HomeWashington Twp. News'Always faithful'

‘Always faithful’

Robert E. Abbott and Eileen Abbott

Township high-school military hall to be named for Abbotts

The Washington Township High School Military Hall of Honor will add to its nearly 200 names when it becomes the Robert and Eileen Abbott Military Hall of Honor on Wednesday, May 31.

“Bob and Eileen Abbott were great friends to our district who put great emphasis on the importance of military service,” Interim School Superintendent Jack McGee said after the board of education approved the renaming at its April meeting. “They embraced and lived the very ideals of patriotism that our Military Hall of Honor celebrates and honors.

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“The adopted mottos of our military branches do well to describe Bob and Eileen and all the Washington Township graduates and honorary inductees that we rightfully recognize,” McGee added.

“Through their devotion to military service, they have been ‘always faithful,’ committed to ‘duty, honor and courage,’ concerned with ‘not self but country’ and devoted to ‘integrity first, service before self and excellence in all they do.'”

Robert Abbott was inducted as an honorary member of the hall of Honor in 2019.  He is a former member of the township board of education and a U.S. Army veteran. His wife joined him as a trustee of the Hall of Honor at its inception.

The school district’s posthumous dedication of the Robert and Eileen Abbott Military Hall of Honor at the Republic Bank Performing Arts Center will be followed by the induction of six township high-school graduates who are serving or have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Robert Abbott devoted a great deal of time prior to his death at 85 in 2021. He was an active member of VFW Post 6332, the American Legion and the Veterans Advisory Board and a frequent participant in school-based activities involving veterans.

Eileen Abbott – who predeceased her husband in 2016 – served on the township board of ed for 26 years. Their daughter, Candace Mroz, is a teacher at the high school and was named its Teacher of the Year for 2021-’22.

The dedication ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. Josh Piddington will deliver the keynote address, and the event will include district administrators and board of ed members, local veterans groups, high-school Air Force Junior ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) cadets and student-musicians.

The six-member class of 2023 inductees will bring the number of hall honorees to 196. The inductees include Richard Diehl, Army, Class of 1967; Michael Dressner, Marines, Class of 2021; Trevor Durning, Army, Class of 2009; Andrew McClave, Marines, Class of 1980; Kelsey Powell, Army, Class of 2014; and Karlee Severns, National Guard, Class of 2015.

Community members interested in nominating a township high-school graduate for the hall should submit a 5×7 color photograph of the graduate in uniform with the name, year of graduation, branch of service and rank on the back. A copy of current military ID of honorable discharge paperwork is also required.

Submissions go to Jan Giel, school community outreach assistant, 206 East Holly Ave., Sewell, 08080.


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