Frances R. Crabill
Kindness and listening without judgement was her genius. She lived on the Peninsula since 1951 and worked for the Newport News School System, Adult Education for over 20 years. She loved her children, other close family, opera, travel, classical music, and in her younger days, singing. She was in the Glee Club in college, and the Peninsula Choral Society in the 1950s and -60s. A fond memory of all of her children is her singing them to sleep almost every nightwhen they were young.
Frances was a happy fun person. She loved to plan and host a party. She gathered others around her effortlessly and instinctively, a rare quality. Her love of the human spirit uplifted all who knew her. She asked that we carry forward, in our lives, what she gave to us.
She was born in Rockingham County, VA, in her mother’s family home on January 10, 1927. She lived in Chicago early in life, then moved to her paternal grandfather’s dairy farm near New Market, VA where she grew up. She attended Broadway High School in Broadway, VA. She graduated with a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology from Bridgewater College, Bridgewater, VA and taught 7th graders in Annandale, VA. Married in 1951, she taught for a few years at BuckroeElementary, had 3 children, Michael, Rena, and Carl, then went back to work for Newport News schools. She continued her education, taking classes at University of Virginia, William and Mary, and Christopher Newport.
She was a very active member of the Church of the Brethren (COB) – the Ivy Farms church in Newport News since inception in 1966, and at other COBs previous to that. She served on many committees and boards over the years, taught Sunday School, represented the church at annual conferences, and served in many other ways.
She was very interested in the political arena, keeping up daily with the political news and all the twists and turns of the elections. She also watched tennis tournaments as often as she could, cheering on her favorites. A favorite restaurant was The Lunch Bell in City Center Oyster Point. Her closet is filled with pictures from trips taken with her sisters, Cathy Roller and Lois Blackwell, her friend Dottie Barnes, and her children. There is a list in her address book of trips she took to Hawaii, New England, California and the Outer Banks many times, a cruise from Miami, Phoenix, and numerous trips to the Shenendoah Valley to visit relatives and friends, and attend high school and college reunions.
Frances passed away on November 10, 2015 after a short illness. She was gracious to those attending her during this period, as she was throughout her life. She was preceded in rest by her beloved grandfather, John S. Roller, grandmother Ida Brower Roller, parents John M. Roller and Iva M. Bowman Roller, her sister Catherine Roller, her step-sister Lillian Singletary, her aunt Ruth Bowman, 2 Roller uncles Mark and Paul, 3 Roller aunts Rachel (White), Minnie (Wagenschien) and Barbara (Smith) with whom she grew up, and her special friend Dottie Barnes. She is survived by her loving children, sons Michael and Carl, and daughter Rena Crabill and son-in-law John LaDue, her sister Lois Blackwell, 5 nieces and 1 nephew, grand nieces and nephews, and very special friends Elaine, Lloyd, and Wayne Keafer, and Sandra Barnes.
A celebration of her life will be held Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at Ivy Farms Church of the Brethren, 681 Dresden Drive, Newport News at 11 am. A graveside service at Fairview Church of the Brethren, 484 Fairview Church Rd, Timberville, VA 22853 (near New Market, VA) is planned for the spring in 2016.
Memorial donations may be made in lieu of flowers to Ivy Farms Church of the Brethren, address noted above, or to Heifer International (www.heifer.org ) in her name.
Friends are encouraged to visit vacremationsociety.com to share memories and words of condolences with the family.