Barbara “Barb” Crump, 70, of Elburn, passed away peacefully, surrounded by the prayers of her family, on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013.
She was born Sept. 23, 1943, the daughter of K. Neville and Virginia (McMillan) Ens in St. Louis, Mo.
Barb grew up in Webster Groves, Mo., and attended local schools. She graduated from Webster Groves High School with the Class of 1961, but not before meeting the man of her dreams, Mark Crump, while roaming the halls.
Following graduation, she attended Lindenwood College. She continued her education at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.
In between her studies, she and Mark Crump were united in marriage at the Webster Groves Presbyterian Church on Sept. 7, 1963.
They began their new life together back on the campus of Purdue University until they both graduated in 1965. They made their home throughout the Midwest, including Milwaukee, Sterling, Ill., and St. Charles, before settling in Elburn in 1978.
Barb was a clerk for Marshall Field’s for a time, but spent years as a daycare provider out of her home. When her children entered their teen years, she closed the daycare but kept her hands busy by becoming a professional floral designer at Jacobsen’s Flowers in Geneva. Barb worked a few seasons at The Little Traveler in Geneva, where she was known for her display work and her floral arranging demonstrations. She even had one of her designs chosen to be the centerpiece of every table at the FTD National Convention.
Although she tried to retire several times, Barb kept being asked to do special events, weddings and all the arrangements at her church, Fox Valley Presbyterian Church in Geneva. There, she was one of the coordinators of the Friday Night Community Dinners; was an Elder and a Deacon; taught Sunday School; was active in Women’s Church Circle; and was a founding member of the church’s chapter of Stephen Ministry, a care-giving ministry for training lay people of the church to provide care to people faced with difficult life situations. Barb also spent 10 years and thousands of hours reading to the blind with Blind Services in Chicago, and served as president of the Women’s Auxiliary at Delnor Hospital.
Barb had a great imagination and a crafter’s heart. She was a down-to-earth “Martha Stewart,” but without her own television show. She loved being a homemaker and ruled the house from the kitchen. Her cookies, in any variety, were legendary, bringing a smile to your face even if it had been years since you were lucky enough to have one.
She was a hostess to the core, with house decorations for every holiday. It wasn’t uncommon to have parties of 50 or more, several times each year. With all of the effort spent inside the house, she enjoyed the outside, as well, especially on her John Deere mower, making the lawn look great.
She was a loving and devoted grandmother, known to her grandkids as “Grandma Bead” for her beaded necklaces. Every time she saw her grandchildren, she had a present for them.
She is survived by her loving husband of 50 years, Mark Crump; two children, Ann (Ken) Johnson of Evanston, Ill., and Jim (Kristen) Crump of Muskego, Wis.; three grandchildren, Ginny Johnson, Kathryn Crump, William Crump and one unofficial “adopted” granddaughter, Marquita Howard.
She is preceded in death by her parents, K. Neville and Virginia Ens.
A closed casket visitation will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 27, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. A funeral to celebrate her life will take place Saturday, Dec. 28, at 10 a.m. at Fox Valley Presbyterian Church, 227 East Side Drive, Geneva. Rev. Carl Gray, pastor of the church, will officiate. Private family interment will follow at Garfield Cemetery, St. Charles.
A memorial has been established in Barbara’s name to benefit her favorite charities, including the Fox Valley Presbyterian Church. Checks may be made to the “Barbara Crump Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.