Retired long-time hospital worker James Abbott dies

James "Jim" Wellington Abbott passed away at age 83 on Aug. 15 in Wrangell.

A celebration of life will be held at the Harbor Light Assembly of God Church at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, with a reception to follow from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Elks Lodge.

He was born in Des Moines, Iowa, to Arnoldine E. and Emmett W. Abbott. He and his parents resided in Greenfield, Iowa, where Jim attended elementary school and graduated from high school.

After graduation, Jim attended the University of Oklahoma for two years before joining the U.S. Navy as a hospital corpsman. Jim's duty stations included the U.S. Naval Hospital San Diego, U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, with the U.S. Marine Corps, First Marine Air Wing at Iwakuni, Japan, along with Okinawa, Japan, and Da Nang, Vietnam.

On July 23, 1965, Jim married Betty Ann Poffenberger; they were married for 58 years. Betty joined Jim on Adak Island in Alaska and got a taste of Navy life. Jim's last duty station was Adak, where he completed 10 years of active duty.

Returning to San Diego, Jim went back to college. In 1973, Jim saw an opportunity for employment at Wrangell General Hospital for administrator Emma Ivy. After 21 years of being in charge of the laboratory, X-ray and ultrasound departments, he resigned in 1994. "Jim always said the thing he missed most about working was taking care of his patients," his family wrote.

After his retirement, Jim became involved with construction of the Wrangell golf course, working through the construction phase and serving as president of the board of directors.

Jim was a 41-year member of the Wrangell Elks Lodge and a 54-year member in the Claude H. Morrison Masonic Lodge, in San Diego, California.

He is survived by his wife Betty, a sister-in-law, brother-in-law, many nieces, nephews, cousins and their families.

Jim's wishes were that memorial donations go to the WMC Foundation Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 2175, Wrangell, AK 99929, or to Muskeg Meadows Golf Course, P.O. Box 219, Wrangell, AK 99929.


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