James Allen Abel
July 14, 1960 ‒ April 15, 2020
James Allen Abel “Jamie”, age 59, of Westerville, OH, hiked into eternity at 9:22AM on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 from Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital.
Abel will be laid to rest at a future date with full military honors at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Seville, OH. A celebration of Jamie’s life will be held in a natural setting, per his wishes, at a future date.
Jamie was born July 14, 1960, in Decatur, Illinois the son of Ron Abel (Patricia) of Oreana, Illinois, and Nancy (Marshall) Conway of Decatur, IL. He earned an Associate’s Degree in Psychology in 1980 from Richland Community College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Arts in 1982 from Illinois State University and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology in 1992 from Heidelberg College. He graduated as the Distinguished Honor Graduate from the Defense Information School in 1984 and took graduate courses in marketing at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University in 1985. In 1995, he earned accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America. He also studied the Russian language at the Defense Language School in 1983-1984 and at The Ohio State University in 2011-2014.
In 1984, he married Shannon (Eckard) Abel, calling her his “soulmate.” Jamie served in the Public Affairs Office at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point NY. He went on to then serve for 13 years as Director of College Relations at Heidelberg College, (now Heidelberg University), in Tiffin, Ohio. After that, he served as Assistant Director of Communications at the Ohio Board of Regents. Most recently, he was the Director of Communications for the Ohio Technology Consortium (OH-TECH) where he led the Outreach Group in support of the communications needs of the consortium, including organizational members Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) and Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet).
In addition to his work activities Jamie was also President of The Genoa Township Land Conservation Association, an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist, Member of The Central Ohio Hiking Club, Eagle Scout and a Member of these Masonic entities: Pilgrim Lodge No. 691 F&AM; Union Chapter No. 15, RAM; Union Council No. 2, R&SM; Steubenville Commandery No. 11, Knights Templar; Claddagh Council No. 86, Knight Masons (Treasurer and Founding Member); 32* Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Steubenville.
Surviving are his beloved wife of 36 years, Shannon Kathleen Abel; daughter, Stephanie Leigh Abel-Riot (Johnny) of Akron, OH; grandson, Victor Clash Riot; mother, Nancy Carol Conway of Decatur, IL; father-in-law, James Chester Eckard of Wintersville, OH; brother, Donald Wayne Abel (Sally) of Tallahassee, FL; sister, Bethany Ann Jones (Steven) of Edelstein, IL; brother, Brian Dean Abel (Deanna) of Decatur, IL; step-sisters, Cynthia Ryan Sleeth of Oreana, IL and Kathleen Ryan Mahoney (Reg) of Virginia Beach, VA; step-brothers, William Lloyd Ryan (Jody) of Decatur, IL and Steven Edward Ryan (Angel) of Oreana, IL, Joseph Duane Conway (Natalie) of Decatur, IL; step-sisters, Penny Jean Bell (Chan) of Cadiz, KY, Marcy Ann Binkley (Victor) of Warrensburg, IL, Jody Lynn Bourn (Barry) of Kenney, IL, Amy Sue Rainey of Sherman, IL; brothers-in-law, James Chester Eckard II and Timothy Sean Eckard; nieces and nephews, Julian Abel, Katie Abel, Kelly Jones, Haley Jones, Jay Eckard, Cary Eckard and Holly Eckard; godson, Samuel Pollock; several aunts and numerous cousins. James was preceded in death by son, Justin David Abel; father, Ron Abel; step-mother, Patricia Abel; step-father, Marshall Conway.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to The National Park Foundation, The Heidelberg University Student Emergency Support Fund or Wexner Center for the Arts.
The DeVore-Snyder Funeral Home of Sunbury is honored to serve the Abel family. Please share a memory or condolence with the family on this website.