The Sentinel-Record

Gerry Crabtree


Geraldine Vawter (Elkin) Crabtree, 85, went to Heaven peacefully in the early morning hours of Feb. 2, 2023.

On Aug. 1, 1937, she was born to Mountain Pine’s Orville Vawter and Jessie Fikes Vawter, as the third of four daughters. She spent her formative years between Hot Springs, Ark. and Oregon due to her father farming during the war. Eventually, the family settled in Southern California, where she graduated high school in Bellflower.

Gerry was never going to travel the paved road, as she was meant for a path all her own. Her rebellious and independen­t spirit brought her many life experience­s. Knowing what she wanted her life to look like, she began to build her legacy, becoming a mother to the pride of her life: Donna, Darrell, Dwayne, Leo, and Anthony.

In the early ’70s, she moved her family back to Arkansas where she met the man who would change all of their lives, Tony Rex Crabtree, known as Papa to all. As a team, they built the world she had dreamed of for her kids and future grandkids.

Together, Gerry and Tony created the marriage that would set the standard for generation­s to come. With a marriage full of love, laughter, joy, grace, understand­ing, and passion for one another, they had a partnershi­p that was unmatched. They built a life, a family, and even pursued various business ventures that included Crabtree Hardwood, Crabtree Excavating, the Music Mountain Jamboree, Hi-Energy Weight Loss of NWA and F and S Metalworks. With such a background, you could say their interests and adventures were diverse, but they had one common factor — they always did them together.

Gerry was always finding an outlet for her God-given ability to create. These outlets included painting, cross stitching, sewing, quilting, or everyone’s favorite: cooking.

Mom to her kids and Nana to her grandkids (and everyone else for that matter), she loved her family fiercely. She was supportive and involved in all of their endeavors, from Halloween costume-making to set designing. She even was a sideline cheerleade­r, wedding planner, graduation attender, and business manager. She took great pride in her people and seeing them follow their dreams.

She was classy in her look and her demeanor, The Queen. She was full of love, hospitalit­y, and an “encouragin­g” word, if she thought you needed it. If you knew Gerry, you knew that admittance into her circle wasn’t automatic, but once you were in, you were never out. She adopted several precious people in her life that meant just as much to her as the rest of her family.

A woman of faith, she knew Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and did not hesitate to make her faith in Him known. She was a woman who stood up for what she believed in, and her faith was at the front of the line.

Gerry was preceded in death by her parents, Orville and Jessie Vawter; two sisters, Donahgene Vawter and Glenda Vawter; and her precious husband of 37 years, Tony Rex Crabtree.

She is survived by her beloved sister, Bonnie Sue Trumbo; and her legacy that she worked tirelessly to build: Kids: Donna (Rick) Dhooghe, Darrell (Karen) Elkin, Dwayne (Melissa) Elkin, Leo (Denise) Elkin, Anthony (Penny) Crabtree; niece: Sheri Neal; grandkids: Jonathan (Kari) Neal, Josh (Sarah) Elkin, Toni (Landon) Walker, James Elkin, Drs. Chase (Alex) Elkin, Jessie (Christian) Houston, Kelli (Gabe) Collins, Aaron Crabtree, and Andrew Crabtree; great-grandkids: Bailey (Mason) Barrett, Benjamin Neal, Lilly Kate Neal, Oliver Neal, Kaydence Elkin, Adelynn Elkin, Reece Elkin, Ryder Elkin, River Elkin, Kyzer Walker, Oxford Walker, Hayden Elkin, Cason Houston, Ryleigh Houston. Several treasured nieces, nephews, and cousins. Pallbearer­s include: Jonathan Neal, Josh Elkin, James Elkin, Dr. Chase Elkin, Aaron Crabtree, Andrew Crabtree, Landon Walker, Christian Houston and Gabe Collins. Honorary pallbearer­s include: Ryan Carroll and David Daniels, Leonard Huff, Dennis Trumbo, Jerry Dodson, Raymond Donathon. A celebratio­n of life will be held at Gross Funeral Home in Hot Springs, Ark., at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023, with Senior Pastor Ken Carney officiatin­g. Nana will join Papa in rest at Cunningham Cemetery in Royal, Ark. The family wishes to express their sincere appreciati­on and gratitude to the staff at Johnson County Health and Rehab, Gentiva Hospice Services, and their angel Cory, Dr. El-Shafei, Deb Walker, and their cath lab and clinic staff. A very special thank you to Donna Green for her diligent and compassion­ate care of our Mom/Nana. A presence. A force. Her absence will forever be obvious. Her legacy will live on always. She is ingrained in who we are, in the people she so purposeful­ly invested in. The online obituary, guestbook, and memorial tribute are available at http://www.GrossFuner­

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States