Charles H. Abbott ’57, a well-respected Maine attorney, died on June 12, 2009, in Scarborough, Maine after a four-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
He was born on October 26, 1935, in Rumford, Maine, and graduated from Stephens High School. He attended Bowdoin College on a State of Maine Scholarship, was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and graduated cum laude, then graduated from Yale Law School in 1963. A first lieutenant in the Amy, he served from 1958 to 1960 as a special agent in the United States Counterintelligence Corps (CIC), the predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency, where he was responsible for the security of dignitaries such as former presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Harry S. Truman, Fidel Castro and Nikita Khrushchev. He worked as a financial analyst at Dunn & Bradstreet Inc. before entering law school in 1960. After graduation, he became a partner in the Auburn-based firm Skelton, Taintor & Abbott, and eventually became chairman of the board. A testament to his reputation as a lawyer, Maine leaders sought his counsel for decades. He was a member of the Governor’s Executive Council, and for 10 years served on the Maine Board of Executive Clemency. He was appointed by President Carter to the United States Judge Selection Commission for the First Circuit, and in the 1970s, he served on the Civil Rules and Criminal Rules Committees of the Supreme Judicial Court and the Supreme Court Liaison Committee between the Bench and Bar. He also served as assistant county attorney, president of the Androscoggin County Bar Association, a member of the Charter Revision Commission and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. From1970 to 1975, he served on the board of directors of Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Inc. In 1988, he became a member of the board of directors for Central Maine Power Company, serving as vice chairman for two years. He also served five years on the board of directors of Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff, Co., in York, Pa. Over the years, he was a trustee for the Auburn chapter of the Red Cross, the Portland Symphony Orchestra and the Theater at Monmouth. He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Mary Holt Abbott; two sons, Woods Abbott and Edward Abbott; a daughter, Ann Abbott Wendler; a stepdaughter, Jody Myers; a stepson, Darren Myers; two brothers, Walter Abbott and Wilder “Kim” Abbott; five grandchildren; and three step- grandchildren. At the time of his death, he had three grandchildren on the way.