- Associated Press - Sunday, May 8, 2016

VERMILLION, S.D. (AP) - A memorial service for Colette Abbott, the wife of University of South Dakota President James Abbott, is being held on Monday.

Colette Abbott died suddenly Wednesday at the couple’s residence in Vermillion at the age of 59. Officials say she had recently been diagnosed with cancer and was awaiting surgery.

The service starts at 11 a.m. in Aalfs Auditorium in Slagle Hall on the university campus.

The family requests that memorial gifts be directed to the James W. and Colette Abbott scholarship at the USD Foundation or to the Children’s Home Society.

The former Colette Pugh grew up in Pierre, attended USD and married James Abbott in 1987. They have three adult daughters and two grandchildren.

James Abbott became the school’s 17th president in 1997.

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