C.W. "Bill" or "Billy" Abbott, 94, passed away peacefully July 16, 2012, at his home at Fountain Plaza, Medford, Ore., where he had resided for seven years. He was born February 13, 1918, at the Hanley Farm in Jacksonville, Ore., to Cecile (Moore) and Thomas Abbott. His parents lived with and were employed by Alice Hanley. He was well known in Southern Oregon and the Willamette Valley where he belonged to numerous organizations such as Masons, Shriners, Kiwanis clubs, IOOF, BPOE, and Lion's club, where he was charter president at the Central Point, Ore., club. In Salem, Ore., he organized and served as president of the Chamber of Commerce Greeters. He spent several years on the Jackson County Juvenile Board and the Jackson County Equalization Board. His early schooling was at Lake Creek and Eagle Point, Ore., and he graduated from Eugene High School. In the early 1950s he built and owned Billy's Drive-In located in Central Point. He was active in Salem at St. Paul's Episcopal Church and attended both the Medford Nazarene Church and Ascension Lutheran Church in Medford.
He was an accomplished musician playing drums with local bands for local venues. He played in Salem for Emerald City Jazz Band, Capitol City Jazz Band, University of Oregon Symphony, Salem Pops Orchestra, as well as Hillah Temple Shrine Band and Ashland Kiltie Band. He had the honor of marching and playing in the parade at the inauguration of President Reagan in Washington. He spent most of his life as an insurance agent and financial planner. When he retired, he started entertaining seniors at retirement facilities playing keyboard and singing.
He is survived by two sisters, Evelyn Ransdell and Maxine Rose. He married Helen Kinser in 1938, and they had two children, Marla (Bob) Lance and Thomas Abbott. They were married for 26 years. After their divorce he married Phyllis Patterson in 1965, and became stepfather to David (Diane) Patterson and Gloria (Chris) Andersen. They were married for 42 years when she passed away. On November 22, 2008, he married Virginia "Gini" Van Nortwick. He has a number of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. He and Gini volunteered at Craterian and Camelot theaters. He stated, "He would like to be remembered as leaving this world a better place than when he arrived, and as a man who loved Jesus." A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 28, 2012, 1:00 p.m., at the Ascension Lutheran Church, 2617 E. Barnett Rd., Medford. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Providence Medford Medical Center.