Lelia Donnell Francisco Crabtree, 90, of Eudora, died on January 20, 2015.
She was born on February 20, 1924 at Prescott and was the daughter of the late Allen Theodore Francisco and James Velma McCain Francisco.
She was also preceded in death by her husband, Douglas Crabtree; three sisters, Emma Lee Bufkin, Georgia LeMay and Mary Ethel Gill; her beloved grandmother, Lelia Buchanan McCain, and many friends (especially, Virginia Yee).
Survivors include a daughter, Janet Lee Nelson (Guy) of Eudora; two sons, Douglas Allen “Bo” Crabtree (Chris) of Gallatin, Tennessee and John Tandy Crabtree (Tracy) of Montreal, Missouri; her grandchildren, Bill Nelson (Misty), Lelia Rebecca Nelson, Lisa Shelton (Jeff), Karen Crabtree, Katie Crabtree, Ann Crabtree, Rachel Crabtree and Preston Crabtree; her great-grandchildren, Tristan and Kinley Shelton and Bryson Crabtree.
Known as “Miss Lil” to Eudora residents, Mrs. Crabtree moved to Eudora to live with her sister after graduating from high school and awaiting an opportunity to start nurse’s training. She never made it to nursing school, but she ministered to countless people she encountered through the famous “Lil’s Shop” that she operated for 49 years on Main Street in Eudora.
She welcomed all into her store, and many received her love from the stools perched around her counters. She took food and consolation to the sick and visited the lonely. She checked on people in the hospital and rarely went anywhere empty-handed. A flow of people who entered her front door and a few who regularly used the back door were blessed with her love and acceptance. She cared for each one, individually. She was a friend to each manager of the Dime Store next door and source of information and peppermints to all the UPS guys.
She also managed the cemetery and birthday calendars for the Twentieth Century Club for many years.
She loved her family, her store, Eudora, her Sunday school class at Eudora Baptist Church, her card playing friends, her yard, a good joke, and finding just the right greeting card to send to someone. She loved to “go”.
Even when Alzheimer’s disease was stealing her abilities, she remained social and pleasant in personality.
Visitation will is January 23 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Griffin-Culpepper Funeral Service in Eudora. Funeral services will be held on January 24 at 11 a.m. at Eudora Baptist Church with Rev. Jimmy Wallace officiating. Burial will be at Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Eudora.
Memorials may be made to Mt. Carmel Cemetery Fund, c/o Darlene Calloway, 1163 N. Mabry Street, Eudora, AR 71640.