Abbott, Robert Elmer "Bob"
Madison: Robert "Bob" Elmer Abbott, age 94, passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early morning hours of Thursday, April 11, 2019 at Sebring Assisted Living. He was born January 9, 1925 the son of Ben, a railroad conductor, and Georgia (Faulkner), a homemaker, Abbott in Drake, North Dakota.
The Abbott family moved to Thief River Falls, Minnesota when Bob was 7, and he lived there until the age of 20 when he attended the University of North Dakota. Bob was married to the love of his life and best friend, Marion "Iris" Edel April 14, 1950 in Austin, MN. Later Bob found his true calling and attended the American Institute of the Air, which began his career in tv and radio until his retirement at age 72. He started his career in Jamestown, ND as a radio announcer. From there he moved on to be a radio announcer and news anchor for 10 years in Austin, MN at KAUS. Bill, his son would watch his dad on the television and wonder why he didn't say "Hi" to him. Gordie Hormel then realized Bob's talent and hired him as the station manager at KQKQ in Austin, MN. In the late 50's the Abbotts moved to Lacrosse, WI when Bob accepted the position of V.P. and General Manager of Strong Outdoor Advertising Company. While in Lacrosse Bob was very active in the community. He was one of the founders of Oktoberfest, and served as President of the Oktoberfest board of directors from 1962-1964. He was also active as a member of the Lacrosse Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, served as master of ceremonies of the 1962 Annual Banquet with over 1100 people in attendance as Ronald Reagan was guest speaker. Other noted civic organizations Bob was part of included Chairman of the United Fund Campaign, President of the Kiwanis Club, Member of the Development Authority, and President of the Lacrosse Formal Dance Club.
Robert is survived by his sons; William Abbott and Thomas Abbott, granddaughters; Whitney Abbott and Meagan Abbott, his sister Nancy, and five nieces. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Iris, son Randall James Abbott, and sister Pat.
A celebration of Bob's life will be held at 11:30 am, Monday April 22, 2019 at the Cress Center, 6021 University Ave., Madison, WI 53705. Please share a memory.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
6021 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53705
For a while I was fortunate enough to call this man my father-in-law. Always entertaining, his strong enthusiastic spirit made him a leader in all things as well as ambassador of fun. Underneath that outward persona I found a man of honesty & integrity for whom I had great respect. His generosity treated me to my first plane ride, my first country club visit, & my first car.
Warm memories include watching him waterski behind a pontoon boat with lighted cigar & fishing hat, cruising down the Mississippi in a house boat, stirring up a batch of his homemade vegetable soup, preparing a favorite dinner of his homegrown tomatoes, buttered popcorn & vodka tonic, teaching me to play bridge, playing cards into the night & being my fierce competitor in trivial pursuit. R. I.P. Robert Elmer! 💝
One of the happiest men I’ve ever met, a friend, a great father-in-law for many years and a wonderful grandfather to Whitney. I’ll hold dear the memories of politics over Vodka & Squirt at his kitchen table, the stories that never got old and the love he shared over 36 years of knowing him. Forever in my heart.
Bob was truly One of a Kind--he was tall, handsome, intelligent, personable and charming. I remember many great times with Bob and Iris when I lived in Harbor Village in Middleton. I remember how he loved his family and how proud he was of his grandchildren. My condolences to the family,
Westlake Village, CA
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