Donald Kenneth Abbott (Don or “DK” to his friends and colleagues) passed away peacefully at his South Mission Beach home on February 2, 2017, with his wife and friend of 43 years, the former Rebecca (Becky) Roudebush, by his side.
Born May 23, 1936, in Clinton Iowa, he entered the US Navy after high school. Following basic training and an initial assignment at Pearl Harbor Hawaii, he joined the crew of the USS Greenfish, a diesel submarine and participated in multiple cruises throughout the Pacific Ocean area of operations. On the Greenfish, he served as the ship’s electrician and was awarded both the national service medal as well as the good conduct medals and was honorably discharged in 1957.
With his military service completed, he settled in San Diego where he worked for a time building space capsules at the Convair Division of the General Dynamics Corporation and attended college.
In 1964 he began a 30 year career with the San Diego Police Department. During seven years in the patrol division, he became part of the Anti-Sniper Platoon (ASP) which later became the first SWAT team formed in San Diego.
One unique assignment was serving as the building manager for the old police headquarters building at 801 W. Market Street as the organization transitioned to its current headquarters on Broadway. Don was the last police officer in the facility, locking the doors for the final time and handing the keys to then Chief Bill Kolender. Later in his service he initiated the Indo-Chinese Community Relations Storefront which fostered a long lasting relationship between the SDPD and the local Southeast Asian Communities. One of the Community Service Officers he recruited remembers the DK recruited Lao, Hmong, Vietnamese and Cambodian officers to represent their communities and that ultimately led to earning the trust and admiration of those entire communities. No one did it better than DK Abbott.
Retiring from the police force in 1993, he began his own building maintenance business which serviced rental properties. A skilled craftsman and woodworker, he became known as Mr. Fix It in his South Mission Beach neighborhood. Before the days of cell phones, his neighbors knew if you needed Don’s expertise, you dropped wrench in the alley, and he would show up to fix whatever was broken.
In 1999 he and Becky began to travel extensively making many trips to many countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. He also enjoyed spending many relaxing days working around his cabin on Mount Laguna.
Born to Margaret Heggendeffer and Donald Preston Abbott, he is survived by his wife Becky, son Donald, daughter in law Lucille, grandson Alden, granddaughter Catriona (all of Ormond Beach Florida) and a sister, Laura Hall of Fallbrook.
He will be buried with full military honors at the Miramar National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the San Diego Police Historical Association.