Dudley Lee Abbott

Posted: Thursday, March 05, 2009

Longtime Soldotna resident Dudley Lee Abbott died Monday, March 2, 2009, after a lengthy illness. He was 66.

A celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at Heritage Place, 232 Rockwell Ave., in Soldotna.

Mr. Abbott was born August 22, 1942, to Dudley and Mildred Abbott in Arizona. He came to Alaska in 1955 with his family. They lived in Whittier where his father was employed by Morrison Knudsen Company as a lumber grader. After moving to Anchorage his family purchased fishing sites at Otter Creek. He graduated from Anchorage High School in 1960 and immediately enlisted in the U.S. Navy serving in the Vietnam War.

"He served his country first on a submarine and then an aircraft carrier where he discovered his love of flying," his family said.

After leaving the Navy he attended aircraft maintenance school in Los Angeles where he graduated top of his class. He moved to the Kenai Peninsula in the 1960s and started his private airplane build and repair business which he operated until his death.

"The experimental Piper Super Cub replica he built and finished in the late 1980s is still flying Alaska's skies. An article published by the Peninsula Clarion and Home Built Aircraft magazine in 2001 describes one of the aircrafts that he built from scratch," his family said. "He was quoted, 'Before I sign off on a certified plane, I always tell them, You're going to take me for a ride and make sure it flies.'"

He won national fiddle contests, built string musical instruments at his shop in Soldotna. His life centered around his love for music. His soul was a musical kaleidoscope. He played the guitar, fiddle, Banjo, mandolin and the Balalaika.

"Dudley was an extraordinarily accomplished and well known musician, square dance caller, pilot and commercial fisherman. But above all he is loved for his dedication and love for his family and community. He spent almost every Saturday night playing his music for the residents. We will miss him deeply as will all of his friends and family," his family said.

Mr. Abbott is preceded in death by his father.

He is survived by his high school sweetheart of 49 years, Pamela, of Anchorage; stepson, Brandon Erickson of Anchorage; mother, Lou Abbott of Soldotna; sisters, Sheila Patterson and Sherrie Abbott of Anchorage; brother, Dale Abbott of Soldotna; nieces, Lorena Stratton of Palmer, Ginger Slaughter of Anchorage, Tina Abbott of California and Marquela Grote of Soldotna; nephews, Mike Abbott of Sterling and Jimmie Nielsen of Washington.

The family suggests that memorial donations be made in memory of Dudley to the Heritage Place in Soldotna. 232 Rockwell Ave. Soldotna, AK 99669.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.

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