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A graveside service for James Leroy Crabtree will be held at 10 AM Thursday, July 11 at Memorial Park Cemetery in Enid, OK with Pastor Dwayne Schroeder officiating. Military Honors will be provided by the National Guard.
James was born at home in Carrier, OK to Verna Lucile and Paul Henry Crabtree. He attended grade school at Canton and Hillsdale, OK, moving to Enid to attend Lincoln Elementary and Emerson Jr. High. James was proud that he marched in the Tri-State parade with a bass drum and tuba, even though he couldn't play a note!
James left for the Navy in 1949, serving on the U.S.S. Formoe and the U.S.S. Benner. Both were destroyers. After his stint in the Navy, James graduated from Midwest City High School in 1955. He attended one semester of college at OU in the Fall, leaving to work with his brother-in-law David Kirtley in the oil field in Mangum, OK, then Garber, OK.
James moved back to Enid, where he joined the Enid Dragon Motorcycle Club, participating in the uphill climb. James began working at the Post Office, where he eventually retired as shop steward after 33 years as a mail handler. James met Sandra Hoeltzel at a motorcycle club meeting. Three months later, they married on May 18, 1958. Out of this union, James fathered five girls: Shelley, Sheilla, Shawnna, Sharrla and Sherrey.
James spent time in the 189th and 45th Nation Guard units, retiring from active duty in 1975. After retiring from the post office, James worked part time as a driver for parts with Auto Zone, then NAPA. James made friends all over Enid and the surrounding area from his time as a parts delivery driver.
James was active at the YMCA for over 30 years. He enjoyed playing horse shoes and won trophies in singles and doubles tournaments as a member of the National Horseshoe Association. James also enjoyed bowling, eventually passing his bowling balls and bag to his grandson Lynzee Crabtree. James was also a member of NAARFE and Seasoned Saints.
James leaves behind his wife Sandra of 61 years, daughters Shelley Culver (Wallace) Benton,KS, Sheilla Anderson (Joel), Minot, ND, Shawnna Paine (Mike Partain), Broken Arrow, OK and Sharrla Longpine (Darryl) Wichita, KS. His grandchildren include Lynzee Crabtree (Karrisa) Enid, OK, Enid Crabtree, Wichita, KS, Rich Anderson (Jaymie) Omaha, NB, Nichole Ricardo, Jacksonville, FL, TJ Longpine, Wichita, KS, Dakota Longpine, Wichita, KS and Taylor Paine Broken Arrow, OK. James also leaves behind his remaining sister, Pam Gosnell (Dennis), Edmond, OK. James leaves behind 9 great-grandchildren, many other nieces, nephews and friends, including his loyal Pomeranian, Holly. James is preceded in death by his daughter Sherrey Crabtree.
Memorials may be made to FURever Friends Animal Rescue in care of Stittsworth Funeral Service..