Daughters remember artist father who would ‘always be there’

John Abbott with his painting of St Mary's Church at the exxhibition at the All Saints School in Mar

John Abbott's (pictured) daughters, Carrie and Amy, said he 'would always be there or at the end of the phone'. - Credit: Archant

Two women have paid tribute to their artist father, describing him as a figure who would "always be there". 

John Abbott, of March, died aged 70 earlier this month at Addenbrooke's Hospital after a short period with an aggressive form of cancer. 

During his younger years, he had a career in the railway and started painting cartoons and caricatures of people and events. 

When he was made redundant, John opened up his own shop on March High Street, having loved painting since his childhood.

His eldest daughter Carrie said: “Dad was always doing something whether that was painting or fishing or working.

"He wasn’t one to be particularly idle.” 

“When we were on holiday, he’d always have his paint box out and if he wasn’t fishing, he was painting!” 

Five diverse artists exhibiting their work in an exhibition entitled, In the Mix, at March Town Hall

John Abbott (pictured) enjoyed exhibiting his work. This exhibition was at March Town Hall. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

St George's Fayre, March.Katherine Long being presented with her certificate and prizes from artist

John Abbott (L) pictured presenting an award at St George's Fair, March. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

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John set up Buds, a clothes shop, in 1994. He’d put some of his pictures up on the wall as a bit of decoration and they ended up getting a lot of interest. 

“It was at that point I think he thought ‘actually I could make a career out of this’.

"He’d wanted to do that for a long time but never had the confidence,” said Carrie. 

Born on August 21, 1951 at March Maternity Home, John had lived in March all his life. 

From his time in and outside of work, he was known to many in the town.

Artist John Abbott

John Abbott's (pictured) love for painting started back during his school days. - Credit: Archant

Five diverse artists exhibiting their work in an exhibition entitled, In the Mix, at March Town Hall

John Abbott enjoyed exhibiting his work. This painting was exhibited at March Town Hall. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Artist John Abbott painting a watercolour at the handicraft exhibition at the St Peters Church, Marc

John Abbott enjoyed exhibiting his work. This photo shows him painting a watercolour at the handicraft exhibition at the St Peters Church, March. - Credit: Archant

“Dad liked to hold onto his connections so he had some very long friendships.

"He was still friends with a man called Eddie who he’d known all his life," said Carrie.

“He would always be there or at the end of the phone. He'd offer his help to anyone freely. He was a very sociable person.” 

John was known to many as ‘The Fenland Artist’. He enjoyed exhibiting and selling his work. 

“He absolutely loved that title as it described him, his passion and his home area,” said Carrie. 

“His home was in his heart.” 

Artist John Abbott at the Chatteris historic festival

John Abbott at the Chatteris historic festival. - Credit: Archant

John Abbott with the Con Dollies

John Abbott (pictured) with the Con Dollies. - Credit: Archant

St George's Fayre, March. Open Annual art competion,Albert Horton being presented with his certifica

John Abbott (pictured right) presented a certificate to the winner of the open annual art competition at St George's Fair in March. - Credit: Archant

She added: "When myself and my sister, Amy went out into town as teenagers, people would say ‘oh it’s John’s daughters’ and his paintings were everywhere.

“He painted every single pub in March. Even the funeral directors we’ve gone with, George James & Son, has his paintings on the wall! 

John leaves two daughters, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. 

A service at Fenland Crematorium will take place on Friday (October 22). 

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