Dr. Billy Abel

Died: Sun., Oct. 8, 2017


9:00 AM to 10:00 AM, Tue., Oct. 10, 2017
Location: Franklin United Methodist Community

Funeral Service

10:00 AM Tue., Oct. 10, 2017
Location: Franklin United Methodist Community

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Dr. Billy L. Abel, 96, of Franklin, died Sunday, October 8, 2017. He was born September 25, 1921 to Lester N. and Katherine E. Abel in Whiteland, Indiana. Billy lived in the following towns in his youth: Acton, Switz City, Whitcomb, Westport, Milton, and Vincennes, where he played on a very successful 1939 Alice’s team.

He served in the Army Air Force in World War II, serving at Buckingham Air Base, Fort Myers, Florida and Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas.  Upon discharge, he continued his education at Franklin College and the University of Louisville, M.Ed. He taught and coached at Pekin, Paoli, and Charlestown high schools.

Bill’s whole life focused around education and the development of young people.  He received his Doctorate in Education from IU in 1970.  As Associate Professor of Secondary Education, he was a mentor to many secondary school principals and administrators. He served as Associate Director of the North Central Association in which he led accreditations of Indiana high schools and overseas armed forces high schools. He also was a lay preacher, and an active member in the Methodist Church.  

He was a Principal at Attica, Plainfield, Ben Davis, and Bedford High Schools before becoming an associate professor at IU.  He taught at IU-Bloomington and IUPUI until retirement.
He and his wife lived in Herndon, Virginia before he moved back to Indiana after her passing. During his 14 years in Virginia, he was a member of the Floris United Methodist Church where he was active in the morning Bible study.

Bill was a 33rd degree Mason.

Above all, Bill dearly loved his family and the time he spent with them. 
Bill is survived by his children and their spouses, Bill and Mary Lake Abel and Kate and Bill Plummer; his grandchildren, Matthew (Janinne) Abel, Elizabeth (Jared) Kassebaum, Laura (Chris) Meinzen, Joseph Plummer and Susan Plummer; his great-grandchildren, Ayden Collins, William and James Abel; Rebekah, Alice, and MaryBeth Kassebaum; Madeleine Meinzen; siblings, Russell Abel and Mary VanAllen and several nieces and nephews. 
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Dorothy L. “Dotty” Abel, an infant son, Phillip Abel and a sister, Vera Holmes. 
A memorial service was held Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at the Franklin United Methodist Community Chapel in Franklin.  Bill’s grandson, Rev. Matt Abel officiated. Burial was at Greenwood Cemetery. Singleton Community Mortuary and Memorial Center handled arrangements.

Share memories at:  http://www.singletonmortuary.com.

Donations in his memory may be made to Floris United Methodist Church, 13600 Frying Pan Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171.

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Dick & Joyce Bender
   Posted Tue October 10, 2017
We remember Billy fondly as a loyal member of Southport UMC and his quiet leadership of strong faith. He will be sorely missed by many.

Bobbi Amick, LPN
   Posted Thu October 12, 2017
I am sorry for your loss, Billy was a friend/client were i work. It was always a pleasure to help himand listen to his stories. I will deeply miss his smile and the conversations that we had. Fly high my friend, enjoy the ride.
Bobbi Amick, LPN
Franklin United Methodist Community

Shirley Tanksley
   Posted Fri October 13, 2017
Sorry I was out of state and unable to attend the services. As one of his students at IU, I greatly admired him, and also enjoyed working with him at Southport UMC. He was a biblical scholar and I have no doubt where he is today. He will be missed by many.

Kathy Haynes Guiliani
   Posted Thu October 19, 2017
I had Dr. Abel many years ago for a class in school administration at IUPUI. He was the type of person who was respected for his knowledge and experience, as well as for his quiet dignity. What I remember most about him was his kindness. I am so sorry for your loss.

Dave Welsh
   Posted Fri October 20, 2017
My sincere condolences to the entire Abel family. From the time I first joined Floris UMC’s Saturday Men’s Bible Study, Bill Abel has been a terrific role model to me and the other members of what a Christian man should be. As I got to know Bill over the years, he also became a friend and confidant. On the rare occasions when John Lauderdale was out of town, I looked forward to the opportunity to pick Bill up for Bible Study for the chance to hear his stories and his life lessons. I will always cherish those times and the lessons about life I heard from Bill. I know that he certainly loved all of his family, and certainly cherished the memory of his beloved Wife Dottie. I remember him frequently mentioning that he looked forward to taking Dottie out on a date when he got to heaven — I imagine they are on that date right now! God bless you Bill — and I look forward to chatting with you again when I end my time on this planet.

Dave Welsh

Paul Steidler
   Posted Wed October 25, 2017
It is very challenging to adequately put into the words how great a man Bill Abel was. I will always remember him as being strong, kind, loving, opinionated for principled and well-thought out reasons, and graceful. He was tough and yet patient during times he suffered immense physical pain. He was graceful during a tumultuous storm of his life, the storm of old age, and a long lasting one at that.

Bill talked about the importance of love as the center of Christianity over and over and over and over. And then he talked about it again and again. He had a glow whenever he spoke of Dottie, and tremendous pride, in the healthy sense, about his family.

It meant a great deal to me whenever Bill said he was praying for me and my boys, especially shortly after my divorce. It was genuine. It was caring, and came from the heart. He always seemed to have a sixth sense about when I needed to hear a kind and/or wise word, and what to say.

Bill has given me, and all the men of the Saturday Morning Men’s Bible Study group that are accepted it, a great gift – a vision, an example of what living a good Christian life will mean when you get to your senior years.

Bill was a great man who lived a highly decent, honorable life. I will miss him and take comfort that he is in heaven.

My condolences, prayers and best wishes that all in his family may have peace and comfort at this difficult time.

Ben Davis High School
   Posted Thu March 01, 2018
On behalf of all of us at Ben Davis, our condolences to the family of Dr. Abel. What a life lived.

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