Verla “Jean” Abbott, age 89 of Nixa, died April 20, 2023 at her home surrounded by loved ones. She was born on the family farm outside of Gage. Oklahoma on July 4, 1933 on what her mother said was the hottest day of that year. Her parents were Edna May (Dunihoo) and Luther Thompson.
Jean married M.P. Thompson, Jr., on July 9, 1950 in Arnett, Oklahoma. They moved frequently, finally settling in Marion County, Kansas where they raised their family until moving to Hillsboro, Kansas.
At the age of 52, Jean fulfilled a lifelong dream of becoming a nurse by going back to school to get her LPN license. She worked for G. George Ens in Hillsboro, Kansas for several years. Jean married Merlin Abbott in 1988. They had been schoolmates in Arnett, Oklahoma and reconnected after the passing of each of their first spouses in 1987.
Jean and Merlin lived in Waynesville, Missouri before moving to Nixa, Missouri, making it their retirement home. They enjoyed many years of traveling, staying at their lake house and boating on Table Rock Lake in Branson.
Jean also enjoyed the years she volunteered at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, and reading hundreds of books. She loved her family passionately as well as her many animals, especially her two dogs, Gidgett and Bella; and her cat, Rae Rae who preceded her in death.
Jean is survived by her children, Connie (Randy) Hanna, Kathy (Debi) Thompson, Valerie (Paul) Smith, Joanne (Bill) King, Angela (Scott) Dye, Matt (Willow) Abbott, 15 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
Jean was preceded in death by her first husband, M.P. Thompson, Jr., husband, Merlin D. Abbott, daughter, Vickie Lynn Regehr, and grandsons, Todd Allen Regerh and Jared Christopher Keasling.
Following Jean’s wishes, cremation rites will be accorded by Adams Crematory and she will be laid to to rest with Merlin at Missouri Veterans Cemetery, Springfield, with private family celebrations.