In Memory

Raymond Crouch

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05/01/12 06:04 PM #1    

Lynn Dee Williams (Crouch)

Wife of Raymond
Children:  Raymond III         1962
                   Troy D                   1967
                   Christopher T      1976
                   Jeremy J               1978
Grandchildren: 5 girls and 5 boys. Their ages this year are 3 to 23.
Joplin MO 64801
Telephone:  417-553-0080
Cell:              620-704-4079
December 17, 1962, Raymond started his job at Uarco. That also was the day our first son was born.
Worked almost his full shift until he told his trainer about wife in hospital to deliver child. Trainer's remark was go to the hospital, NOW.   Of course he was there for delivery - in waiting room.  
                                                                                                                                                                                                  At Uarco he worked in the carbon department, operated printing presses, did supervisor cover ups and went to Adrian Michigan to train press operators in a new plant for a month. He enjoyed his job, could be caught whistling while he worked. When he would have his 100% runs done for his shift he would clean up his area and goof off. Not always appreciated by fellow workers.
By 1977, he wanted a change in employment. He had been doing custom farming for 2 years and that
seemed to be the right move. The family moved to the farm north of Crescent City. Diversify - so it was
row crops: corn, soybeans, wheat; hogs farrow to finish and beef herd. The older boys were a big help
and the younger ones had open spaces to run and play.
Raymond loved playing baseball as a youth, catcher position. In his 20's it was soft ball and in his 30's
it was slow pitch. That last few years he played slow pitch the older boys joined the team which was fun
for all. The other pleasures that he shared with the boys were fishing, camping, golf, hunting, bowling,
and motorcycles. Encouraging and helping the older boys with a demolition derby car for the county fair
was the least favorite for me. The boys over the years have picked up the sports of their choice.
By 1986, farming costs and profits gave us a bleak picture. Over the years there were extension courses
at the U of I taken to improve our chances. Still we weren't going to make it. Time for a change.
Son Ray had gone to college ( swine), married and moved to Nebraska. Troy had just graduated from high school and joined the Navy. Wanted out of the flat land of Illinois and see the world. Raymond's brother,
Dale, lived in Joplin Missouri. A place to start. Checking out the printing companies in that area.
April 1987, we found our family in Girard, Kansas. Raymond's mother moved with us. Raymond found
employment with a small business forms printing company. In July he was asked to take over a new shift
as supervisor. It was 3 days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) - 12 hour shifts. Sounded good to him. Then he asked himself what was he going to do for 4 days. College! That was what to do. So at 42 years old he signed up at Labette Community College. The challenge is what he needed. Yes, he was older than most
students and some teachers. When he met with his counselor for the first time, the counselor smiled-closed
his book of routine information for a freshman and said,"What can I do for you?" He enjoyed his time in class
and learning. On May 11, 1990 he graduated Cum Laude with his degree Associated in Applied Science in
Business & Industrial Supervision. In his cap and gown and the biggest smile on his face told it all.
When the company decided to end the week-end shift, he was asked to join the sales staff. Next move.
Traveling to old and new customers, setting up and working business shows was always interesting. Oh, 
he loved to talk business forms - he knew his "stuff". Meeting Terry Bradshaw (QB football) in a hotel bar in Texas was a plus on that trip. They shook hands and Raymond told him "Thanks for all those Sunday afternoons".
In December 1997, Raymond ended up in the hospital. Diagnosis COPD. Choice to give up cigarettes and
live and if not suffer/death. Breathing became more important. It took another trip in January to the hospital to really convence him. It still wasn't easy and took more time. The doctor at the time said it could give him
10 maybe 15 years if nothing health wise occurred.
Raymond worked in the business forms industry until 1999. By then he couldn't work a 40 hour week and was put on oxygen 24/7. Well, earlier in 1999 we were finally empty nesters. Chris got married and Jeremy
moved to Joplin Missouri to attend Missouri State College. We would be ok. Slight change in plans. In 
October I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In November he had a big set back and ended up in the hospital. We almost lost him. I had lots of tests - in and out of the hospital. Chris and wife were in college in
Pittsburg - 20 minutes away and Jeremy an hour away. They were there when needed. Oldest son Ray
came and stayed with his Dad when I had to be in the hospital for surgery. On December 17,I started my
chemo treatments.Raymond was able to go with me to doctor appointments and take me to my chemo treatments. He would sit next to me while I slept during my chemo. I worked part time during my chemo and radiation . Needed health insurance. 
By 2001, Raymond jumped through all the hoops and got put on the lung transplant list.                                                                              
By 2005 we moved to Pittsburg. Closer to work for me. I could go home at noon and be with him. He gave us a few more scares - ending up in the hospital on the ventilator, twice. Then the crushing blow.  Test result showing of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Because of the aneurysm he was taken off the lung transplant list. The aneurysm is hereditary. His mother and great uncle both died from the rupture. His brother Dale had his repaired. His sister Joyce doesn't have one. They wouldn't repair Raymond's because they said he wouldn't come out of the surgery. Our children and grandchildren will have to deal with this when they get about 50.
Raymond's aneurysm ruptured May 23, 2007. He told the surgeon to do the surgery. He was in a lot of pain and I'm sure he felt he had a 50/50 chance. He was strong and determined. He came out of the surgery and on the ventilator. He fought a strong battle. Complications, so on June 25th he was med flight to Shawnee Mission Hospital in Kansas City KS. Chris and family lived in Kansas City and 15 minutes away from the 
hospital. Jeremy came over from Joplin and brought his son Connor age 5 months to say good by. Chris
met the med flight and I drove.
Raymond passed away June 30, 2007 at the age of 62. He was surrounded by his family.
We were together for 46 years and married for 45. We were able to do traveling over the years: New Orleans, Florida, California, Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Colorado.  Regrets - 0. Wishes - one more day together. 
Decision time for me. When I sold my home in Pittsburg was where to move. My choices were where the
boys live. Kansas City for Chris/family - too much traffic. Ray/family and Troy/family live in Iowa about 25
minutes apart. Winter weather was a big factor - snow/cold. That left Jeremy/family in Joplin. Winters aren't
too bad, summers could be hot but I would have A/C. So May 2010 I moved to Joplin. Jeremy's home and mine are 2 minutes apart. Whoever needs help, we can be there in short time. Good choice or what was I
thinking. Then came May 22, 2011 and the EF5 tornado. Ok, we are north of the tornado zone. It has impacted our lives but like all of Joplin, we will perservere.
And Life Goes On

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