In Memory


Lester Abbey

This was relayed to me from Lester's sister, Dierdre Abbey Hagstrom. Thanks to Jim Ekins (SHS 71) for making the connection. 

Hi Rob, My brother, Lester Abbey, attended the class of '70 most recent reunion (40 yr). He was to graduate in 1970, but he entered the University of Utah at the age of 16. He started an international telemetry business in New Zealand. He was also a writer of battleship and destroyer books and a model ship builder, winning many awards for building miniature ships in bottles. He won the New Zealand Inventor of the Year award. This summer he was visiting our parents in California and accidentally drowned. Jim Ekins, my class president for '71, sent me your contact and an article off the internet about Zealand (see below) man-confirmed dead-in-possible-drowning Please relay this information to his classmates. Thank you, Deirdre Abbey Hagstrom 

Missing New Zealand Man Confirmed Dead in Possible Drowning



  • Lester Abbey

The Humboldt County Coroner's Office has confirmed that a body found near the Mad River Boat Ramp at 9:20 a.m. today was that of Lester Abbey, who went missing yesterday after leaving for an evening jog. Abbey's body was retrieved by a Coast Guard Helicopter.

The New Zealand man was visiting family in McKinleyville, and his former sister-in-law stated on social media that when he left to run the Hammond Trail at 4:30 p.m., his plan was to jog to the beach, then jump in the Mad River and swim back to his parents' home by Knox Cove. Abbey was fit for his 63 years. The website for his company, Abbey Systems, describes him as an avid cyclist and when his family initially raised the alarm about his disappearance they said he was in "good physical shape." 

Drowning claimed the lives of 12 people in Humboldt County last year, a seven-year high. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has warned that even strong and experienced swimmers can underestimate the strength and frigidity of local waters. The coroner has yet to confirm a cause of death for Abbey, but if confirmed, his would be the third drowning of 2016.

go to bottom 
  Post Comment

10/17/16 09:18 AM #1    

David Potter

Lester and I played in the school orchestra. He played the oboe. He was a good friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and family at this sad occasion.  "Lester ... I hope we will play in the great orchestra in the sky one day :)"

dave potter

10/17/16 09:49 AM #2    

Russ Brown

This news is indeed sad.  Lester was an exceptionally bright and likable classmate.  I remember that he, Albert Davies, Mike Fall and Gary Evershed all enrolled at the University of Utah after finishing their junior year at Skyline and skipped their senior year.

10/17/16 12:29 PM #3    

Holly Wilton (Williams)

This very sad and shocking news! Lester visited me at my home in Salt Lake in October, 2015.  He was vibrant and healthy! We had a long conversation about his life, family and business.  His humor was as dry as ever--and he assured me (again) that he was a true genius!

He also shared updates on our mutual friends and acquaintances.  His business was going well.   I was very impressed at his dedication and love for his wife and sons. He loved New Zealand.  

My my heart goes out to his family.  He will be missed.






10/18/16 09:39 AM #4    

Pamela Mills (Poulson Ravenberg)

I can't stop thinking about Lester. I was always awed by his intelligence, sense of humor, and general eccentricity. I remember him making his original plans to bicycle around New Zealand even in High School. I was on his periphery as an admirer, but worked for his father (Lester II) from whom I learned much about Lester (Lester III) and got to see him once in a while before he left for NZ. Just this spring I had wondered what had become of him and "googled" him. I found out about his successful electronics company and how he landed in NZ, where he was later named inventor of the year. So sad that such a vibrant and successful man could be gone. There is an empty place left im my heart. Prayers to his family!

go to top 
  Post Comment


Click here to see Lester's last Profile entry.