David John Abbott
September 9, 1955 – April 20, 2020
Lt Col David John Abbott, USMC, Ret. passed away on April 20, 2020. David was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son and brother. He was active in his community and served our country faithfully in the U.S. Marine Corps for 22 years.
David was born on September 9, 1955 in Jackson, MI to Donald and Dolores Abbott. David grew up in Jackson, MI with his 3 siblings, Bill, Nancy and Chuck. David attended Parkside High School where he excelled in football, lacrosse and track and field. Upon graduating high school, he was drafted into the United States Marine Corps and attended Officer Candidate School while attending Albion College in Albion, MI. During college he continued to excel in athletics and was a Tri-Captain of the Albion College MIAA Championship Football Team and Tri-Captain of the Albion Lacrosse Team. He graduated in 1977, and was later inducted into the Albion College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.
After graduating from Albion, David went on to become an Officer in the United States Marine Corps. He retired out of Camp Pendleton, CA as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1999 after 22 years of military service. During his time in California, he coached his sons in Lacrosse and became the Southern California Lacrosse High School Coach of the year in 2004. He went on to earn his MBA at Pepperdine College and had a successful career in business. He retired in 2012 and eventually settled in Elk Rapids, MI with his wife, Sally. David continued to serve his community in Elk Rapids, and became the AmVets District Commander. David enjoyed spending his time with family and friends at the Post, on his boat at the Elk Lake sandbar, and golfing at A-Ga-Ming.
David is survived by his loving wife of 37 years, Sally. David and Sally met in Gardnerville, NV in 1982 and married in Minden, NV on April 9, 1983. Together they raised three beautiful children, Kurt 40, Jessica 38, and Jacob 33. He was a proud grandfather to six granddaughters and one grandson, who lovingly referred to him as their Papa. Kaya 16, Sarah, 14, Sephora 12, Presley 9, Kennedy 7, Isaiah 7, and Caelan 6. David provided a wealth of love and knowledge to his children and grand children, telling stories of his travels and experiences around the world, and teaching them how to fish, hunt, and make s'mores around a campfire.
David left our family with wonderful memories and a huge hole in our hearts. The family will hold a memorial service at a later date at the AmVets Post 114. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to the AmVets Post 114 in his honor.
Amvets Post 114
410 Bridge St., Elk Rapids, Michigan 49629
David John Abbott
October 9, 2020
I met Dave in 1976 at OCS in Quantico, Virginia. We were a tough bunch, and Dave was our honor graduate. Later, we attended TBS together, and again, Dave was our honor graduate and obstacle course champion. In 1984, I attended AWS and discovered that Dave had been the 1983 honor graduate also.
Dave was as tough as they come and his own man. He did things his way and always excelled. He was too honest to play politics. Had he done so, stars were in his future. But, he refused to bow down before the politically correct and earned the respect of fellow Jarheads, who served for country, vice personal fame and fortune.
God bless and Semper Fidelis,
LtCol, USMC (Ret) 1999
August 22, 2020
I just found out about Dave’s passing. I am so sad and so sorry for you and your family
Cissy and I will have you in our thoughts and prayers
Please reach out when you can
LtCol USMC ( Ret)
540 847 1775
August 18, 2020
Sally and family,
I too just learned the very sad news from the SF Newsletter. I worked with LtCol Abbott at HQMC. He was a fine Marine and Great American and of course the "Prince". I remember him as one of the finest leaders of Marines that I had the privileged to know. My heartfelt condolences to you. God bless you and yours.
Maj. USMC (Ret.)
August 12, 2020
To the Abbott family, I just learned of LtCol Abbott’s passing from the Semper Fidelis newsletter. LtCol Abbott reported to the 1st Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton as the Executive Officer in 1997 or 1998. It was my first command as a Warrant Officer, and I was the Regimental Embarkation Officer. I was still trying to figure out how to make the transition after having been a Gunnery Sergeant for four years. When I met LtCol Abbott, he treated me as if we had been friends in another life. I think he knew how much I was working on learning to be a staff Officer, and he mentored me without making me feel like I needed it. He made me feel like a peer of his. During a period of time when the Logistics section was working long hours, he was the one that told me to tell the S-4 Officer I only had one headlight and needed to get home before it got dark! I didn’t of course, but that’s how he looked after his Marines. I admired him and his leadership style, and I modeled that style for the remainder of my career. He made an impact on me. RIP Sir!
August 10, 2020
It is with great sadness that I just learned of Dave's passing. He was a tough and inspiring Marine Leader! A Marine's Marine, he was head and shoulders above. He set a superior example and was the best representation of a Marine Officer. I am blessed to have known him. My condolences to the family. RIP Dave.
LtCol. Ron Harris
August 8, 2020
I also just learned of Dave's passing from the Marine Corps Retiree Newsletter. We worked together briefly at Quantico before he deployed to Saudi Arabia as an advisor to the kingdom's Marine Forces. It was a challenging assignment but Dave's leadership and personality made him well suited to the duty. Dave produced results with the Saudi Marines that were unmatched by other advisors. While visiting him in Saudi during a site visit we discovered that we were going to become neighbors, as my family was closing on a house around the corner from the Abbotts in the same Stafford, Va neighborhood. Dave was truly one of "the good guys." and will be missed. Our deepest condolences to the family.
LtCol USMC (Retired)
August 7, 2020
I had the privilege of serving as then Maj. Abbott’s conference group leader at AWS in 1991. The first day he called me up to his office, I knew immediately that I was in the presence of a Marine’s Marine. He was tough, exacting, professional, fit, with a great sense of humor and smart as a whip. I could not have been led by a better Marine or person that year in Quantico. God’s blessings and prayers to the family.
Peter B. McMurran, LtCol., USMC (Ret.)
August 7, 2020
It is with a heavy heart that I learned of Dave’s passing today.
I too had the distinct honor of serving with Dave during our first tour in Hawaii. He was an outstanding leader of Marines and a inspiration to all who knew him.
Our prayers are with his family. He will always be with us in spirit.
LtCol, USMC (Ret)
August 7, 2020
Many of us in our first Marine Corps unit, 1st Bn 3d Marines, are just learning of this sad news. I served with Dave for over a year in 1979/80 and on deployment to the Western Pacific. We are so sad to hear the news as Dave was taken far too soon. He was a tremendous officer and leader! Well liked by all who knew him and an extremely proficient Marine, he taught us all much. So glad to hear of his large family and good memories and Marine Corps stories passed down. I and my colleagues are so sorry for your tremendous loss and can only trust God will provide peace and understanding as you remember Dave and uphold his memory. We remain Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)
Major, USMC Retired.
August 5, 2020
LtCol Abbott was my boss in Saudi Arabia for a year. We were advisors to a Saudi Marine Battalion. Great leader and great Marine. Jay C Smith, LtCol, USMC (ret)
July 14, 2020
Sorry for the late condolences but I just found out about Dave's passing. A great Marine and better man. Anne and I only served directly with Dave and Sally once while on the staff at Amphibious Warfare School in the early 90s, but were able to keep up on their Marine journey through many friends. A great couple who added much to our dedicated staff.
Dave was a professional at all he did as a Marine Officer. Fit, tough as nails and always looking to improve himself and those around him. He will be missed by all that knew him.
We are better people for having known Dave Abbott.
Semper Fi, John and Anne Rogers
July 5, 2020
Sally, We just now found out about Dave’s passing in April. Kathy and I are Keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers tonight. We will always remember how you welcomed us the the AWS family. Dave was an exemplary leader. He set the standard in professionalism and physical fitness that many of us aspired to meet. I Know words are little consolation at a time like this, but as people of faith we know Dave is in a better place and looking down on us all. When we get to heaven I am sure he will be at the pearly gates with St Peter to welcome us aboard again. May he Rest In Peace. Semper Fidelis Jeff and Kathy Patterson.
Maj Saba Safiari
July 5, 2020
I saw this post from Col Ahle...although I never knew Dave, I can emphatically say I wish I had. Seems like the man I hope I could be. Thank you for sharing all your memories and we will carry-on the torch in his name. S/F
Dennis Arinello, Colonel, USMC, Ret.
July 4, 2020
Ssdly, I am just learning of Dave's untimely passing. Condolences to Sally and the entire Abbott family. I had the privilege of serving with Dave at the then Amphibious Warfare Schoool, Quantico back in the early 90's. Dave was a Marines' Marine and a loving and dedicated father and husband. Take comfort knowing he is in a better place. May he R.I.P. Semper Fi Marine.
July 3, 2020
Sweet Sally—I just found out about Dave’s passing today after Jim Teixeira saw Dave’s name in the USMC newsletter. Rick and I are so sad to hear about this great loss for you and your family. The news brought back such great memories of the fun we had together so many years ago with our young families. Know you are in our thoughts as we remember your wonderful husband.
July 3, 2020
Sally, I am so sorry.
He was a dedicated Officer of Marines and extraordinary leader. Dave was a core leader in the battalion.
As a man he represented the best of character and commitment.
My warmest thoughts to you and his family. Jim
July 3, 2020
Like many Officers and Marines, I was very fortunate to know Dave and benefit from his leadership.
Major Abbott was our Faculty Advisor at Amphibious Warfare School (AWS). The very first thing he said to us when we met in the summer of 91 was something like “I grade hard and your grades will be lower than the other conference groups. If you don’t like it, I don’t care It’s for your own good”. Although most of us sat there in stunned silence, we very quickly learned that he was right. We had a great year because of him.
He had our Conference Group hiking on the golf course (in the dark before class) at Quantico to get ready for training at Bridgeport, CA. We stayed late doing extra prep work on Fire Support Coordination before we went to 29 Palms.
He held himself to a high standard and he held us (future Company Commanders and Operations Officers) to the same standard. He impacted hundreds and thousands of Marines through us.
Sally and Dave opened their home to us and were great examples for us young Captains. I’m a better Marine and Man because of the year I spent with Dave and I’m grateful for it.
LtCol. Joe Harrison USMC (ret)
July 2, 2020
Major Dave Abbott was my Conference Group Leader at AWS-1990. He was a straight shooter - business oriented leader that also knew how to generate real camaraderie within our Group. I remember how much pleasure he took taking us to Bridgeport for Cold Weather Training and then on to 29 Palms . He particularly enjoyed seeing all the Aviators digging their snow caves. His insight in to Fire Support Coordination while we were at 29 Palms benefited many a Infantry Company just a few months later as we all found our selves in Kuwait fighting Desert Storm.
His commitment to the USMC was second to none, all that served with him were significantly better for it. God Bless Him and his Family.
Major Larry Meyer USMC Retired.
July 2, 2020
Sorry for the late post. Just received this sad news. I served with David while he was an instructor at Amphibious Warfare School. He was a terrific collegue and friend. I am so sorry for this loss and will miss this fellow Marine.
July 1, 2020
Paul and Debbie Lefebvre
I served with Dave for a good portion of my career. We deployed overseas together in a number of situations.
We also played football together in the Marine Corps.
This is a tough guy - both physically and mentally. He asked a lot and he gave a lot. He led from the front. He looked for the tough assignments. He was highly respected for his no-nonsense, practical solutions. He was a coach in Lacrosse and he was a coach in the Marines. There are untold number of young men that have benefitted from his example and his counsel.
He loved his kids and he and Sally offered to help anyone. They surely helped the Lefebvre’s on numerous occasions.
He could hit a golf ball a mile - not always straight but in the Marines, straight did not matter.
People live their livesand wonder if they made a contribution. Dave didn’t wonder and neither did the Marines that lived with him.
Vr Paul Lefebvre, Maj Gen, USMC (ret)
June 28, 2020
I served with Dave in the 7th Marines in the 1980s He was aWeapons company commander and probably one of the toughest men I have ever met.
He and i enjoyed running during our deployment and he was also a determined chess competitor and also really loved the outdoors
He was an excellent office and good friend to a young Battalion surgeon who was new to the military. I often looked to him for guidance and he provided it.
I am glad to see that he loved and was loved by so many.
I am sure he will be misssed by those he loved I remember he had a charming way of cocking his eyebrow over a funny story. I will remember that and his sense of fun and willingness to break rules in a good cause
My heartfelt condolence to his family
Robert (Bob ) Carroll USNR
Professor of Med& Surgery
University of Illinois at Chicago
May 5, 2020
To Dave's family and loved ones, I'm so sorry for your loss. Dave was my direct supervisor for several years. In that capacity, he provided amazing leadership and compassion, and was a straight shooter, telling it like it is. I appreciated his transparency and candor and always knowing where I stood with him. Even after leaving the company, he continued to keep in touch, congratulating me on milestone work anniversaries.
May your memories of him, and those being shared with you by others, bring you comfort. I will always remember Dave fondly.
Teri Davis Ollila
May 1, 2020
I am so sorry for your family's loss! I graduated with Dave from Parkside HS in 1973. He was a great guy, smart and athletic. I was so shocked to hear of his passing. I last spoke with him in 2018 in regards to our reunion, he wanted to attend but had an outpatient surgical procedure scheduled that kept him from traveling south. He assured me it was nothing, but I didn't check back in with him. I am sorry. Great guy who will be missed.
May 1, 2020
I am saddened to hear of Dave’s passing. Our whole family sends our prayers and hopes for healing at this time.
I knew Dave from Parkside High School and the Country Club. Great family.
May 1, 2020
To the Abbott family,
I am very sorry to learn of David's passing. I have fond memories of the days we worked together at the Country Club of Jackson when we were younger.
As a fellow veteran I would like to thank you for David's service to his country, he will be missed.
April 28, 2020
April 24, 2020
My sympathies to family and friends. The thing that I most remember about Dave is, that after he came back from officer’s training in the summer, I heard that he was complaining to the coaches during 3 a day practices that they weren’t working us hard enough. To compensate, he got up early to run 3-5 miles, maybe 10, I’m not sure. God Bless you all. Jim
April 23, 2020
To the Abbott Family my deepest sympathy and I pray that God gives you strength and comfort during this time of bereavement.
When I heard the news I couldn't believe it. I can only tell you that I viewed Dave as one of the toughest guys I ever met. I secretly, during our college years, admired him because of it. I never knew anything about Lacrosse, being a black kid from Saginaw. I admired Dave's toughness on the football field to the point I had to see a Lacrosse game because he told me I couldn't play it because it was too tough of a sport. He was right (LOL)! I couldn't but I had more respect for him because of the way he played both football and lacrosse. That motivated me to be a tougher basketball player. I last saw Dave in Texas a few years ago where we had an opportunity to play a round of golf and I finally had a chance to tell him how much I respected and admired him during those college years. I'm thankful to have been able to tell him that and thankful for the inspiration he provided me as a player and later as a coach.
RIP my friend!!
April 22, 2020
Always made me laugh. Fun and loved his family and his country. WE WILL MISS YOU!
April 22, 2020
A true gentleman. I will miss seeing and talking to Dave each Tuesday at Agaming. Will miss him in the golf league... Dave was an excellent golfer and always kind to his competition. May his spirit and memory burn bright in all that knew him. Peace my friend.