Abbott, Gale

Gale Abbott

Born: Gale Robert Abbott in Bradford, Pennsylvania on October 2, 1917

Passed: Jacksonville, FL on October 17, 2011


In 2009 here’s what Gale said about C123: “The few months with C123 were my favorite tour of duty, with such a great bunch of guys.”

In 1945 when the Marine division headed home, he did not have enough points to go along, and was sent to Okinawa. There, nary a building remained upright; it was a wasteland. Today, he reports, it is a thriving metropolis. After a year he too came home and was discharged in 1946.

He then managed his father’s business with his father. But he missed the Corps, so with help from the best man at his wedding, a Sgt Major at Quantico, he reenlisted and designated supply as his career choice. That is how he began his 30 years of service in the Corps. He served in several capacities at several duty stations – as a recruiter and as 1st Sgt of an infantry company. He had several tours overseas, Korea and Vietnam, and in the US. He retired at the rank of Sgt Major at Camp LeJeune in 1970.

He and his wife, Gail, have been married nearly 50 years and have traveled extensively throughout the USA, except for AK and RI, and Canada, except for Nova Scotia.


Gale Robert Abbott, age 94, passed away peacefully on October 17, with his wife of 69 years Gail and his daughter Nancy by his side.

Gale was born in Bradford, Pennsylvania, on October 2, 1917, the son of Frederick and Mabel (Bushley) Abbott. He graduated from Bradford High School in 1935. His boyhood experiences in Bradford colored the rest of his life, and he remained in contact with his boyhood "pals" throughout his life. Although he left Bradford in 1938, his early years in Bradford never left his heart.

Gale joined the U. S. Marine Corps in 1938, and he served honorably during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He was especially proud of his service in the Banana Fleet in 1939-1940, the 4th Marine Division during World War II, and in-country Vietnam from 1966-1967. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1970 as a Sergeant Major (E9).

In October 1941, he married Gail Kauffman, of Dallastown, Pennsylvania, starting a love affair that lasted over seven decades. Through good times and difficult times there never was a doubt of their abiding love for one another.

After they both retired from Civil Service in the early 80's, Gale and Gail traveled for many years in their motorhome and visited all of the United States and a great deal of Canada. They helped to found the Coastal Tarheels Travel Club of eastern North Carolina, and Gale served as a national board member of the Family Motor Coach Association. They had residences in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and Fort Myers, Florida, during those years.

Gale is survived by his beloved wife, Gail, and three children: Bob Abbott (spouse Belinda) of Jacksonville, Florida; Bill Abbott (spouse Claudia) of Swansboro, North Carolina, and his daughter Nancy Abbott of Falls Church, Virginia. Additionally, he has nine grandchildren who blessed him and Gail with 25 great-grandchildren.

Throughout his life, Gale had great passion for music and sports. He loved big band music and was an avid baseball and football fan. Perhaps his greatest passion, however, was corresponding with his family and friends. He was truly a letter-writing artist.

A Celebration of Life was held at Highlands Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, Florida, on October 22. Arrangements by National Cremation & Burial Society, Jacksonville, FL. Condolences may be made at in Jacksonville, Florida, on October 22, 2011.

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