On August 4th, Dr. James Hayden Abbott, 77, of Leawood, KS passed away peacefully surrounded by his family and loved ones. Born in Overland Park, KS in 1936, he was the youngest of four children to the late Clarence Abbott and Marguerite Abbott, and graduated from Olathe High School in 1954.
He earned a BS in Biology in 1958 at Kansas State University. He graduated from UMKC School of Dentistry in 1962, completed a 2-year residency in Orthodontics and practiced in Prairie Village until he retired in 1997.
He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1962, as a dental officer, served his active duty in Tripoli, Libya, then joined the USAF reserves until he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1990.
Hayden found success all throughout his life. As an athlete, he started on a Big 7 conference champion and final four basketball team playing under Hall of Fame coach, Tex Winter; he was a club and league champion tennis player competing in local, regional and national tournaments and he became a low-digit handicap golfer. He enjoyed a successful career in Orthodontics creating beautiful smiles, taking great pride in his work and as a respected member of the dental community. And it was his talent and skill working with his hands that allowed him to find passion in art and sculpture in retirement.
But for all his successes in life, it was his pride, dedication and love for his family, friends and country that will be his legacy. While he was particularly proud of his service in the USAF Reserves, his greatest achievement was as a devoted husband and father. Calling her his ‘bride’, his wife Dottie was the love of his life followed closely by his daughters and grandchildren. He will be missed by his friends in the USTA, Heritage Golf staff and the local ‘Worthless Men’s Luncheon Group’. Hayden was a gentle-man in every sense of the word: thoughtful, sensitive, devoted and cheerful. He always went the extra mile to give a hug, pay a compliment and say thank you.
He is survived by his wife, Dottie, of 47 years, and two daughters: Michelle Griffith (Steve) of Leawood, KS and two granddaughters Claire and Ally; and Nicole Spachman (Matt) of Kansas City, MO and two grandsons Ian and Hayden; Sister Jane Kinell of Overland Park, KS, brothers Richard Abbott of Shelby Township, MI and Robert Abbott of Baxter Springs, KS as well as many loving nieces, nephews and friends.
A visitation will be held at 10am followed by a funeral mass at 11am Thursday, August 8th at Cure of Ars Catholic Church 9360 Mission Road, Leawood, KS. A celebration of life will follow.
The family would like to thank the unfailing compassion and dedication of the doctors and nurses at The University of Kansas Cancer Center and The University of Kansas Hospital, Unit 42. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the KSU Foundation-Men’s Basketball Fund, 2323 Anderson Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502 or Midwest Biomedical Research Foundation for cancer research. For more information on his life, see: www.signaturefunerals.com
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