Robert E. Crain, Jr., 86, of Hamburg, formerly of Crossett and Lake Village, passed away on September 26, 2018, at the Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock.
He was born on October 12, 1931, in Tillar, and was the son of the late Robert E. Crain, Sr. and Katie Harper Crain.
In 1949, Mr. Crain graduated from Lake Village High School, followed by three years at Arkansas A&M College where he played football. He then joined the U.S. Army, attended Officer Candidate School, and eventually retired as a captain. Following his military career, he finished up his last year of school at A & M and began teaching. Later, he completed his master’s degree in School Administration from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and served as principal at Price Elementary School and later as superintendent of the Crossett Public School System from 1980-1984.
Service to others held much significance in Mr. Crain’s life, in his military and teaching careers, and the civic clubs of which he was a member. He was a Freemason, a Shriner, and a Rotarian who was named a Paul Harris Fellow.
He enjoyed working in his shop building duck boxes, hunting, fishing, playing golf, and growing vegetables in his garden. His personality was larger than life and people were drawn to him, including the staff at the Grand Manor and Drew Memorial Hospital to whom he gave nicknames and thoroughly enjoyed.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Betty Jane Hogue Crain; a brother, Gene Crain; two sisters, Evelyn Underwood and Marnette Bennett; and two great-grandchildren, Audrey and Ethan Mattson.
He is survived by a son, James R. (Bonnie) Crain of Hamburg; a daughter, Beverly Smith, of Hamburg; six grandchildren, Derrick (Laci) Lyons, Chris (Erin) Lyons, Colt (Hollie) Smith, Drew Smith, Kara Jenkins, and Melody (Greg) Mattson; thirteen great-grandchildren, Claire, Micah, Natalie, Simeon, Allie, Gene, Gabriel, Bella, Addy, Golden, Gage, Kory, and Sedgwick; a brother-in-law, Farris (Rosie) Hogue of Benton; two sisters-in-law, Yvonne Hodnett of Rogers and Dorothy Hogue of Lonoke; and a daughter adopted out of love, Lisa (Larry) Vaughn of Monticello.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, September 29 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Medders Funeral Home in Crossett.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Sunday, September 30 at 2 p.m. at the funeral Home. Pastor Tim Chennault will officiate. Interment with military honors will follow the service at Pinewood Memorial Park.
Pallbearers are Derrick Lyons, Chris Lyons, Colt Smith, Drew Smith, Greg Mattson, and Larry Vaughn.
Memorials may be made to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, St. Jude’s Hospital, or the Ronald McDonald House.