Fern Abbott

1931 – Aug. 3, 2017

Fern Abbott, passed away in her sleep on Aug. 3, in St. George.

Born in 1931 in Roosevelt, Fern enjoyed a close relationship with her father and grandfather who inspired a deep love of reading from an early age. As a teen, Fern shared her passion by tutoring struggling primary grade readers, and was encouraged by family, friends, and teachers to pursue a career in education. With the award of a community scholarship, Fern enrolled in the MacKay School of Education at BYU in 1949, and received her degree from Fresno State University in 1961, graduating summa cum laude.

Throughout her 28-year career, Fern touched the lives of hundreds of young learners. She held teaching credentials in Utah, California and Texas, and in 1975, was honored as Teacher of the Year at Bammel Elementary in Spring, Texas for the reading intervention program she implemented for incoming 1st grade students.

Fern traveled extensively in support of her husband’s work as an exploration geologist. She successfully balanced the challenges of career, family, and the logistics of multiple moves with the opportunity to experience the culture of the countries she visited. After retiring and settling in Washington, Utah, Fern enjoyed entertaining friends and family while still making time for a service-oriented mission in Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

Fern loved challenging crosswords, sweet treats, doll collecting, and visiting the hair salon each week.

She is survived by her husband, Ward; children Anita Jean Abbott (Mike) Edwards of Port Townsend, Washington and Anjalie Rae Abbott (Lee) Gilby of Euless, Texas; grandchildren Eric Edwards (Kent) and Lauren Nicole Gilby (Euless).

Memorial gifts may be made to the Washington County Library.

Funeral services

  • Funeral services will be Tuesday, August 8, at 10 a.m. in the Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff Street, St. George.
  • Visitation will be from 9- 10 a.m. prior to services.
  • Interment will be at the Washington City Cemetery.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Spilsbury Mortuary, 435-673-2454.

For condolences, full obituary, and funeral listings please visit Spilsbury Mortuary online.

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