John Abbott, Founder of Abbott Construction Dies at Age 80
by Troy Stedman
September 15, 2020
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Abbott Construction’s founder, John Abbott. After a brave battle with cancer, he died on August 7, 2020 at the age of 80, surrounded by his loving family.
John Abbott’s story is an exceptional one. Born in 1940 in a farmhouse in Waddena County, Minnesota, he later relocated to Washington, where he graduated high school and put down roots for a life of his own. In 1961 he married his beloved wife and life partner, Dawn. Over their 59 years of marriage, their family added three more generations with four children, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
John Abbott’s career began at Boeing, where he started out as an expediter. Pivoting into the world of construction, he diligently worked his way up the ladder in notable firms, growing his skills and exposure as an expert builder, and eventually becoming a top executive in his early 40’s. Despite this success, he still believed there was a better way to build.
In 1983, he and his wife Dawn founded Abbott Construction. They created the company as a refreshing new choice in the Pacific Northwest, focusing on quality of service, partnering relationships, talented craftspeople, and open-shop construction. Those founding principles helped grow Abbott Construction over the two decades that John led the company, which now has 260 employees in three offices along the Pacific Coast.
In the wider community, John Abbott was instrumental in starting the Construction Industry Training Council of Washington (CITC), a state-licensed vocational trade school. Highly active in the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Washington, he had the distinction of serving a term as president and helped establish an AGC education endowment for students in construction. John also went on to become a successful real estate developer with properties in numerous states. Even after retirement, he continued to pour into the lives of others through purposeful charity and mentorship.
“John Abbott taught me what it means to be a true professional in our industry,” reflected Troy Stedman, Abbott Construction’s current President and CEO. “He knew the power of trusting relationships, operating with integrity and the value of giving back. He lived out the principles he instilled in our company – and it’s because of those principles that we’ve continued to thrive over our 37-year history. John touched countless lives and will be greatly missed.”