Jeffrey Abbott passed away peacefully on Aug. 9, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn. He was born on Feb. 5, 1953, in Flint, Mich., to Richard Selden and Cora Jane Carter (Federman).
Jeff is survived by his brother, Michael Abbott (Honi); and sisters, Rhonda Abbott and Judy Blake; as well as his niece, nephews and their children. He also is survived by his Aunt Sue Abrahams and many cousins.
Jeff graduated with a business degree from the University of Florida (1975) and was very proud to be a Florida Gator and member of Tau Epsilon Phi. He loved his fraternity brothers and kept in touch with many of them his entire life.
Jeff lived in Knoxville for over 40 years making many friends who became his Knoxville family. Jeff worked with his good friend, Rick Georgeson, and others for many years in the restaurant/entertainment business organizing beauty contests. Jeff was nationally known for his swimsuit competition raising $200,000 for the Lupus Foundation and a local Knoxville food bank.
Jeff also loved commercial real estate and was a Knoxville broker. Jeff thrived on being a deal maker by introducing two parties, who could then make a deal and, of course, remember Jeff for introducing them. Jeff was unconventional in many ways, but always had others’ best interests in mind.
His family loved visiting him in Knoxville to attend his incredible beauty contests, football games or go to restaurants with his Knoxville family. Jeff loved the movies and welcomed the chance to see any movie, regardless of its success.
Jeff never met a stranger and was not hesitant about giving advice to others. Jeff did not give up and valiantly battled several health issues during the last 20 years of his life. His friend and roommate, Steve Lequire, watched Jeff closely during the last 18 months in order to maintain Jeff’s declining health as much as possible.
Jeff loved visiting his family in Michigan and Houston, and he always tried to attend every family celebration. When his mother, Cora Federman, moved to Houston in 2009, he came to Houston as much as possible to see her. Until she passed away in January 2018, Jeff spent every Thanksgiving with his mom for over 25 years, either in Michigan or Houston.
Jeff loved his niece, Meryl (and her husband, Adam); and his nephews, Steven (and his wife, Rachel), Jason and Ryan. Jeff also loved seeing pictures and videos of his great-nephew and niece, Cameron and Chloe.
Since Jeff’s passing, many friends and family have reached out to share wonderful memories and express their love and respect for Jeff. He will be missed immensely, and his memory will be a blessing forever to all of us.
A private ceremony was held by the family.
For those wishing to honor Jeff’s memory, please make a contribution to the charity of your choice or a charity that Jeff admired, Family to Family Network (f2fn.org) – an organization serving families impacted by disabilities.