Family say Ottery councillor was ‘proud’ to die in his position

“TRUE Ottregian” Tony Abbott died a town councillor – and his proud family say that’s how he wanted it. Tony, a former chairman of the council, served Ottery for 13 years. He was also an integral part of the chamber of commerce for even longer.

Tony was involved at the very beginning of projects like the Coleridge Bridge and skate park – which finally came to fruition recently.

“He was so pleased to see those things happen,” said his wife Viv.

“Tony was so proud and passionate about being a councillor and making Ottery a better place to live. He didn’t want to give that up.”

Tony opened his first shop in Jesu Street in 1979 – in what was once his mum’s front room. His hard work turned the family Abbotts DIY business into the UK Hardware Retailer of the Year in 2012.

“That was the pinnacle of his career,” said his son, Chris.

Tony was also the chairman of the Hardware Federation of South Devon.

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Mayor Glyn Dobson said Tony’s debating skills and vast knowledge of the town would be sorely missed by the council.

“When Tony was made chairman in 2006, I was his vice-chairman, and he taught me an awful lot,” said Councillor Dobson.

He said Tony was well-respected by colleagues and the council would look to create a tribute to commemorate his input to the town.

Cllr Dobson, who knew Tony for 40 years, recalled him driving round Ottery in a white van as an electrician before he first opened Abbotts DIY.