Charles Abbott Sr.


Posted: Friday, July 14, 2006

Juneau resident Charles Abbott Sr., K'ei xoots ki', 75, died July 7, 2006, in Anchorage, from failure to recover from hip surgery.

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He was born Sept. 7, 1930, to the late Lilly Klanott Abbott Nigh and John Allen Abbott in Haines. His Raven kinsmen were his father's people, Gaanaxteidi (Raven/Frog); grandfather's people, Lukaax.adi (Raven/Sockeye); mother's grandfather's people, Takdeintaan (Raven/Snail); and grandmother's father's people, Kiks.adi (Raven/Frog). Others are Neisheetaan (Raven/Beaver), L'eeneidi (Raven/Dog Salmon) and L'uknax.adi (Raven/Coho).

As a youngster, he attended the Native school in Haines, where he was introduced to carving at age 12. Later, he worked as a commercial fisherman in Haines and as a siener with his uncle, Joe White, of Hoonah.

Family members said he was skilled at drywall installation and taping, and painting, a trade he learned from his step father, William Nigh. He worked for Bill Copenhaven, "Big Daddy," a painting contractor and owner of the Jewel Box. He was the painting crew boss for the tank farm in Haines when it was built.

He and his wife worked for Juneau Cold Storage. "Together they worked long hours and never missed a day," said family members. They both retired from the Cold Storage after 11 years of service.

After his retirement, he became active in carving again and enrolled in numerous classes at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau and the Totem Heritage Center in Ketchikan. He produced many carving pieces - such as masks, rattles, spoons, bowls and hats - along with his brother-in-law, Ray Watkins. His works can be found at the Raven's Journey gallery and on permanent display at Goldbelt Corp. and Sealaska Corp., in Juneau.

He participated in seasonal subsistence activities. He and his wife spent part of each summer at their fish camp in Klukwan, where they put up salmon and other foods for winter. Family members said, "They were known for producing the best dry fish around."

"The Tlingit Eagle Thunderbird sun child has gone home," said family members.

He is survived by his wife, Anna Abbott; brothers, George and Tom Abbott; sisters, Helen Abbott Watkins and Clara Madsen; children, Charles Jr., Connie, Kathy, Marlene, Joyce, Donald, Phillip and Allen Abbott; numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren and step children; and numerous tribal kinship, including his aunt, Anna Katzeek, cousin, tribal leader David Katzeek, and Ozzie Sheakley and Anita Lafferty.

A service will be held at 11 a.m. July 15 at Northern Lights Church, 400 11th St., in Juneau.

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