Owen Brent Abbey

03/20/1932 — 01/22/2014

From Richland, WA, USA | Born in Cimarron, KS

Owen Brent Abbey

Owen B. Abbey died at the age of 81 on January 22, 2014 in Richland, Washington. Owen lived a full life and will be fondly remembered by all.

Owen Brent Abbey was born on March 20, 1932, in Cimarron, Kansas to Norman J. and Thula R. Sharp Abbey. He spent his younger years in Dodge City, Kansa, where he graduated from high School. He left Dodge City when he joined the U.S. navy in 1950 and served on the USS Prairie AD-15, a 530 foot destroyer tender during the Korean War. Owen was honorably discharged in 1953. After returning from the navy to Dodge City, he courted Nevada Lois Page in his 1952 Jaguar XK120 and was clearly very proud of both. Owen enjoyed motorcycling with the local Harley and Indian Motorcycle Club and helped build a dirt racetrack, complete with a control tower. His early interests in mechanical hobbies and his experience of Consolidated Vultee Corporation which later was renamed the Convair Division, after being purchased by General Dynamics. Owen then chose to live in San Diego, where he and Lois were married in Ocean Beach in a small church that Owen and several other sailors actually helped build while in the navy. They soon settled in Pacific Beach and had two daughters who were both born in Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, CA. Their oldest daughter, Melody, was born in 1956 and their second daughter, Monica, was born in 1957.

During the tome at Convair, Owen was involved in the F102 and F106 fighter aircraft, the B58 bomber, and the commercial passenger jet, the Convair 880. In 1960 he transferred the Convair Astronautics Division and worked with the Atlas ICBM Missile Program. With the Atlas program, Owen helped establish an optical tooling program and helped install nine launch sites around Topeka, Kansas. Owen and Lois eventually moved to Vandenberg Air Force Base and bought a house in Lompoc, CA. Suring those years, he worked with the optical needs of 18 missile launches. With Atlas winding program winding sown in 1965, he worked temporarily with the oil industry under Philips Oil Company on offshore oilrigs and then received an offer from Pacific Northwest Laboratories in Richland, WA. At the Pacific Northwest Laboratories PNL, Owen worked in the Atmospheric Sciences Department on numerous programs until he retired in 1994. With such strong work ethic, Owen was not one to stay idle at home and soon began working part time for Hiline Engineering of Richland, WA. His quality of work was much appreciated at Hiline where he worked for many more years until finally retiring from the workforce for good.

During his 29 year career at PNL, he worked on Project Mountain Iron, a tracer and diffusion study at his old base in Vandenberg, CA. This was a study to determine the direction and concentrations of plumes emanating from missile and rocket launches. On Project Plow Share, the use of nuclear devices for construction, Owen was involved in instrumentation to study the downwind plumes if "construction" explosions from 1.1 to 105 kilotons, blasts that could move 12 million tons of dirt at time. In 1969 he was involved with the study of meteorological conditions and their effects on VSTOL aircraft using a series of towers to obtain measurements, a study funded by Power Administration to determine the end uses of electricity in 1100 homes and businesses across the Norwest and he had a perfect record for field site maintenance visits.

Throughout his distinguished career, Owen applied skills and knowledge to every project on which he worked. Those who knew him well were delighted to have him on their team. Scientists and engineers at PNL were always keen to recruit Owen to their projects, knowing that his work would be done correctly. His work was completed with the highest degree or quality and was always on time and under budget. Owen was always humble about his contributions, but his work has long lasting impacts on countless projects across a broad spectrum from nuclear power, atmospheric studied, wind energy, and other scientific research activities. At home he was an accomplished hobbyist, building his own cabinets, wet bar and a grandfather clock, just a name a few. Owen loved a challenge. After having built a spinning wheel, for example, he used a dead cherry tree for the lumber to hand build yet another working spinning wheel. In a spare bedroom, Owen built a museum quality scale model of a house that he rented on Topeka, complete with working windows, doors, lights, and furnishings, all from memory and a photograph. Owen was always a "can do" person. If he said he could, he would. He will be remembered for gracious hospitality, characteristic smile, and his delightful chuckle.

Owen has three brothers, Carol G. Abbey deceased, Dodge City, KS; Gerald D. Abbey Albuquerque, NM and Thayne A. Abbey Dodge City, KS. Owen and Lois Abbey recently celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary. Owen is survived by his two daughters, Melody Dawn House and her husband Darrell House; daughter, Monica Delight Harper and her husband Rick Harper. He is also survived his five grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren all of whom are a tribute to a man who was a loving father, grandfather and husband.

He will be buried in Dodge City, Kansas, completing his circle of life. He will be greatly missed by his wife, Lois, and all his friends and family.

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Owen Brent Abbey

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  • Owen was the go-to man when it came to electronics, mechanics, and woodworking. He always stayed busy even when he was not working, but never too busy to help another. Always whistling, humming, or maybe even knitting.

    It was a privilege to have known Owen and he will be sorely missed.

    My heart goes out to you Lois and your family.

    Roger Schreck
    November 4, 2014
    Benton, City, WA
  • Dear Lois and Family – My thoughts are with all of you, and you know I will always be here for you.

    Owen was a remarkable man, a loving husband, father and grandfather, a great co-worker and wonderful friend.

    I will forever remember the last “cocktail” he motioned to me to have. It was the sweetest gesture ever, and showed that even at the end he was thinking of others.

    Love always,

    Dana

    Dana Hoitink
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA
  • You will be very missed by all your family grandpa. It’s inspiring to know that you lived the life you wanted to live with percidance and joy. See you soon :

    Shawn harper
    November 4, 2014
    Kennewick, WA, USA
  • sorry I didnt know your daddy Monica. I know u loved him very much and did all you could to comfort him. take care see you soon. hugs..always Karen

    Karen Hopfinger Mosset
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, USA
  • Monica & Family,

    Our thoughts & prayers go out to all of you during this sad time. He was a wonderful man & know he will be missed by many. Though he is gone he will be forever in your hearts.

    Love & prayers,

    Fred & Eileen

    Fred & Eileen
    November 4, 2014
    Sedro-Woolley, WA
  • Lois: So sorry to hear about Owen’s passing. He was a very remarkable person and we shared many wonderful times working together on projects at PNNL. His smile and laugh was an inspiration to many of us.

    Bill Sandusky
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, USA
  • So Sorry, Lois and family. Abbey was truly one of a kind. My parents had many stories that will always endure.

    If there were more people like Owen Abbey around, the world would be a better place.

    Ted Myers
    November 4, 2014
    WA
  • My condolences to the House family. It’s been a rough few years for Abbey but just remember that he is in a better place with no more pain. He will be missed and your whole family is still in my prayers. Love you guys!

    Kevin maidhoff
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, USA
  • Lois, I am so sorry for your loss.

    I was sure blessed to have worked with him. He always brought a good perspective to the projects he worked on. God be with you and comfort you at this time. Tim

    Tim Armstrong
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, United, States
  • It was an honor and privilege to work with Owen in the Atmospheric Sciences group. He was a great example to all and a pillar of the group. My condolences to Lois and family.

    Rodger Woodruff
    November 4, 2014
    Richalnd, WA
  • Lois and family, It has been wonderful knowing Owen and you since 1967. As families and friends, we’ve shared many good times,laughs, celebrations, barbeques and uncountable times of support going thru life’s experiences. Owen kept us all real and honest. I can’t name all his virtues but he made lives better wherever he went. You are the same and all of my family send love, prayers and comfort in the days ahead. May Heavens angel wings hold you up and keep you smiling as you remember those wonderful years with such a great man. He leaves a footprint bigger than most and a better world. I’m here when you need a shoulder.

    Ruth Nelson
    November 4, 2014
    Bonners, Ferry, ID, USA
  • Owen was the go-to man when it came to electronics, mechanics, and woodworking. He always stayed busy even when he was not working, but never too busy to help another. Always whistling, humming, or maybe even knitting.

    It was a privilege to have known Owen and he will be sorely missed.

    My heart goes out to you Lois and your family.

    Roger Schreck
    November 4, 2014
    Benton, City, WA
  • Dear Lois and Family – My thoughts are with all of you, and you know I will always be here for you.

    Owen was a remarkable man, a loving husband, father and grandfather, a great co-worker and wonderful friend.

    I will forever remember the last “cocktail” he motioned to me to have. It was the sweetest gesture ever, and showed that even at the end he was thinking of others.

    Love always,

    Dana

    Dana Hoitink
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA
  • You will be very missed by all your family grandpa. It’s inspiring to know that you lived the life you wanted to live with percidance and joy. See you soon :

    Shawn harper
    November 4, 2014
    Kennewick, WA, USA
  • sorry I didnt know your daddy Monica. I know u loved him very much and did all you could to comfort him. take care see you soon. hugs..always Karen

    Karen Hopfinger Mosset
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, USA
  • Monica & Family,

    Our thoughts & prayers go out to all of you during this sad time. He was a wonderful man & know he will be missed by many. Though he is gone he will be forever in your hearts.

    Love & prayers,

    Fred & Eileen

    Fred & Eileen
    November 4, 2014
    Sedro-Woolley, WA
  • Lois: So sorry to hear about Owen’s passing. He was a very remarkable person and we shared many wonderful times working together on projects at PNNL. His smile and laugh was an inspiration to many of us.

    Bill Sandusky
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, USA
  • So Sorry, Lois and family. Abbey was truly one of a kind. My parents had many stories that will always endure.

    If there were more people like Owen Abbey around, the world would be a better place.

    Ted Myers
    November 4, 2014
    WA
  • My condolences to the House family. It’s been a rough few years for Abbey but just remember that he is in a better place with no more pain. He will be missed and your whole family is still in my prayers. Love you guys!

    Kevin maidhoff
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, USA
  • Lois, I am so sorry for your loss.

    I was sure blessed to have worked with him. He always brought a good perspective to the projects he worked on. God be with you and comfort you at this time. Tim

    Tim Armstrong
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, United, States
  • It was an honor and privilege to work with Owen in the Atmospheric Sciences group. He was a great example to all and a pillar of the group. My condolences to Lois and family.

    Rodger Woodruff
    November 4, 2014
    Richalnd, WA
  • Lois and family, It has been wonderful knowing Owen and you since 1967. As families and friends, we’ve shared many good times,laughs, celebrations, barbeques and uncountable times of support going thru life’s experiences. Owen kept us all real and honest. I can’t name all his virtues but he made lives better wherever he went. You are the same and all of my family send love, prayers and comfort in the days ahead. May Heavens angel wings hold you up and keep you smiling as you remember those wonderful years with such a great man. He leaves a footprint bigger than most and a better world. I’m here when you need a shoulder.

    Ruth Nelson
    November 4, 2014
    Bonners, Ferry, ID, USA
  • I worked with Owen for several years early in my career at PNNL. I thoroughly enjoyed working with him. I remember him for his mentoring, his stories, and his gentle manner.

    Michael Kanyid
    November 4, 2014
    West, Richland, WA, USA
  • Lois and family,

    Randy and I were saddened to hear of Owen’s passing while we were vacationing in Central America. Owen was one of the “bright spots” at work and we both always enjoyed working with him and appreciated his wry wit and dry sense of humor. He will be missed.

    Janelle Downs
    November 4, 2014
    Benton, City, WA, US