In Memory of




Obituary for Edwin M. Abla

Edwin M. Abla, 84, of Decatur, Illinois, died on October 24, 2023. He was born in Imperial, Nebraska, in 1939 to Margaret (Curry) and Glen Abla.

Ed graduated from Southern Nazarene University in 1961 with a degree in religion. Ordained in 1962, Ed served as a minister in the Church of the Nazarene for 54 years and continued to pastor even in retirement. He was married to Janice (Hancock) Abla for 64+ years.

Ed was preceded in death by his daughter Marsha Cuttill-Price and son-in-law, Don Cuttill, and is survived by his wife, Jan; sister, Sharon; son-in-law, Kent and sons, Marc (Sandra) and Evan (Julia); 18 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

His ministry was marked by speaking truth, proclaiming the good news, and welcoming everyone who entered the church doors. He was sent to churches across the country, including Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Texas. Ed and Jan returned to northwest Arkansas and then Decatur, Illinois, in retirement, where he faithfully continued to give pastoral care to the people of Decatur First Church of the Nazarene.

Ed loved to play golf, fish, and travel. He and Jan traveled the world, visiting Brazil, Central America, Hong Kong, Ireland, the Holy Land, Kenya, the Philippines, Russia, and other places around the world. On one trip to China, Ed brought five suitcases of Bibles to Christian believers. He was detained until he gave the official a Bible of his own. He loved sports and was an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, Arkansas Razorbacks, Denver Broncos, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. As a young father, he regularly attended St. Louis Cardinals games with daughter Marsha.

Ed loved his family. He was the proud grandfather to Chad, Chandler, Brandon, Evan, Eric, Miah, Riley, Ru, Pan, Oliver, Heaven, Faith, Danielle, Angel, Nathaniel, John, AJ, and Zach and their spouses. He cherished his great-grandchildren Sunny, Jamison, and Chayse. He was known affectionately as Papa Boo Boo.

Ed’s love for his family and his church was grounded in a deep trust in God. He said, “I have a faith that believes that what God makes, when broken, He can fix.”  Ed was a man of prayer, and he had a God-given insight into the needs of people. He was dedicated to helping people wherever and whenever he could. His legacy lives on through his beloved family, friends, and parishioners.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Decatur First Church of the Nazarene (Imagine Campaign).