Mark C. Abel

Mark C. Abel, 61, of Festus, passed away Wednesday, March 23, 2011, at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Crystal City. He was born February 8, 1950, in St. Louis, the son of the late Harold Chris and Anna Mae (Dumbauld) Abel. He was a graduate of Festus High School in Festus and the University of Missouri in Columbia. On September 18, 1995, Mark was united in marriage at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City, to Cheryl Rich, who survives at their home. He first worked at Abel's Sinclair Station on Main Street in Festus and later was the owner/operator of Mark C. Abel Insurance Agency. He began his political career which spanned over 25 years, as the Festus City Treasurer. He was later elected to the Missouri House of Representatives, where he served six terms from 1985 to 1991 and from 1998 to 2004. While in the House of Representatives, he served as Speaker Pro Tem, Minority Leader, and chaired various committees. Mark helped to create the Missouri Senior Prescription Drug Program, the Access to Higher Education Act and other economic development legislation. He was currently serving as the Jefferson County Treasurer. Along with his wife Cheryl, Mark is also survived by a step-daughter, Melinda Contryman of St. Louis; a step-son, Darron Contryman of Tokyo, Japan; a granddaughter, Zoe Contryman of St. Louis; a niece, Elizabeth Mouser (husband Rob) of Herculaneum; a nephew, Larry "Chris" Abel of Festus; four brothers-in-law, Kent Rich of Jefferson City, William "Skip" Rich (wife Eva) of Kerrlville, Texas, Greg Rich (wife Simone) of Holts Summit, James Rich (wife Debbie) of Kansas City; and a number of great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins and friends. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Stephen H. Abel, who died in infancy, and Larry Vernon Abel. A memorial gathering in Mark's honor will begin at 4:00 p.m., Friday, April 1, 2011, at Frederick's Catering Center, 201 East Main Street, Festus, Mo. Private interment will be held in Presbyterian/Methodist Cemetery in Festus. In lieu of flowers, the family wishes that memorials be made to the American Cancer Society. Arrangements are under the direction of HOUSER-MILLARD Funeral Directors, 2613 West Main Street, Jefferson City, MO 65109. 573-636-3838. Condolences may be left for the family online at millardfamilychapels.com

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