David John Abbott

September 9, 1955April 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


David John Abbott

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Bruce Anderson

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,

Bruce Anderson
LtCol, USMC (Ret) 1999

Jim Nelson

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
Jim Nelson
LtCol USMC ( Ret)
540 847 1775

Gary McCarthy

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.

Gary McCarthy
Maj. USMC (Ret.)

David Caballero

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!

David Caballero

Ron Harris

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

Tom Leonard

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.
Semper Fidelis,
Tom Leonard
LtCol USMC (Retired)

Peter McMurran

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.)

Michael Ralph

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.

Semper Fidelis,

Mike Ralph
LtCol, USMC (Ret)

Tom Hastings

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)

Tom Hastings
Major, USMC Retired.

Jay Smith

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)