Wichita Worker Retires After Six Decades At Hawker

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Thousands of Americans retire from their jobs every day but on Friday, one local man's retirement set him apart from the crowd. Hawker Beechcraft employee Marvin Abbott has worked at Hawker for more than 61 years.

"If you find something you like to do keep at it. Just because you turn 65 don't mean you've got to quit," said Abbott.

Abbott turned 65, the traditional retirement age, nearly 15 years ago. He will be 80 years old in November. That's why so many of his fellow workers and chairman Bill Boisture turned out for such a milestone celebration.

Abbott started at what was then Beech Aircraft in January of 1951. The Beech Bonanza had only been in production a few years. Abbott's father had worked at Beech for nine years when he was hired on as an 18-year-old.

"And I thought, how does anyone stay on in one place for nine years? I mean that's half a lifetime for an 18-year-old kid," said Abbott.

Abbott met his wife Bobbi on the job at Beech. She worked there 31 years.

"When I hired in, I already knew there was a Marvin Abbott out here because of his reputation and it was a good one with the people," said Bobbi Abbott.

Abbott was a manager for 37 years in Plant One warehouses. His retirement is a celebration.

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