Former Mackinac Island resident and business owner, Lee Gilbert Abbey passed away Thursday, September 23, 2021, in Traverse City, Michigan. He was 93 years old.
Born in Flint, Michigan, on November 29, 1927, to parents Leon and Grace (Bradick) Abbey, Lee spent his summers on Mackinac Island where his family had a home and business known as “Abbey’s.”
After serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during the closing years of World War II, Lee returned to the Island to open and run the “Scotch House”—a purveyor of clothing from Scotland. He also had stores in Harbor Springs, Michigan, Charlevoix, Michigan, and East Lansing, Michigan. Lee was married to the late Arletta “Letty” Davey—who he met on the Island—until her death in 1967.
After raising his children in Kalamazoo and then retiring to Traverse City in 1987, Lee worked at “Captains Quarters”—a local Traverse City men’s clothing store—and only officially retired in 2019 at the age of 92. Lee was a life-time member of the Scottish Rite Freemasonry, Traverse City Lodge #222, a founder of the Mackinac Island Chamber of Commerce, and an active volunteer with the Mackinac Island Arts Council.
Lee was a graduate of the Manlius Academy in Manlius, New York, and Ferris State University where he played on the men’s basketball team.
Lee is survived by his four children, Jim of Charlotte, North Carolina, Janice of Traverse City, David of Washington, District of Columbia, and Catherine of St. George, Utah; his eight grandchildren, Paul, Leah, Natalie, Abby, Danielle, Ellen, Michael, and Christopher; his three great grandchildren; Emma, Abbey, and Ruby, and his sister, Virginia Vallor.
A grave side ceremony will be held 12pm on October 8th at the Island’s St. Ann’s Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Mackinac Arts Council at P.O. Box 1834, Mackinac Island, MI 49757, or online at https://www.mackinacartscouncil.org/
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