SOUTH POINT — Howard William Crabtree, 83, of South Point went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010.
The Forestdale native was born May 1, 1926, the son of the late Dustin and Luella Cameron Crabtree. He was preceded in death by his wife Margaret “Peggy” Foody Crabtree whom he married April 17, 1955.
Mr. Crabtree was a graduate of Dawson-Bryant schools and a WWII Navy veteran, receiving two Purple Hearts and he was stationed aboard the USS William Seiverling DE441. Mr. Crabtree was also a retired business representative for Millwright and Machinery Erectors Local Union 1519 for 20 years and retired in 1984. He was a member of Zoar Baptist Church.
Mr. Crabtree was well known for his many years of service and dedication to the labor union industry. Having served as a business representative and financial secretary for Millwright Local Union 1519 for 20 years, he was known as “The Great White Father” to many. His knowledge and skills in the labor movement were valued highly. During his working years, he was recognized with many awards, such as Kentucky Department of Transportation Admiral, Kentucky Colonel, Kentucky Honorary Ambassador of Labor, Tri-State Contractors Association Labor Management Award, and others too numerous to mention. In addition to his business representative position, he also served as a Executive Board member of Tri-State District Council, Charter member and recording secretary of Tri-State Building Trades Council, founding member and trustee of Ohio Carpenter’s Health and Welfare Fund and the Ohio Carpenter’s Pension Fund. He was a two-time charter member and 53-year honorary member of Millwright Local Union 1519, always a true tradesman.
He served his country proudly with the U.S. Navy in World War II, having been in Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the Phillipines. He was the recipient of two Purple Hearts. Howard was also an avid race boat, motorcycle and show car enthusiast.
Above all, he was a proud father, grandfather, and great grandfather with his children being his best accomplishment. His presence impacted the lives of all who knew him and will continue to live on through his family. He will be deeply missed, but God needed his “tradesman” back.
In addition to his wife and parents, he is preceded in death by daughter, Sandra Lee Blevins Pritchard;a son, John Dustin Crabtree; two grandsons, Donald Ray Pritchard Jr. and Jon Michael Crabtree; great-grandson, Delton Dustin Dakota “Cody” Collins; brother-in-law, Wayne B. Foody; and mother-in-law, Alene F. Benard.
He is survived by daughter, Luella Crabtree of South Point; two sons and daughters-in-law, David and Kelli Crabtree of Coal Grove, and Joseph and Linda Cartwright of Missouri; granddaughter, Dusti Leigh Crabtree of Ironton; grandson, Nathan Crabtree of Coal Grove; stepgrandson, Austin Barker Coal Grove; three great-granddaughters, Jay-Leigh Crabtree, Shayanna Margaret Collins, and Ellie Elizabeth Michaelle Collins, all of Ironton; and special friend, Sylvia Reis of Ironton.
Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Thursday at Phillips Funeral Home with Dr. Kevin Willis and Gary Piatt officiating. Burial will follow in Highland Memorial Gardens. Military Rites will be conducted by VFW Post 8850. Friends may call 6-9 p.m. Wednesday at the home. To offer condolences to the family, please visit www.phillipsfuneralhome.net.