E. “Buster” Crabbe, 81, passed away Tuesday, March 14,
at the Lewis County General Hospital in Lowville, NY.
The memorial service will be held 1 p.m. Thursday, March 23,
at the Reed and Benoit Funeral Home, Watertown, with Pastor
Jeff Smith officiating. Visiting hours will be held 11 a.m.
to 1 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home. A burial service
will take place later this spring.
William was born in Harrisburg, PA, a son of the late
Engleman, Sr. and Jeannetta (Jackson).
He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers,
Engleman James Crabbe, Jr., Richard Crabbe, and Gerald
Crabbe, and a sister, Gwendolyn Carter.
He attended the former John Harris High School in Harrisburg
prior to joining the U.S. Army. His military career of 13
years included tours in Korea, Guam, and Vietnam. Upon
separating from the Army at Fort Drum, he settled in nearby
Watertown, NY. He was employed at a number of local
companies, such as Black Clawson and New York Air Brake,
prior to rejoining Fort Drum as a civilian. He supervised
the supplies sector on “Old Post” until his retirement
in the mid-1990’s. He retired with a combined 37 years of
service to the U.S. Army.
Affectionately called “Buster”, he was a highly engaged
member of the Watertown community, with service to the VFW,
the Lions Club, and numerous charity events. He was a
dedicated member of the Thomas Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church
for decades. Many people in Watertown knew him from the
educational programs on Black History Month—particularly
regarding Watertown’s place in the history of the
Underground Railroad—offered through his church. He also
was the face of the award-winning advertising campaign by
the Samaritan Medical Center to prevent SIDS.
Buster enjoyed a wide variety of hobbies and activities. He
was a familiar face at local sporting events and loved
playing cards, horseshoes, and telling jokes with friends.
He knew every back road and fishing spot in the north
country, and loved taking the family on extended car rides
on the Seaway Trail. He had eclectic music interests, from
Motown to opera, and a wonderful, quick wit. He was known
for his jokes, his faith, his kindness, and boundless
He is survived by a large extended family and wonderful
friends. He is cherished by his best friend and loving wife,
Alice (Kelley) Crabbe of Watertown, NY; daughters Jill
Farrow, Watertown, NY and Jeannetta (Cleon) Williams,
Austin, TX; grand-daughter Alexis Grigsby, Watertown, NY;
and great grand-children, Aaliyah and Kash. He had a special
bond with his sister-in-law, Mary Kelley, Watertown, NY,
nephew, Bob Kelley, Weedsport, NY, and nieces, Rosie
Hoistion and Dominique Irizarry, Noblesville, IN. He leaves
behind a host of dear family friends, including Alan
Countryman and Andrew Smith, Watertown, NY.
In lieu of flowers,
memorial donations may be made to the Lewis County General
Hospital and Residential Health Care Facility in Lowville,
Condolences may be made at www.reedbenoit.com.
Information provided by Reed & Benoit Funeral
Home and Newzjunky, Watertown, N.Y.