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Jimmy Fred Abbs
September 18, 1949 ~ June 30, 2023 (age 73) 73 Years Old
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Jimmy Fred Abbs, born September 18, 1949, in Missoula, Montana, passed away on Friday, June 30, 2023, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth, MN with loving family by his side when he left to be with Our Lord Jesus.
Jimmy served his country as a United States Marine and did his tour of duty in Vietnam. Shortly after his return he met and married Connie K. Lager on February 7, 1970, in Orange, CA. After his discharge from The Marine Corps on February 27, 1970, they relocated to Spokane, WA for their first 12 years of marriage. In 1982 a good friend needed help in relocating his family to Houston, TX. When Jimmy arrived in Houston, he felt his family would love it there. He called Connie, told her to give her notice at work, put the family home up for sale, pack up the house and move down, y’all will love Houston! They spent most of their lives living and working in the Houston area.
Jim was a professional carpenter, and started Abbs Construction in 1982 in Texas, building spec homes, custom stick frame homes, log homes, tilt-up construction for businesses, lake cabins and worked on bridges during his career. He was truly a genius when it came to his trade. Jim won many accolades and awards, including “Sub-Contractor Of The Year” several times from Houston Builders. He also built additions to many of Connie’s relatives’ homes. In his later years, he was the ‘go to’ guy for large construction companies for ‘punch out lists’ in both commercial and residential projects. He was truly a Jack of all trades and mastered many of them. Jim loved solving challenges in the building industry. The one thing you couldn’t do was tell him it couldn’t be done. Never bet against Jim, if it was possible, he would find the solution.
After early retirement in 2009 they bought a summer/fall home in Trego, WI and spent summers in Trego WI, and winters in Arizona and Texas.
Jimmy was a proud American, Marine, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. His love for family and friends and the gift to make everyone comfortable around him is unmeasurable. Children were drawn to him. There wasn’t a project too large that he wasn’t right there to help with. Jimmy was just as comfortable building a house as he was making homemade egg noodles. He was a man that you could depend on with a heart as big as Texas and he loved his Connie and family deeply. A good life lived and he will be missed terribly.
Jimmy was preceded in death by his grandparents, parents, adopted parents, stepsister Sylvia Hale and stepbrother Neil O’Bannan.
Jim is survived by his wife Connie and sons: Jamey Dale (Marcy) in Magnolia, TX and Jason David (Sheraly) in Eau Claire, WI.
Sisters: Bonna Rae Jones, Rialto, CA; Patricia (Yann) Remy in Morbihan, Brittany France; Frances (Paul) Manson, Missoula, MT; Brigitte Bigot, Rouen, France; and Beverly (Tom) Pickens, Mendon, Utah. Brothers: Roger Bigot, Rouen, France and Jon (Mona) O’Bannan Prescott, AZ.
Grandchildren: Christopher (Katie), College Station, TX; Chris (Terah), Fresno, TX; Kristen (Kyle), St. John, FL; Lindsey, Franklin, TX; James (Julia), Schulenburg, TX; and Kyle, Highlands, TX: Great grandchildren: Wyatt, Saylor, Kayden, and Rylee. In addition, many very special nieces, very special nephews and very dear Aunts and Uncles plus very dear friends.
In addition to his boys, Jim and Connie ‘adopted’ girls throughout their life together and were very important to Jim and Connie; Christe Sciandra Bell and Jackie Tripp Bridges and their families.
Jim’s left his very special companions: his beloved furry girls, Missy & Sissy have survived him. Ringo, Tanya and Tootsie-Bella preceded him in death, but he loved them the same as when they were alive.
Jim loved life, and was a coach for his boys baseball, football and soccer teams. He attended every game he could and loved to camp and hunt with his family. It’s been said by many he was truly ‘a man’s man’ and besides his love of family, tinkering, restoring and working on classic cars was his second passion in life. He will be deeply missed by his family and a multitude of friends. SEMPER Fi MARINE! Once a Marine, always a Marine was his life’s slogan.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date, both in Spooner, WI and Houston, TX.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to be made to the Wounded Warriors Project. Burial will be summer (2024) at the Calvary Spooner Cemetery in the family plot.