Funeral services for JoNell (Jody) Abbott, 84, of Overland Park, will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 at the Wesley Covenant Chapel of the Leawood United Methodist Church of the Resurrection (13720 Roe Ave, Leawood, KS). Burial will follow at the Shawnee Memorial Gardens in Shawnee, KS.
She died on Friday, December 13, 2019 at the Kansas City Hospice House in Kansas City, MO, after a valiant battle with several forms of cancer.
Jody was born on January 10, 1935 in Ft. Smith, Arkansas, the daughter of Charles and Evalina Clegg Ward. She grew up in Arkansas, Kansas City and Los Alamos, New Mexico where she graduated from high school. She has lived in Kansas for many of her adult years. She attended the University of Kansas from 1953-1955.
She was a sales associate in residential real estate in Johnson County since 1971. She retired with ReeceNichols Real Estate three years ago. While working in real estate, she received several achievement awards from the company and from the Johnson County Board of Realtors. She was awarded the Realtor Emeritus Award from the National Association of Realtors and also the CRS Emeritus from the Certified Residential Specialists. The Kansas Association of Realtors awarded her their Salesperson of the Year Award in 1992. During her long career, she was especially active in legislative affairs for the state and local real estate associations.
Jody was active in many organizations including: being a member of the National Association of Realtors, Kansas Association of Realtors (where she was a former director and committee chair), member of the Kansas Regional Association of Realtors, and member of the Real Estate Buyer’s Council. She was a certified Residential Specialist for the Council of Certified Residential Specialists and the Women’s Council of Realtors. She was also a former board member of the Johnson County Board of Realtors, and former member of the Brown & Gold Club of the Johnson County Community College. She was a former member of the Child Abuse Prevention Council, where she served on the board for three years.
Jody valued education not only for herself in her professional life and her own family, but for her community. She volunteered for five years for the Olathe school district as a youth mentor and lunch buddy. While reading and spending time with young students she felt that she continued to learn from them.
While raising her five children, Jody was active in teaching Sunday school at Leawood Baptist Church, was a Cub Scout den mother and a Camp Fire Girls assistant. She later was a Girl Scout assistant leader and a cheerleading and drill team sponsor for her girls. Jody never missed an activity or an opportunity to serve.
Jody was a current member of the Leawood United Methodist Church of the Resurrection.
Jody was an avid sports fan and especially loved the KC Royals, KC Chiefs, and the Kansas Jayhawks football and basketball teams. She and her late husband, Bob Abbott, enjoyed travelling with the Flying Jayhawks. She was a member of the KU Alumni Association- Jayhawk Society.
Jody was married to Robert “Bob” Abbott on March 10, 1979 in Overland Park. He preceded her in death on January 19, 2017. She was earlier married to Darrell D. Cain with whom she had five wonderful children.
Jody is survived by two daughters, Susan E. McElwain of Lawrence, KS. Carolyn B. Johnson of Kansas City, MO; three sons: Darrell W. Cain of Dallas, TX, Charles E. Cain of Overland Park, KS, Steven L. Cain of Plano, TX, and a stepson, Paul E. Abbott of Olathe, KS. She is also survived by thirteen grandchildren, three great granddaughters, four step grandchildren and eight step great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by a grandson, Darrell David Cain. She loved her family dearly and communicated regularly with them in-person, by greeting cards, by cell phone, text messaging, and Facebook.
The family will receive friends from 10:00 a.m. until service time at the church (Wesley Covenant Chapel).
The family suggests memorials in her name to the Leawood United Methodist Church of the Resurrection or to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research. Those gifts may be sent may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary (120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044).
Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence is handling arrangements.