In Memory of




Obituary for John Frank Abbott

John Frank Abbott, 70, of Mineola, passed away Friday, April 21, 2023 in Quitman, Texas.
A celebration of life will be at 2 p.m., Tuesday, April 25 at the First Methodist Church. Visitation
will be from 6-8 p.m., Monday, April 24 at Beaty Funeral Home. Bro. Cody Mize and the Rev.
John Thomas will officiate his services. Interment will be at Roselawn Memorial Gardens.
He was born Dec. 8, 1952 in Cleveland, Ohio to John Abbott, Jr. and his wife, Anne (Pacino)
Abbott. The son of a veteran, he was a patriotic American and proud of his Scottish and Italian
heritage. He graduated from John H. Reagan High School in Austin, Texas in 1970. He earned a
bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University in 1974. Later, he obtained a Master
of Arts in counseling and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from East Texas State University.
He was hired to teach Spanish and English at Mineola High School and in August 1974 he met
Janell Polk at an in-service in Lindale. Five years later they would marry.
He taught Spanish and English at Mineola High School from 1974-79. John sponsored student
council and the Spanish Club. He became a counselor at Alba-Golden ISD where he remained
until he returned to the Mineola Independent School District as curriculum director in 1987.
He was superintendent of MISD for four years and worked as director of teacher certification at
Region 7 ESC and a professor of education at Texas College. His current position was a teacher
at Grand Saline High School.
He knew the Lord at an early age and joined the First Methodist Church of Mineola 49 years
ago. He had been a longtime member of the Kiwanis Club. He was Humanitarian of the Year for
John and Janell helped raise several children and opened their home to students who needed a
place to stay. They have mentored generations of students in the nearly 50 years they have
resided in Mineola. He was not just a hearer of the word, but a doer of the word.
His commitment to this community and its rich quality of life is attributed to his faith. He has
served on church committees, church council, and volunteered for programs. He served on the
Wood County Child Welfare Board. He served on the board of Caring and Sharing, as well as
cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the community. His nurturing nature continued as he and
Janell remained friends with many of their former students.
Through years of mentoring, counseling, and their love, they attended their former students’
weddings, reunions, or impromptu gatherings. He and Janell became a second set of parents to
hundreds of Mineola kids.
From Homecoming dances in the multi-purpose building to field trips and college, his
dedication to students never wavered. He continued to pray over, cry, and laugh with his kids.
He was working on his 49th year in education.

His sense of adventure led him to travel in 18 countries and 46 states, most of them with the
love of his life by his side.
His friends will remember his impeccable taste, his sense of humor and his laugh, his wisdom,
and his loyalty. He will be missed in many places in this community.
John was a great cook and his Christmas Eve lasagna or New Year’s Eve pork chops were
legendary. He believed in celebrating the moment. Never one to postpone, his life was a
sermon in patience, prayer, and savoring each minute. He believed today is the day to cut the
cake, use the good dishes, serve the wine, and share the laughter. He shared his faith, and his
hope, but his greatest achievement was his enduring love.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother-in-law, Lonnie Bane.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Janell; his sister Colleen and husband Adam Valencia; his
sister Kim and husband Jerry White; his sister-in-law Frances and her husband Ed Williams;
nephews and nieces, J.R. Bane and his wife Jodi; Justin Bane and his wife, Chanlynn; Brandon
Signs and his wife Aracely; Elizabeth Valencia; Cristina Valencia; Jerry White, and Natalie Sweet
and her husband Mason.
Pallbearers are Jay McGough, Todd Morgan, Rod Watkins, Glen Dossett, Donald Hawkins, and
Robbie Ballard. Honorary pallbearers are Jill Quiambao and Janice Etheridge.