Cover photo for John David Abel's Obituary
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1921 John 2023

John David Abel

July 31, 1921 — January 18, 2023



John David Abel passed away January 18, 2023, at his residence under hospice care.  He celebrated his 101st birthday July 31,2022.  He was the fourth of five children born to Claude Abel and Nettie Hartzell Abel. 

John was born, raised, and spent most of his life in Randolph County.  He graduated from Lynn High School in 1939 and attended Purdue University for a short time before enlisting in the Navy in 1940 where he attained the rank of Radioman First Class.  After he was honorably discharged from the Navy in September 1945, he lived in Lynn and worked at the Buick Garage in Winchester.  In 1950 he married Dorothy Jean Schnarr and worked at the former Warner Gear plant in Muncie, IN for 35 years before retiring from there in 1985.


The house that John and Dorothy have lived in for over 72 years was built around the time of the civil war. John spent many hours installing plumbing, insulating, rewiring, repairing and adding on rooms.  He also did most of the repair work on their home appliances, lawn mowers, and vehicles.  When he didn’t know how to do something, he said he figured it out with the Lord’s help.


John enjoyed gardening a variety of flowers, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Many times, he shared his produce with family and friends.  He gave many quarts of black raspberries and strawberries to others.  He planted numerous trees on their almost 2 acres including apple, cherry, pear, peach, apricot, black walnut, English walnut, pecan, and pine trees. Some of these trees are still here to this day.  Many a neighbor has enjoyed and commented on the beauty and variety of the flowers he had in his garden and yard.


From the preceding paragraphs, you can correctly surmise that he was a hard worker all of his life, setting a good example for his sons to follow.


John and Dorothy have three sons.  Michael David (Linda) of Beavercreek, OH; Mark Steven (Becky) of Rocky Mount, NC; and Randy Alan (Karen) of Union City, OH.  They also have twelve grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.


All three sons graduated from Purdue University. Mike graduated with a BS in Meteorology from Purdue and later a PhD in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State U.  He served in the USAF for 22 years retiring as a Lt. Col. He then worked for Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.  for 22 years, retiring in 2018.  Mark graduated from Purdue with a BS in Biology before graduating from Indiana U with his MD.  He was a Family Practice Physician for 38.5 years and retired in Dec 2022.   Randy graduated from Purdue with a BS in Entomology and a BS in Industrial Arts.  He is the Randolph County Building Commissioner.


John was a long-time member of the Harrisville Congregational Christian Church.  Over the years he served as Trustee, Elder, Deacon and Sound Technician.  He was thankful to the Lord for the guidance and many blessings He gave and is still giving to all our family.


He was greatly loved and will be greatly missed, but we who know the Lord will see him again one



A memorial service to celebrate John’s life will be held later at the convenience of the family.


Memories may be expressed online at


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