be another quite like him. He was a true gem. May he rest in peace.
Kathy Combs
January 15, 2017
I just want to say "thank you" to the Abel family for sharing your father/grandfather. He was a patient and caring man. His love for the community was obvious as well as his love and pride for his family. He will be missed.
Chris Bontrager-Lantz
January 15, 2017
Sending prayers to the family and close friends. What a kind, caring man Dr. Robert Abel was to all. He delivered my first two children in the 1970's. No question a young inexperienced mother asked him was ever met with anything other than the greatest respect and good advice. He had the most wonderful outlook on life. The earth has lost a bright light and Heaven has gained one.
Christina McBride
January 15, 2017
Where I really got to know Dr. Abel was the past three years as I pruned his large fruit orchard. Dr. and Mrs. Abel always loved their homegrown fruit in their diet and feeding their evergrowing. loving family. I quickly learned Dr. Abel was a good listener and student as we discussed ftuit cultural practices and paralleed it human nutrition and life. It was very evident Dr. Abel was a very kind, compassionate, caring and generous man in life. I am sure the fruit of his soul is now with our Creator. May the family take comfor of such and savor an immeasurable quantity of happy, cherished memories.
Dave Dann
January 15, 2017
Patricia Osborne
January 15, 2017
You will be missed. Our prayers are with his family. What a legend. He delivered both my boys and was our family doctor for years.
Carol Fogo
January 15, 2017
My condolences for your loss. Dr. Abel was my doctor when I was a child and such a nice man.
Karen Lewis
January 15, 2017
Doc was an absolutely amazing,awesome, loving , caring, incredible man. I am so proud to say this is the Doc that delivered our two children. I am so sorry for your loss...may God give you comfort, all of you are in my thoughts & prayers.
Gary & Alice Reed
January 15, 2017
Our thoughts and prayers with the family.
Arlis and Andrea Blake
January 15, 2017
Arlene Sierra
January 15, 2017
A life of tremendous accomplishment and service. Sincere condolences to Bob, Randy and the entire Abel family from Cheryl and I.
Terry Crone
January 15, 2017
RIP Doc Abel
Alan Cook
January 15, 2017
If one wants a simple definition of SERVICE....just say Doc Abel. His deeds will live forever as his legacy.
Jim Hettler
January 15, 2017
Diana Reed This very special Doctor delivered my babies, helped me mourn through the loss of one of them, came to our home to care for me and for many, many years came to my home to care for my Father. Truly a great humanitarian and i owe my life to him. God bless his family. Thank you Dr. Abel.
Diana Reed
January 15, 2017
I have so many wonderful memories of Dr. Abel. The imprint he made on the community will last forever. He kept up with all of his patients even after we moved away. I will never forget him coming to my mom's funeral - that meant the world to me. Melissa Moller May
Melissa May
January 15, 2017
Thoughts and Prayers for the family for their loss.
Tobie, Marge Mast
January 15, 2017
May you have kindness and peace from God during your time of grief. 1Cor 1:3.
Tracie Wimbish
January 15, 2017
Thank you Doc for dedicating your life to helping others. As my personal physician you were a healer, confidant and a friend the community as a whole has been touched by your gracious heart and healing hands.God bless you rest peacefully dear man.....
Michael Bailey
January 15, 2017
I really don't have words for the loss of this wonderful man of God and of medicine, wow I am still in shock I had the pleasure of being blessed to work with him as a new nurse at Millers in Wakarusa which has always been my heart and passion, he always touched me with his bedside manor and his love for his love of his life which was is wife, which I talked to often once in talking to a patient that needed medication he even stated to them due to he still even made home calls to their house "do you have groceries, he stated that is important to heal my friend" oh my how wonderful....Thank you for sharing such a blessed man and Thank you God for giving a such a talented man of God that worked and blessed, care thru you and your hands I will forever be thankful..
Vicky Winterrowd
Vicky Winterrowd
January 15, 2017
RIP dr abel
Kathy Williams
January 15, 2017
Sorry for your loss,
Bert
bert prawat
January 15, 2017
Caring, quiet integrity are the words that come to mind when I think of Doc. Noone was a stranger for long. A truly great man and an example of a life well lived. Goodnight and God bless you Doc.
Jess Burbrink
January 14, 2017
I am so sad to hear this though know he lived a phenomenal life and touched so many lives. I will ALWAYS remember Doc and he will always have a special place in my heart. He was one of a kind and he and Betty were such good friends to our family. I remember the house calls he would make to come see me if I was sick; I would call him when I got sick at college and he would take care of me. My thoughts and prayers go out to all Doc's family. I know he will be deeply missed. RIP Doc. Love you!! Paula Ferguson DeAngelo
Paula Ferguson DeAngelo
January 14, 2017
Elkhart Co. lost a legendary man as well as a doctor who devoted his life to his family and his patients. He will remembered and missed by many but he's on a wonderful journey. God bless.
Jennifer McCormick
January 14, 2017
Lynda Heyse-wiegand
January 14, 2017
Lynda Heyse-wiegand
January 14, 2017
Well Dr Abel.....I will miss you every year at the Elkhart County Fair....you was a amazing man and Dr..,.you help so many people and you have a beautiful family !! Sending hugs and many prayers for the whole family!!
Kathy Faulisi
January 14, 2017
Don and Joyce Farrer
January 14, 2017
You will be missed. You were an amazing man. Such a great loss
Judy Myers
January 14, 2017
I am so sorry to hear Dr. Abel has passed. We have all lost a dear friend and benefactor. Wakarusa and the surrounding community will miss this man in so many ways. Rest in peace my friend.
phil wogoman
January 14, 2017
You was always a good doctor to me during my time as a Northwood sports player and after. You will be dearly missed and loved
Mike Turner
January 14, 2017
You are the best friend and doctor a man could have. you will be missed and can never be replaced. Your always positive attitude and helpful words can never be forgotten. Thank You for being my Dr.
Dan Stutsman
January 14, 2017
Doc able was a great man who cared about people and showed it in every way. He will be missed by many and is an Inspiration to all. He was angel on earth as he is in heaven. May he rest in peace
Amy Bowen
January 14, 2017
What a great man. He delivered me and my siblings, delivered my 2 children and always made me feel like a good mother. He was so full of good advice and always made us feel very at ease, no matter what ailed us. He will be very missed.
Lanie and Kevin Cole
January 14, 2017
I have not seen Doc Abel for many years but do have fond memories of him from my childhood. I always enjoyed the pool he so generously let the town use. Such a huge loss to all. My sympathy to the family and to Wakarusa.
Victoria Tschupp
January 14, 2017
To all the Abel family- We are so sorry for your loss. We will keep all the family in our thoughts and prayers. Doc left a lasting impact on all the community. May your memories provide comfort and peace.
Dennis and Caryn Hershberger
January 14, 2017
What an amazing man, Doctor, and a life well lived! I will miss him as my physician ,always positive and encouraging. Much love and prayers to his family
Kris Yoder
January 14, 2017
Pamela Bricker
January 14, 2017
We have lost a great man. He will be sorely missed by one and all. Sympathy to the family.
Rich Utley
January 14, 2017
Praying for the family.
Ella Peoples
January 14, 2017
So sorry to hear. Such a great man. He will be forever remembered.
Judy Roberts
January 14, 2017
To the Abel family. Loosing Doc is like loosing my Grandpa all over again. His smile his chuckle his warmth all reminded me of my Grandpa. Whenever I would need to see him, I would tear up because they were so similar. I even told him I " love you like my grandpa.". His belly jiggled as he chuckled. Rest well " Doc" I hope you meet him in that mansion in the sky...You will like each other for sure.
Cheryl Borowski
January 14, 2017
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