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Wendy Byers Abbott

April 13, 2012

Remembering Wendy

Wendy Byers Abbott, a woman of incredible joie de vivre, who selflessly shared her perpetually positive spirit every day of her life, passed away in peace Saturday, April 8, 2012, at her home in Newport Beach, where she had lived since 1973.   Born March 24, 1929, in Buffalo, NY, Wendy was an honors student throughout her secondary years, before attending Stephens College in Columbia, MO, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree.  Shortly thereafter, she earned her commercial pilot’s license in hopes of becoming this nation’s first female airline pilot.   However, that pioneering dream was interrupted when she met her husband-to-be, George Lansing Abbott.  They were married June 17, 1950, and had two sons, Michael and Steven, before moving to Arcadia, CA in 1956.  Tragically, both sons predeceased their parents.  Divorce followed in 1969.   At that time, Wendy reenergized her desire for travel, joining the famed Lindblad Travel Company as West Coast Manager of Sales, Marketing and Public Relations.    Over the next 30 years with Lindblad, she traveled to more than 150 countries across six continents – fulfilling her adventurous nature, although admittedly regrettably never at the controls of an airliner.   Upon retirement in 1998, Wendy became one of the pioneer Volunteers at the Newport Beach Police Department; she won the coveted Volunteer of the Year Award in 2004.  A lover of the cinema arts, Wendy volunteered as a screener for the Newport Beach Film Festival.   She maintained her outstanding conditioning by frequent ocean swims and as a member of the Master’s Swim group at Corona del Mar High School.  Wendy is survived by her sister, Barbara Matthews, 96, of Buffalo.    A memorial celebration will be held at the Lido Isle Clubhouse, Tuesday, April 17, 1 p.m., 701 Via Lido Soud, Lido Isle.

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