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John Henry Crowder

Born: Wed., Mar. 25, 1936
Died: Sun., Mar. 9, 2014


1:00 PM to 2:00 PM, Fri., Mar. 14, 2014
Location: Central United Methodist Church

Funeral Service

2:00 PM Fri., Mar. 14, 2014
Location: Central United Methodist Church

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Music by The Piano Brothers

MR. JOHN HENRY CROWDER, 77 of MONROE, NC died Sunday, March 9, 2014 at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC.  A Celebration of his Life and Legacy will be held 2pm Friday, March 14, 2014 at Central United Methodist Church, 801 S. Hayne St., Monroe, NC 28112 with Visitation 1pm to 2pm prior to the service, Interment with full military honors will follow in Lakeland Memorial Park, 1901 Lancaster Avenue in Monroe, NC 28112.  A public viewing will be held 11am to 7pm Thursday, March 13, 2014 at Harris Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Monroe, NC.

Mr. Crowder was born in Anson County, NC Wednesday, March 25, 1936 the middle child of the late Henry Mae Crowder and Eva Mae Staton Crowder. He was reared in a family that shared love faith and was taught to be a strong, hardworking family man. Mr. Crowder spent his childhood in the Meltonville Baptist Church where he was nurtured in the faith, he was a graduate of West Deep Creek High School and later served in the United States Army and was honorably discharged with a Good Conduct Metal in 1961.

Mr.Crowder moved to Monroe, NC in 1961 and was introduced to his future "Bride", Minney Massey Crowder their love would span 52 wonderful years ending with his death on their Wedding Anniversay (March 9th).  He spent many years as an Insurance Agent in the Monroe area and he began his career with the Belk's Store Corporation, he was a Buyer in Belk's Store Services and was later relocated to the Monroe Store as Divisional Manager, his career with Belk's spanned 25 years with his retirement in 1993. After retirement, he spent 5 years in Security at Presbyterian / Novant Hospital Matthews, NC.

John was selected in 1981 to fill the unexpired term of Jane Thomas on the Monroe City School Board.  He became the first African American Member of that body in its 85 year History.  He remained with that Board until the Monroe City and Union County School System merged in 1993 and then he became the represenative for District 1 where he served until his untimely death. Mr. Crowder was dedicated to the children of Union County and desired that all children would receive an equal and quality education, he hoped that every child that left the schools of this great county would be able to compete in any arena of life because they have been prepared for the Journey.  In his 31 year career in School Board Administration, he was honored many times on the State Level for his dedication and service to Public Education.  There are many proud moments in his public service life but he was very proud of the JROTC programs in the UCPS schools and the sports facilities built at Monroe High School where he advocated for the additions.  Mr. Crowder was serving on the Curriculum and Policy Committess.  He served as the Liaison for the City of Monroe, Quality Leadership Council and the Union County Job Ready Partnership and serving 10 years on the North Carolina School Board Association Board of Directors and on the North Carolina Charter School Commision.  For 31 years, Mr. Crowder  attended every graduation for the Schools in his District (Monroe / Forest Hills) in order to support the parents and students that had reached that  milestone in their life.  He always made sure that the School Board was represented in the local Christmas and Martin Luther King Parades. Mr. Crowder not only served on the School Board but had previosly served as a member of the Monroe City Planning Board and the Board of Directors of the local chapter of the American Red Cross and also currently a member of "A Few Good Men" of Monroe, NC , The Union County Democratic Party and a member of the Marshville Masonic Lodge Chapter 270 (PHA), Marshville, NC.

Mr. Crowder was faithful to his Lord and Savior and was a member of the Langford Chapel CME Church since 1974.  He served as a Trustee and has spent  the last 25 years as the Chairman, he also was a member of the Sunday School Department, the Pastor's Aid, the Lay Council and past member of the Men's Choir.

Mr. Crowder loved his family and was a great supporter and strenght for them in any circumstance, he will longed be remenbered for his jovial spirit, his kind heart and loving arms. We could count on our Daddy, Grand Daddy, Paw Paw, Uncle John, Cousin, Brother for everything. Our lives have changed forever, he was preceded in death by his Parents; son; DeForest; sister; Roseann;two brothers; Donald Wayne and Edward.

He leaves to cherish fond and loving memories with his "Bride", Minnie Massey Crowder of the home; one daughter that loved her "Sweet Daddy"  Faye Eva Crowder-Phillips ( Wayne) of Monroe, NC; two Grandchildren that he adored; Minnie Chastain Olden, (AJ) and Jonathan Wayne Phillips; two Great-grandchildren that captured his heart; Jayden Caron Olden and Zion Faye Olden; two sisters; Jearlean Crowder Polk (James) of Peachland, NC  and Eva Grace Crowder Forrest (Mitchell) of Seat Pleasant, MD his nieces and nephews who he will always remember "jumping like a little rabbit on his knee; Marie Page (Daniel), Marcus Crowder, Valeria Robertson (Kevin), Ronnie Moseley, Marilyn Crowder, Johnathan Crowder (Jeannie), Michael Forrest (Kristin), Beverly  Forrest, Tacha Crowder and Reverend Angie McKinley.  He was loved by our extended family member Dr. Anita Scott Wilson and her girls Mycah and Keena and his great nieces and nephews, cousins and many family and friends. "Miss Sparkle" our dog will   miss her Paw Paw too. 


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Condolence Booklet

Carroll and Carolyn Lowder
   Posted Mon March 10, 2014
So sorry for the loss to your family. Mr. Crowder's passing is also a great loss to our community. Our children have indeed lost a tireless champion who always put their interests first in his service to education. He brought knowledge, wisdom and compassion to all his work and will be sorely missed. May God bless and comfort you in the days to come.

Donna M. Mayes
   Posted Mon March 10, 2014
My heart aches for the family of Mr.John Crowder. I shall never forget the church meetings we attended. Each of you made me feel so very special. I shall never forget the "son watching" duties Mr. Crowder fulfilled for me. Thank you for accepting us in your family. I shall forever be grateful that this "Giant Man" helped to nuture my son. I thank God that Mr. Crowder touched the lives of Donna Mayes and Hayward Mayes, Jr. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30b. I pray God's Richest Blessings upon each of you.

Sylvia Jordan
   Posted Mon March 10, 2014
The Jordan family would like to extend our condolences to the Crowder family at the sudden passing of your loved one. Mr Crowder was a very kindhearted and humble man who cared about the interests of the children in the Union County Schools and surrounding areas. He will be greatly missed!--Sylvia Jordan

Dr. Doreen Dotalo
   Posted Tue March 11, 2014
Mr. Crowder's passing was a great loss to Union County Public Schools.
He gave much to the children, always with their best interests in mind.
My sincerest condolences.

Mt. Pleasant CME Church/Rev. Starr Wright
   Posted Tue March 11, 2014
Rev. Wright and members extend our heartfelt condolences to you and your family.

The Faulkner Family
   Posted Tue March 11, 2014
We are so sorry for your loss. We send blessings and love to Crowder Family during this time of sorrow.

Shirley Holiness
   Posted Tue March 11, 2014
Hi Faye,
I am so sorry for your loss. Your family will be in my prayers. Just remember that God is in control.
Cousin Shirley

The Willoughby & Travick family
   Posted Tue March 11, 2014
In every season we experience the loss of someone who has helped to make our seasons more joyful than painful, even in grief we have to remember and give thanks that John H. Crowder ,was one of those earthly gifts who was such a blessing and mentor for so many people. Even in these current dark moments and much sadness, we must remember to rejoice as we band to honor and help maintain his legacy. We send our prayers and love to the Crowder Family that God will continue to strengthen you and grant you peace, faith, and comfort as you accept His will during the recent transition of your beloved one. - Extending Arms of Support, The Willoughby & Travick Family - Winston-Salem, NC

Ernest and Lillian Collins
   Posted Tue March 11, 2014
We are deeply saddened with the Loss of Mr. Crowder. He was a real gentleman. Our love and prayers goes out to Mrs. Crowder, their daughter, and grandchildren. We will forever remember you in our prayers daily.

lucindaL h gibson
   Posted Tue March 11, 2014

   Posted Wed March 12, 2014
My condolences to the family of John Crowder. I am sorry for your loss. May your memories of him comfort you in this distressing time. Psalms 46:1,2a "God is our refuge and strength, a help that is readily found in times of distress. That is why we will not fear..."

   Posted Wed March 12, 2014
Minnie and Faye, I am so sorry for your loss. John has left a truly amazing legacy. Cherish all the precious moments that you have shared with him through the years. Throw all your anxieties on the God of all comfort and revel in the love of family and friends to get you through this difficult time.

   Posted Wed March 12, 2014
I am so sorry for your loss. Although, I do not know your family personally, I would like to share some encouraging thoughts from the Bible. The Bible provides comfort during these difficult times. Revelation 21:3-4 states, And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away. Very soon now, we will never experience losing our loved ones in death. May these words give you a new hope.

Beverly Harris Tatum
   Posted Wed March 12, 2014
After reading about the amazing life of Mr. Crowder in the newspaper I wanted to write you and tell you how I feel your pain. Mr. Crowder, his faith, his commitment to education, to the community and to his family reminds me so much of my beloved grandfather I lost in 1989 when I was 32.
He was larger than life to me, so full of non-stop energy, charisma, respected by all who knew him and a man I wanted to be with and learned my most important values from. He taught me to respect all people regardless of wealth, station in life, race, job title, or celebrity. He said we were all equal in God's eyes. He taught the values of honor, character, and integrity. He once told me "If you ever give away your integrity, you can never get it back" and I have lived my life trying to walk in his footsteps.
He was my first grandparent to die, and even though I was in my 30s, I had never even considered my grandparents would not be there forever. They always had been and I had a close relationship with all of them.
I could not believe it. I went very early to the first visitation so I could be alone and sat down in the back of the large chapel. I knew once I saw him it would make it real and I desperately did not want to believe it. I finally worked my way up to the casket and saw the devastating reality of my Grandpa being gone. I stayed right with him until other family members arrived. It still makes me tear up as I remember it.
We had to have 2 nights of visitation and people stood in line for 2 hours to pay their respects. We heard wonderful stories we had never known of how he had helped others and changed their lives.
He was the founder of Harris Supermarkets in 1936 which later became Harris-Teeter supermarkets which he also ran. He ran his business with the values he lived his life. Best customer service, Best quality products, and Respect for his employees.
He never talked about business at home and graciously accepted all the awards he received but never talked about him. I actually never knew he was an important man or owned one of the largest food store chains until I was 12. Only when other children began asking me if we got our groceries for free and thought my father was rich did I understand what Grandpa had accomplished.
I was at church with him and my grandmother 3 times a week as a good Southern Baptist. He was a leader in our church and I always wanted to find the faith he so clearly had.
I saw where it seemed your father and grandfather loved your mother and grandmother so dearly. So did my grandfather with my grandmother. They were both simple, down-to-earth people and continued to live that way. Grandpa would shower my grandmother with a special piece of jewelry for Christmas each year. He also showed great tenderness and protection of her. She had social anxiety and church was the only place she truly loved going. He never pressured her to go to his many events, dinners, and meetings. He had her unwavering love and support in all the work he did and was so proud of him for the man he was.
I look very much like her and Grandpa used to take me into their living room every single time I would go over to their house as an adult and pick up the picture of my grandmother as a young woman and say "You look just like your grandmother when I fell in love with her". It always made me feel loved and special.
Mr. Crowder was obviously a great man in his business, his belief in education, his faith and love for his family. I know it must be so hard for you to believe such an incredible man could be gone and how can this be.
Remember him through your favorite memories and stories about him. Collect every newspaper article, every public record from his service to the community, all the pictures, and use them to tell the story of his life for your generations to come.
I have spent years collecting everything I could find from the church, the newspaper, the County Commission, his work with Wingate College and so on so I could write a book about his life. His lives touched many and as I have interviewed everyone still alive that knew him, I hear wonderful stories and record them. I am the only grandchild who spent so much time with him and so I must tell his story for his great-grandchildren and beyond. I know he will be waiting for me and I can't wait to get one of his hugs that used to squeeze the very breath out of me.
May you be comforted by knowing what a great man loved you all so much. His work will live on and your memories and stories will keep him alive.
He would have not accomplished all he did without being a man of values, character, strong faith and a loving family.
My thoughts are with you.

Excell,Margaret,Judy & Eric Jordan
   Posted Wed March 12, 2014
Mrs. Crowder and Faye; My family and I wish to express our sincere love to you at this time. Mr. Crowder was a wonderful person to know and we will miss him dearly. May your hearts be filled with the wonderful memories of his life on earth and know that he is in heaven smiling down on you and all the "children" of UCPS.

Terry Turner
   Posted Wed March 12, 2014
Faye, I was so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad for you and your family. He was such a kind, gentle and respected man that will be missed by so many. Just know that you have so many that care about you and send thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

Nicole Robinson Blakeney
   Posted Thu March 13, 2014
May God comfort you in your time of sorrow.

M Matthews
   Posted Thu March 13, 2014
My thoughts and prayers are with the Crowder family in this time of bereavement. May God bless each of you and provide you with the comfort needed to move forward.
The Matthews Family

Linwood (Bravo), Teresa,& Isaiah Parham
   Posted Thu March 13, 2014
We are saddened for your loss. There is a rainbow in the soul for every storm that comes to us. Faith is our assurance that the sun will shine again. May God continue to keep the Crowder family in his loving care.

Jean Willis
   Posted Thu March 13, 2014
Mr. Crowder was an amazing man. Wayne, his son-in-law, is a member of the Fellowship Sunday School class at Matthews United Methodist. He told us Sunday of his father-in-law's serious illness. You all have my deepest sympathy and prayers for such a great loss. May God comfort and uphold you.
Jean Willis

Craig and Hilda
   Posted Thu March 13, 2014
Mr. Crowder will be greatly missed. We admired his vision and his Christian principles so much. It was a privilege to work with him. His legacy should continue to inspire the best in all of us.

The Rushing Family
   Posted Thu March 13, 2014
The Rushing family would like to express the heart felt sorrow this family must be feeling. Mr. Crowder was the same every time you saw him. You could see him in Belk, at the grocery store or at a school board meeting, he was always the same. The Union County School System and the students that make up the Union County Public Schools will truly miss Mr. John Crowder. May God be with this family at this time of sorrow.

Clara Caldwell
   Posted Thu March 13, 2014
To the Crowder Family: Praying for your strength during this time of celebration of life. Remember as in the words of Albert Einstein, "Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us. Our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life".

E. Kevin and Blanche Wimberly
   Posted Fri March 14, 2014
Our hearts are saddened to hear of the passing of Mr. Crowder. We offer our deepest simpathy and will keep the family in our thoughts and prayers.

Faye Williams
   Posted Fri March 14, 2014
To The Crowder Family

My love and prayers goes out to you, there are not enough words that can express what you are going through at this time. I am honored to have known Mr. Crowder and his family. I remember being a little girl and going to Belk's and was so impressed to see a manager of high standards. I am so honored to know Mrs. Crowder she taught school when I was at Winchester as a little girl so beautiful and so pleasant. Monroe is a lucky town to have a family who cared so much for the community, schools, parents, and children. They watched us grow for many years where we could join together as a family and receive education not for some, but for all. I thank God that I was a part of this generation to have known him and his family. God Bless You All.

Kiana Staton
   Posted Fri March 14, 2014
I am sorry for your loss as well as mine. Mr. Crowder was a very quiet soft spoken man who I will miss when I come home to church. After graduating high school, him and I conversation increase about him telling me to stay focused and to never let anything or anyone get in front of my goals. Sending a deep condolence to Johnathan , because they did everything together & I've just went through the same thing a month ago. I love you all and my God give you strength this afternoon as you lay Mr. Crowder to rest. RIP .

Jeff Yates and Family
   Posted Fri March 14, 2014
While I only knew Mr. Crowder by reputation, he was a beloved member of the Union County community and clearly had a heart to serve. Our prayers are for those he left to celebrate him, remembering we mourn as those with hope, for his was only a continued journey and not an end.

Leslie Brewer
   Posted Fri March 14, 2014
Hi Faye,

I worked for you for a number of years. Our paths crossed after I ventured on never thinking I would work for you again. I wanted to extend my condolences to you and your family. Knowing the loss of my dad, I pray your heart will heal and it will in time however; thoughts will never be forgotten. You will have days where your heart feels heavy. From experience, grieve. It's ok and trust in the Lord to know that your Father is in heaven having a joyous time.

The Conference Stewardess Board
   Posted Sat March 15, 2014
We would like to extend to the family of Mr Crowder our deepest sympathy and love. The journey onward will not be easy but through God it will be bearable. Faye, May God keep his loving arms around you and the family and know we are just a phone call away.

Diana Duncan, Secretary/Treasurer
Carolina Region Conference Stewardess Board

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