John Cushman Abbott ’43 died on January 3, 2005, in Lincolnshire, IL.
John Cushman Abbott ’43 died on January 3, 2005, in Lincolnshire, IL. Born on April 12, 1921, in Auburn, he prepared for college at Edward Little High School there and at Governor Dummer Academy in South Byfield, MA, and became a member of Theta Delta Chi Fraternity at the College. Following his graduation in January of 1943, he served during World War II, first in the U.S. Marine Corps and then in the U.S. Army Air Forces, attaining the rank of second lieutenant as a navigator. From 1946 to 1949 he was a graduate assistant at Syracuse University in New York, from which he received a master of arts degree in history. In 1950, he received a master of arts degree in library science from the University of Michigan, from which he received a doctor of philosophy degree in 1957. He was an intern at the Library of Congress in 1950-51 and remained there for four years, becoming head of the oriental exchange section. He was a librarian at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, from 1955 to 1960, when he became director of the Lovejoy Library at Southern Illinois University, where he coordinated the two residence- center libraries in Alton and East St. Louis. When the University acquired property for a new Edwardsville campus, he helped plan the new central library, which was named the Lovejoy Library. In 1971, the Southern Illinois University Library was decentralized, and he reported to the chancellor of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. In 1981, he became head of the library’s special collections. After retiring officially in 1986, he continued working on a part- time basis building regional research collections at the library. In 1987, he and a colleague received the Illinois State Historical Society’s Superior Achievement Award for translating, editing, and publishing of documents concerning the Swiss settlement of the Highland area. The title of the book that resulted from their research is entitled Journey to New Switzerland, one of five that he co- authored on the topic. He was married in 1945 to Frances Noon, who died in 1984, and is survived by three sons, John R. Abbott of Oak Park, IL, David F. Abbott of White Plains, NY, and Bryan C. Abbott of Winnetka, IL; a daughter, Mary Dana Abbott of Springfield, IL; a brother, Luther D. Abbott ’39 of Thomasville, NC; and 10 grandchildren.