Remembering George Michael Abington

Funeral services celebrating the life of George Michael Abington were held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Chapel, 943 Polk Street, Mansfield, Louisiana. Interment followed at Grand Cane Cemetery. A visitation was held on Friday, April 28, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

It is with heavy hearts that we gather here today to pay our respects to a great man. George Michael Abington (Mike) lived a life full of passion, dedication, and love.

Mike was a true pioneer in the field of stadium management. Graduating from Northeast Louisiana State University in 1972, with a Bachelorette in Radio/TV Management, Mike went on to Spartanburg, South Carolina. Following the wedding to Kathryn Myrick Abington, the pair moved to Hampton, Virginia, where Mike ran the Hampton Coliseum. Headed to the big leagues, they next ended up in Pontiac, Michigan, to serve as Stadium Director, where the Detroit Lions and the Detroit Pistons played their NFL and NBA games.

In 1992, Mike got the brilliant idea that he wanted to host the first indoor World Cup Soccer playoffs at his home stadium. This idea was met with disbelief and criticism. Over the next 2 years, he engineered a new type of stadium grass with Michigan State University and visited 9 counties across the world to learn everything he could about soccer. 1994 dawned on the very first indoor FIFA World Cup Soccer playoff tournament, and Michael Abington, overnight, become a legend in his field.

In addition to his professional achievements, Mike was an avid photographer and loved the outdoors. He had a special fondness for fishing, and his passion for the land his family grew up on was infectious. Many of us remember his love for opening day at the ranch, a day he cherished more than any other.

Mike was blessed to have Kathryn M. Abington by his side, who preceded him in death, and together they raised a daughter, Elizabeth Claire. His grandchildren, Charlotte-Joy Corinne Abington, Isobel Grace Abington Toms, and Harper Lucille Tunstall Abington were a constant source of joy and inspiration for him. Survived also by sister Michele Abington-Cooper, her son Raymond Cooper and wife Katherine, mother-in-law Ada J. Myrick, brother-in-law Tom Myrick Jr. and wife Carol, and numerous nieces, nephews, and greats.

Mike’s name will forever remain synonymous with the development of the grass that could be transplanted from outdoor to indoor, which revolutionized the World Cup soccer world.

As we look back on Mike’s life and the love he shared, we will always remember him as a true leader, a devoted friend, and a loving family man.