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Descendants of Abbott visit shell museum

By SHELL MUSEUM - | Oct 23, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Sisters Erika Von Zoog, left, and Jonna Robson, daughters of Robert Tucker Abbott.

On Oct. 16, Erika Von Zoog and Jonna Robson stopped by the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. Their father, Robert Tucker Abbott, was the facility’s founding director. The sisters donated slides, personal manuscripts and books that had belonged to their father. Abbott was a prolific author of shell and mollusk related books, having published more than 40 on the subject. The visit offered an opportunity to reflect on the contributions of Abbott and the opening of the museum, which occurred just two weeks after he passed away. Aquarium Manager Rebecca Mensch and Education Manager Leigh Gay provided a tour of the facility and, true to their family form, the sisters enjoyed the private collections the most. Both noted that their father would be proud of the museum today. They also appreciated that a bust of Abbott’s image presides over the lobby, although they commented that he rarely wore a suit and tie — much more preferring his famous “shell shirt.”