Archie went to be with Annie! The founder of the Menomonie High School Agriculture Program and FFA Advisor, Archie N. Abbott, 88, passed away Thursday afternoon, Dec. 7, 2017, at his home in Menomonie.
Archie was born April 19, 1929, in Durand, Wis. to Ralph and Edna (Kraft) Abbott. He grew up on the family farm just west of Downsville on the way to Eau Galle. He was a tireless kid who loved working on the farm and excelled in basketball at Durand High School. Upon graduating, Archie pursued his love for the farm by obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in agriculture education from UW-River Falls, later gaining his Masters Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison while teaching for more than 50 years in the Menomonie School District. His excitement for the agriculture industry in Dunn County was extraordinary.
Archie also loved a young lady he met, Anna Rae Harris, daughter of Frank and Helen Harris from Tomah, Wis. Together in marriage for 64 years, they were active in school events, the Dunn County Fair, Peace Lutheran Church, various card clubs (plus Turtle Lake), the Senior Center, McDonald’s for coffee and traveling to farms and FFA events throughout the county, state and nation. Archie loved his “FFA Students” like they were his own.
Throughout his wonderful life, Archie was also quite a sports fan. You’d see him chaperoning high school bus trips to games, following the Brewers through frustrating times, celebrating big wins by the Badgers and Packers and basically memorizing the Leader-Telegram sports page. Archie and Annie loved to travel, from pop-up campers, to touring in a mini-motorhome or flying out west to casinos or the Rose Bowl.
More than anything, Archie was truly proud of his grandchildren, Shelby and Parker. Together with Annie, they spoiled those two, fed them with sugar, supplied them with toys and in later years, plenty of gas money.
Archie was preceded in death by his loving wife, Annie (May 5, 2017); parents, Ralph and Edna; in-laws, Frank and Helen; and sister, Arlene Hayden and her husband, Ed.
Archie is survived by son, Jeff (Rhonda) Abbott, daughter, Julie (Dr. Victoria Vogle) Abbott of Longview, Wash.; grandchildren, Shelby Abbott (St. Paul, Minn.) and Parker Abbott (Iowa City, Iowa); stepgrandchildren, Hailey Hintz (Travis Welch) and Devyn Hintz (Derek Kahl); nieces, Janet (Howard) Brahmer of Spring Valley and Judith (Mel) Johnson from Alaska; and nephew, Bill (Ruth) Hayden of Menomonie; various grandnieces and grandnephews, and Annie and Archie’s wonderful housekeeper/caregiver/friend, Carolyn Knutson from Menomonie.
Serving as honorary pall bearers will be the thousands of past and present MHS FFA Alumni whom Archie remained close with throughout the years. You were his pride and joy and helped create smiles and great memories as time moved forward, more so than any of you may ever realize. Thank you!
A celebration of life will be held Monday, Dec. 11, at Olson Funeral Home in Menomonie. There will be visitation at the Funeral Home beginning at 4 p.m. with a service to follow at 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be addressed to the Menomonie High School FFA Chapter. A private burial will be at Peace Lutheran Church Cemetery.
To share a memory, please visit obituaries at www.olsonfuneral.com.