USD Mourns The Death of First Lady Colette Abbott

May 5, 2016

University of South Dakota First Lady Colette Abbott. The wife of USD President James Abbott died suddenly Wednesday, May 4th, 2016.

Those involved with the University of South Dakota are still coming to terms with the loss of Colette Abbott.  The wife of U-S-D President Jim Abbott died suddenly Wednesday, at age 59.  One of many people close to the university’s First Lady is Jack Marsh, former executive director of the Freedom Forum at U-S-D. 

Marsh says, “Colette could light up a room with her mere presence—whether it was a board room, a dining room, a conference hall, or even a big sports facility like the Dakota Dome.  She was a wonderful, loving mother to her three daughters; an enthusiastic and dedicated grandmother, who so enjoyed the blessings of her two young grandchildren. 

"She is treasured as a friend, respected as an involved citizen, and certainly impactful as the great First Lady of the University of South Dakota.”    

Marsh says the Abbotts were a terrific couple in life—he adds he never heard Colette Abbott say anything bad about anyone.  U-S-D’s Media Relations Office says a memorial service is set for Monday morning at 11 A-M at Slagle Hall on campus.  The Abbott family will hold an open house Sunday afternoon from two until five p-m.