Richard Stephen Abel, 89, of South Fayette Township, passed away Monday morning.
Born Aug. 8, 1932, in Indianapolis, Ind., he was the son of the late Wilbert "Skinny" Abel and Anna Louise (Nally) Abel.
Richard played water polo and basketball in high school, after which he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.
During his service, Richard spent four years on active duty and four years in the Reserves. During that time, he reached the rank of airman 1st class as an aircraft mechanic, and he earned the Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.
While stationed first in England, he would marry his wife and lifelong partner, Beverly Ann (Etter) Abel on April 15, 1954, and begin his family. He was later stationed in California for some time.
Later, Richard worked for more than 40 years as a traveling salesman. He also worked at the Meadows Racetrack for about 20 years.
As a member of the community, Richard played church-league softball and was a member of the Men's Club for Saint Simon & Jude.
Many of Richard's stories revolved around his favorite pastime of shooting pool. Though pool was his passion, Richard also enjoyed the ponies.
While Richard had his hobbies, he truly loved sharing his experiences with his family and friends through memories he carefully collected through the years.
One of those stories involved the day Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier, which Richard witnessed firsthand as Yeager's crew chief.
Richard was well-loved by his family, who will miss his stories, spirit and presence in their worldly lives.
In addition to his parents, Richard was also preceded in death by his brother Robert Abel and his wife, Shirley Abel; and his sister-in-law Theresa Abel.
Richard is survived by his wife of 68 years, Beverly Ann (Etter) Abel; his children, Dr. Ann (Abel) Spungen and her husband, Steven, Dr. Deborah Abel, Cynthia Robinson, Joan Westphal, Stephen Abel and his wife, Carla, and Ed Abel and his wife, Carol; his grandchildren, Sarah (Spungen) Mycek, and her husband William, Miriam (Spungen) Philmon and her husband Gregory, Joanah (Abel) Bodero and her husband Darwin, Heather (Scanga) Morris and her husband Richard, Paul Scanga, Angela Robinson, Amanda (Robinson) Tolbert and her husband Eric, Nicholas Westphal and his wife Kristy, Andrew Westphal and his wife Brie, Natalie Westphal and her fiance Brett, Matthew Westphal, Stephen Abel and his fiance Casey Tague, Zachary Abel and his fiance Courtney Ashcom, Spencer Abel and his wife Kristen, Blake Abel, Caitlin (Abel) Bottiger and her husband Nathan, and Nathan Abel; and 25 great-grandchildren.
Richard is also survived by his siblings, Ronald Abel, and Marsha (Abel) Bridgman and her husband Gene; as well as 17 nieces and nephews along with their families.
Family and friends received on Monday from 4-8 PM at the Warchol Funeral Home Inc., 3060 Washington Pike, Bridgeville (412.221.3333), where a Blessing Service will be held on Tuesday at 12:30 PM. Interment and military honors at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies. Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org.