Robert “Bob” K. Abbett, 89, died peacefully June 20, 2015 at home in Bridgewater, Conn. He was the husband of Marilyn Abbett.
He was born in 1926 in Hammond, Ind., son of Clarence and Vere Abbett, and brother of Norma. He earned degrees from Purdue University and the University of Missouri and served in the Navy Air Corps during WWII.
He began his career as a commercial artist in Chicago and continued in New York City, which brought his family and him first to Darien, then to Wilton and summers on Lake Candlewood. After moving to Bridgewater he transitioned his work to fine art, painting the subjects he loved for galleries and commission clients, and also writing for several art and sporting magazines.
Abbett’s paintings are in private collections throughout the U.S. and U.K., as well as in permanent collections at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, AKC Museum of the Dog, Genesee Country Museum, and the National Bird Dog Museum.
His memberships included the Society of Illustrators, the Westport Artists, and the Society of Animal Artists. He taught at both the Silvermine Arts Center in Connecticut and the Scottsdale Artists School in Arizona. He repeatedly exhibited at the Artists of America in Denver and the Prix de West Show in Oklahoma City and group shows with several galleries. He worked with conservation groups including Trout Unlimited, The Ruffed Grouse Society, The National Quail Federation, Ducks Unlimited, and The Cutting Horse Association.
One of his greatest joys was that his painting enabled Marilyn and him to travel together while researching subjects and photographing clients.
“Bob was modest, genuine, and generous of spirit. He was well-liked, had a great sense of humor and light in his eyes,” his family said. His hobbies included skeet shooting, hunting, photography, flying with his pilot friends, and enjoying the beautiful New England countryside.
In addition to his wife, he leaves a son, Robert Abbett of Kailua, Hawaii, a daughter, Linda Abbett of Bridgewater, a granddaughter, Amelia Lawton of Virginia, a great-grandson, two nephews, and four nieces. He was cherished by his family.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Bridgewater Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 9, Bridgewater, CT 06752.