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Thomas Abbott, 91, led Common Cause

Thomas A. Abbott, a civic activist who led the local chapter of Common Cause in the 1970s, died Thursday (Oct. 8, 1992) at Suncoast Manor Retirement Home. He was 91.

Shortly after retiring here in 1970 from Park Forest, Ill., where he was manager of engineering administration of Amoco Oil Co., Mr. Abbott became involved with Common Cause, the national citizens organization that works for political and social reform.

Until he had a heart attack in 1975, he led the local group, said his wife, Bernadine, who also worked in the local organization, then numbering about 1,300 members. For the remainder of his life, he remained a member of the national group.

Thomas Allen Abbott was born in Kansas City, Mo. An engineering graduate of Yale University with a master's degree from Washington University, St. Louis, he worked for many years for General Electric in New York.

During World War II he was loaned by G.E. to the government for the Manhattan Project, which produced the first atomic bomb.

Charged with the tooling of electronics equipment, he commuted between the Army Corps of Engineers Manhattan Engineer District in New York City and Oak Ridge, Tenn., one of the sites for research.

Mr. Abbott was a past president of the Pinellas Point Civic Association and active in the League of Women Voters.

He was a life member of International Engineering and Electronic Engineers and American Petroleum Institute, and was an honorary member of Sigma Xi.

In addition to his wife, survivors include a daughter, Carolyn Craig, Downers Grove, Ill.; a son, Thomas Jr., South Bend, Ind.; three stepdaughters, Antoinette Wells, Park Forest, Mary Kirby, Virginia Beach, Va., and Elizabeth Fields, Marietta, Ga.; 12 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

A gathering of friends will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the chapel of Suncoast Manor Health Center. Mathews-Palms Memorial Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.

The family suggested memorial contributions to the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, 300 East Bay Drive, Largo, FL 34640.