William "Bill" Crabtree
Obituary for William Edward “Bill” Crabtree, Sr.
William E. “Bill” Crabtree, Sr., 87, of Rock Hill, MO passed away, with family by his side, on April 20, 2018, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Beloved husband, father, son, uncle, cousin, mentor and friend to many, he will be missed.
Born January 5, 1931 in Kirksville, MO, Bill was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 35 years, Maxine R. (nee West) Crabtree, his parents, Joseph W. Crabtree and The Honorable Helen M. (nee Leist) Crabtree of Kirksville, MO, and brothers Joseph Crabtree of Kirksville, MO and Jack Crabtree of Houston, TX.
Bill is survived by his daughters Sheila (John) Perrey of Clinton, PA, Sharon Crabtree of Rock Hill, MO, Sarah (Michael) Carnes of Bethalto, IL, and son, William “Will” Crabtree Jr., also of Rock Hill, MO. He was a dear grandfather to Ryan (Brenna) Perrey, Rachel (Chris) Durgin, Kennedy and Kolby Carnes; step-grandfather to Christopher and Craig Carnes; and great-grandfather to eight.
A 1950 graduate of Kirksville High School, Bill attended Northeast Missouri State Teacher’s College, in Kirksville, before postponing his education to serve in the United States Air Force. Stationed in Olathe, KS and St. John’s, Newfoundland, as a qualified airplane mechanic, he obtained the rank of Staff Sergeant before being honorably discharged in 1956. Bill returned to Kirksville to complete his B.S. in Education, graduating in 1957.
While working at a local service station, he met the lovely Maxine West, a secretary at Shyrack’s Grocery Supply Store. They married in 1958 and moved to St. Louis where Bill was employed as an Industrial Arts teacher for grades 7– 12 at John Burroughs School. He commuted to Kirksville to obtain his Master’s Degree in Industrial Education, graduating in 1962. He and Maxine raised their family and remained happily married until her death in 1993. Bill taught at JBS until he retired in the mid-1990s.
Bill was a Life Member and had 57 years of service to the Lions Club. He was President of the Brentwood Lions in 1965-66 and served as chaplain in later years. He was a long-time member and deacon of Glendale Presbyterian Church.
An avid outdoorsman, Bill loved to fish, camp and travel the country. Trips to the beach in the family station wagon were highly anticipated at spring break and after summer camp. In later years you would always find him proudly displaying the pins he picked up in Alaska on his green bucket hat.
His love of the Arts turned into a long-time hobby, hand-carving and painting decoy ducks and other wildlife. Maxine loved to travel to local art shows to display and sell his work. Bill loved Maxine so he went too. He also loved a good joke or a bad one and was fond of telling both…often.
Bill was a generous, humble man who loved his family, friends and community. Teacher, veteran, artist and volunteer, he lived a good life. His family extends their gratitude to the medical staff at Mercy St. Louis and to St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, the nurses and staff at Manor Grove in Kirkwood, and the nurses and staff from Mercy Hospice for their compassionate care.
A celebration of life gathering will be held from 4pm – 8pm, at Bopp Chapel, 10610 Manchester Rd., Kirkwood, MO on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. The Brentwood Lion’s Club will hold a Rose ceremony at 6:30 to honor Bill’s many years of service to their organization. Bill will be interred next to his beloved wife in Highland Park Cemetery, Kirksville, MO on Friday.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the National Kidney Foundation (www.kidney.org ), the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org ) , or the Brentwood Lion’s Club, P.O. 440182, Brentwood MO 63144.