Richard Michael Abbott, commonly known as Dick Abbott to friends and associates and as Bubba to his grandchildren, peacefully passed away on the morning of Wed. Dec. 2, 2020. He had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. Dick is survived by his loving wife and soulmate Lois, son Steven (Je), daughter Lori (John) and grandchildren Steven, Landon, Michael, Kristen, and sister in law Patricia (Wayne), and numerous nieces and nephews. Dick had an amazing life. He was born on July 12, 1935 to Lillian and Gordon Abbott and was raised with two sisters and one brother. He moved with his family to New Westminster at the age of 6 and it was there that he grew up. Close friends growing up included Harry Nelson and later, Steve Onderko. When he went to New Westminster Junior High School, he developed a passion for music that would last a lifetime, and learned to play the alto sax, clarinet and flute. Stan Kenton was his idol. It was here in junior high school that he was awarded the Good Citizenship Column, having been selected out of 1500 students citywide, and won the boys trophy for the New Westminster Inter-High Fall Track Meet Championship. It was also at age 16 when he started working at CKNW in the music library. He attended the Duke of Connaught High School where he excelled in sports, particularly basketball, and played on the team coached by the legendary Ken “Hooker” Wright that won the BC Provincials 3 years in a row. It was at these Provincials wherein 1952 Dick was chosen as a 2nd team BC Allstar and in 1953 as a 1st team BC Allstar. He played on the team in 1951 when the Dukes won the Western Canadian High School Basketball Championship, and in 1952 got to play against a California team featuring future NBA star and Hall of Famer, Bill Russell. Dick also excelled at senior men’s softball (fastpitch) as a pitcher, catcher and outfielder. It was common for him to pitch a 2-3 hit game.
In 1954, Dick took a year of Arts at UBC and then went to Westlake College of Music in Los Angeles to study music for a year. Close friends also from New Westminster included Arnie Chycoski and Ray Sikora. Upon returning to New Westminster, Richard, who had seen Lois before at rival high school Trap Tech, saw her walking home one evening and offered her a ride. Hence the love story began. 3 months later they were engaged and married on Dec. 14, 1956. Having returned to work at CKNW, Dick began his career in radio and as a recording engineer. He started recording jingles and commercials and it was not long before he became Production Manager. He made many great friends at CKNW such as Bill Hughes, Erm Fiorillo, David Hoole, Jack Cullen, Norm Grohman, Hal Davis, Tony Antonius, Pat McPherson, Paul Preston, Mel Cooper and Frank Griffiths. He went on to work at The Spot Shop with David Hoole and then spent many years at Little Mountain Sound Recording Studio where he also made many close friends such as Miles Ramsay, Corlyn Ramsay, Brian Griffiths, Brian “Hoot” Gibson, Howie Vickberg, Ted Bishop, Peter Clarke, Murray Price, Bob Rock, Mike Fraser, Ron Obvious, Pat Glover, Chris Taylor, Agnes Winlaw, Marcel Duperreault and the list goes on. He enjoyed working with many talented actors, announcers and singers such as Jim Conrad, Bill Reiter, Raymond Burr, Jack Palance, Martin Sheen, David Foster, Gene Hackman, Phil Hayes, Joanie Taylor and Nancy Nash. Again, the list goes on. He then went on to start up Dick and Rogers with Roger Monk where he also worked with Todd Araki, and from where he finally retired. He was considered by many in the recording industry to be the best recording engineer in his field in North America.
But Dick’s first love was his family, to whom he was completely devoted. He was an incredible father to Steven and Lori, attending every milestone in their lives as well as spending countless hours with them, coaching hockey, lacrosse and softball and just hanging out. He was their hero and best friend. He was also a devoted and loving grandfather and enjoyed spending time with his grandkids. He was the patriarch of the family, the pillar of strength and wisdom, always there when they needed him and was their soft place to fall. In his latter years, Dick enjoyed reading, learning about WW2 history, writing music, taking piano lessons with longtime friend Lloyd Abrams, and working on model airplanes. He also enjoyed contributing to a historical museum for radio and loved playing in the New Westminster and District Concert Band with Fred and Kerry Turner and John White.
No words can describe what a huge loss losing Richard is for his family. But, as he himself said only three weeks ago, “I’ve had a great life.” And to quote what a wise woman once said of him, “they don’t come any better than Dick Abbott.”
Many heartfelt thanks go out to Dr. James Scott, Dr. Ian Fleetwood, Dr. Wayne Shtybel and the nursing staff of 6 South at Victoria General Hospital for their care of Dick during his last hospital admission.
A Funeral Service for Dick will be held on Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 2 PM for invited guests to attend in person. All others are invited to join us virtually using the following link:
Please enable your video if possible so that family in attendance can see you and feel your support.
Condolences may also be offered to the family below.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Richard Michael Abbott July 12 1935 – December 2 2020..
Death notice for the town of: Victoria, Province: Colombie britanique