James Alvie Abell passed away peacefully at his home in New Smyrna Beach, Florida on November 6, 2022.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann Abell; his two children, Jeffrey Abell of Baltimore, MD; and Lisa Gross of Dallas TX; a son-in-law, Chad Gross and granddaughter Regan Gross of Dallas, TX; his sister, Judith Ramage and brother-in-law, Dr. Thomas Ramage of Roswell, NM and four nephews Kyle, Kevin, Kegan and Khory Ramage; sister-in-law Carla Abell of Brookport, IL and two nieces Lorie Walters and Shanna Looney.
Jim was born August 28, 1936, in Brookport, IL to his parents Lymon and Nadine Abell. He was raised in Burna, KY, and graduated from Salem High School where he was an accomplished athlete in both basketball and baseball. After graduating, Jim met the love of his life, Mary Ann Owens. The couple married shortly before he joined the U.S. Army where he was stationed in New Orleans.
Following his honorable discharge, Jim returned to his Kentucky roots where he opened a store selling and repairing appliances in Paducah, KY. Customers valued his hard work and quick wit and the local repair business quickly expanded into a much larger business. Jim eventually opened VASCO, an industrial equipment and supply company that supplied universities and hospitals across Kentucky and surrounding states.
When he wasn’t working, he was golfing, fishing or playing cards, but it was his time at Keeneland Race Course, in Lexington, Ky where he developed a passion for horses. At a claiming race, Jim and two friends, Wilkie Austin and Tom Allen purchased a thoroughbred and used the initials of the new owners to name the horse “Tajawa”. The horse would later make history running in the Preakness Stakes in 1985 ridden by the first female jockey ever to ride in the race.
Jim and Mary Ann would later retire in Florida where Jim would spend his days golfing, fishing, and cheering the Kentucky Wildcats and the Tampa Bay Rays. He was a member of the Coronado Community United Methodist Church in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
Jim is preceded in death by his parents, Lymon and Nadine Abell, and his brother Jerry Abell of Brookport, IL. A service will be held at Coronado Community United Methodist Church, 201 South Peninsula Avenue, New Smyrna Beach, FL on Monday, November 28 at 1:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to Coronado Community United Methodist Church, 201 South Peninsula Avenue, New Smyrna Beach, Fl 32168.
201 South Peninsula Avenue, New Smyrna Beach, Florida 32169