John Abel, 91, of Scottsbluff passed away on Sunday, November 19th at the Western Nebraska Veteran’s Home. A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at Salem Congregational Church. Pastor Dale Brown will be officiating. Cremation has taken place and inurnment will happen at a future date with only the immediate family participating. Jolliffe Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established to Salem Congregational Church. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.jolliffefuneralhome.com.
John was born January 14, 1926 in Mitchell, Nebraska to John and Amelia (Sieb) Abel. He attended Trail grade school through the 8th grade and then graduated from Mitchell High School in May of 1944. John participated in sports and exceled in basketball; his team attended the state tournament when he was only a freshman. John was also class President his senior year. Upon graduation, John farmed a year before entering the service in April of 1945. He initially served in the Army and then during his tour of duty in Japan was re-assigned to the Air Force.
After returning home, he began farming with his Dad in Mitchell Valley and then moved north of Scottsbluff to farm some land owned by his Dad. John married Lorraine Pester on February 13, 1955. They farmed in Mitchell Valley three years until they purchased a farm south of Gering where they proceeded to farm for 39 years. During this time he fed cattle until 1975. John was also a High Ten Sugar Producer for 14 years.
In his small amount of spare time, John loved playing golf, bowling and pitching horse shoes. In 1977, he won the State of Nebraska horse-shoe pitching tournament in his class level. John had a very competitive spirit and combined with his talent, he was able to bring home many, many trophies throughout the years. A short time after retirement, he and Lorraine moved to Leisure Living in Scottsbluff. John had been a member of Salem Congregational Church since 1945. John was a life time member of the Elks Club and also a member of the VFW for many years.
Survivors include his son, Dr. James (Sandra) Abel of Elkhorn, NE; his daughter, Elizabeth Abel (Mike Beacom) of Frisco, TX; and grandchildren, Caleb and Amelia Abel. Other survivors include a brother, Harold (Pat) Abel; sisters-in-law, Frances Abel, Charlene (Glenn) Speer and Dorothy (Lon) Nichols; and brothers-in-law, Bill Henderson and Alex Pester, all of Scottsbluff.
John was preceded in death by his wife, Lorraine; brothers, Albert (Molly) Abel, Leonard Abel and Robert Abel; and sisters, Kathryn (John) Johannes, Irene (Loren) Mueller, and Lenore Henderson.