DAWSON — After a remarkable life and a valiant fight to live, Shelby Paul Abbott left this earth on Dec. 16, 2011. While in the arms of family, Shelby was given over to God to spend Christmas, his favorite holiday, with his Mom and Dad. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20, at the Dawson Community Building, with the Rev. Jacob DeBoer officiating. Burial will be at the Dawson Cemetery.

Visitation will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. today at the Eastgate Steele Memorial Chapel, Steele, where a prayer service will begin at 7 p.m.

Shelby was born March 10, 1936, in Steele, to John and Elsa (Lunner) Abbott. Shelby was known to all as “Buggy” a nickname he was given as a child.

Buggy was born, raised and spent his entire life in Dawson. It was while growing up he began to discover the passions that would span his life. His first was baseball and basketball, which he played with utter joy and abandon. He quickly became a star in Dawson and in Kidder County. He pitched more than one shut out and hit countless home runs, he sat out whole quarters of basketball after scoring so many points that he was forced to rest. Even today, his family hears the tales of his remarkable athletic abilities from family, friends and fans who witnessed them. At 70 years old, Buggy was still able to sink 20 of 20 free throws, and no one in his family was ever able to beat him in a basketball game of horse.

Buggy graduated from Dawson High School Class of 1954. On Aug. 1, 1964, he was united in marriage to Marlys Mahin.

Shelby’s second passion was farming, which he developed while growing up working on the farm beside his dad and brother. While most well-known as a “Turkey Farmer,” who raised flocks of 100,000 turkeys, he raised cattle, sheep, pigs, geese, and even tried his hand at pheasants, mink, chinchilla, and fox. In recent years he settled down with cattle, grain and the occasional sheep.

Shelby’s only son, John, was taught early on to love his farm as he did and when his health would no longer allow the work, he passed on his life’s work to his son, who now proudly carries on his legacy. He stayed involved every day and “supervised” over coffee with John every morning. This continued until the day before he died.

The lessons Shelby taught to those closest to him were endless. His love of life, his courage, and strong heart were evident in every conversation. His sense of humor and storytelling were legendary. He lived to make those he loved most laugh, and that he did, even on his last day. His family knew without a doubt that Dad and Grandpa had their back and his loyalty and dedication to his wife, children, and grandchildren were gifts they will carry on into the generations to come. Shelby never lost the twinkle in his bright blue eyes and that was present when he looked up and saw something we can only imagine as he took his last breath.

Grateful to share life with this remarkable man was his wife of 47 years, Marlys, Dawson; his son, John (Stacy), Dawson; his daughters, Vicki (Mark) Berreth, Lisbon, and Jill (Brian) Schneider, Tuttle; his sisters, Auriel (Richard) Luedtke, Dickinson, and Jean Schirber, Maple Grove, Minn. Shelby was present for the birth of all eight of his grandchildren, Jennifer Berreth, Lisbon, Jessica Abbott, Steele, Ashlee (Jarrod) Leingang, Bismarck, Steven Shelby Berreth, Bismarck, Erica Schneider, Bismarck, Elizabeth Schneider, Bismarck, Jonathan Abbott, Dawson, and Ross Schneider, Tuttle. Shelby also leaves behind three great-grandsons, Ethan and Aiden Berreth, Lisbon, and Sean Kuhn, Steele.

Awaiting in Heaven for Buggy’s arrival were his parents, Elsa and John; his brother, John P “Skeeter” Abbott; his nephews, Mark Abbott, Charles “Chuck” Luedtke, and Douglas Abbott; his niece, Sharon (Luedtke) Boepple; and his brother-in-law, Robert “Bob” Schirber.

Go to www.eastgatefuneral.com to share memories of Buggy and sign the online guest book. (Eastgate Funeral Service, Bismarck)