Jim Crews, 87, was born in Okmulgee County, Oklahoma on June 5, 1929, near Bald Hill to John L. and Ida Mae (Treadway) Crews. The place of his birth was the Frank B. Severs Ranch and no doubt the history of the ranch and the area left an indelible imprint on his young mind and helped to create a lifelong love of the West and of frontier Oklahoma.
Jim lived in Seminole, Bowlegs, Maud, Wellston and graduated from Chandler High School in 1947. During his high school years, he served as class president three of his four years, participated in drama, glee clubs, band and lettered in basketball and football and was all conference end in football.
Jim attended OBU at Shawnee during 1947-49 where he participated in basketball and the Bison Band. He transferred to OU in 1949 and received his Bachelor of Science in Education in 1951. He taught school and coached basketball at Hugo High School from 1951 through 1953. He returned to OU and earned his Master of Education degree in 1958.
On May 31, 1948, Jim married the love of his life, Miss Hallie Thompson, in Chandler, Oklahoma. They lived in Shawnee, Norman, Hugo and moved to Pauls Valley in June 1953 when he became office manager for his father-in-law, A.G. Thompson, who was also the TEXACO consignee.
During 1979 he and Mr. Thompson purchased Texaco's fuel distribution interests in Garvin and McClain counties and greatly expanded their business involvement. Jim became president of Tex-T in 1971 and at Alva's death in 1993, became its chief executive officer.
He was a member of the Oklahoma Petroleum Marketers Association for 37 years and served as southeast representative and alternative fuels chairman for a couple of terms. He also was a member of the Oklahoma Petroleum Gas Association for 38 years. He maintained his interests in professional education by retaining his membership in the OU chapter of Phi-Delta-Kappa, an honorary education fraternity since 1950.
During Jim's sojourn in Pauls Valley he gave leadership and support to a great many civic and church related activities.
He was president of the Pauls Valley Lay Committee on Education for two years during the '50s, served as Quarterback Club President 1966-67, was a member of the Pauls Valley Rotary Club for 44 years through 2008 and served as its president during its 50th year in 1972. He became a Paul Harris Fellow in 1988.
He was elected to the Pauls Valley City Council in 1972 and was re-appointed in 1976 and served a total of six years. He was a chamber of commerce director from 1972 through 1998. He served on the Pauls Valley General Hospital Board for 12 years and on the Hospital Foundation Board for 12 years, 11 of those years he served as president of the foundation. He loved the health care involvement and was glad to have had a part in the hospital expansion project and the construction of the assisted living center.
Jim accepted the Lord at the age of eight and spent his life as a lay person in serving the LORD.
He was part-time educational director of the FBC in Pauls Valley during 1955, also served as Sunday school director, training union director, a deacon since 1956 and chaired phase I of the building campaign in 1984. He taught young people, senior adults, singles, couples and sang in church choirs since high school days. He served as interim music director of the FBC many times and led revivals in Baptist churches in Garvin County on numerous occasions. Needless to say, he loved church music and could play the piano as well as sing the great old hymns.
Jim loved his wife Hallie and their three kids. They traveled a lot of places and shared a lot of great experiences. He was a photographer, a hunter, a fisherman, a gardener, a carpenter and an avid reader. He loved the Bible and the people and the world around him.
He is survived by his family members — one son, James Michael Crews and his wife Liz from Sulphur; two daughters: Sara Lynn Crews of Norman, Laurie Ann Crews from Pauls Valley, by two granddaughters Allison Eason and her husband Brad from Davis, and Meghan Callarman and her husband, Jordan, of Glendale, California, and two great-granddaughters, Paisley Brooke Eason and Landry Leigh Eason of Davis.
Jim served as a bank director at the First National Bank of Pauls Valley and the State Bank of Wynnewood and Advisory Board Chairman of The First United Bank and Trust in Pauls Valley. During 2007-08 he helped organize the NBIT/Banican Bank in Tulsa. During 2008 he was involved in helping develop his land interests in the Purcell area.
The family members who pre-deceased him are his wife Hallie; his parents John L. and Ida M. Crews; brothers Russell Ray Crews and L.W. Crews; three sisters: Mary Alice O'Dell, Joy Chandler, and Thelma Jeffries; his parents-in-law Alva and Bess Thompson; and three brothers-in-law: Ted Jeffries, Carl F. Chandler and Faye O'Dell.
Family members remaining are two sisters-in-law, Norma Crews of Conway, Ar., and Barbara Lowe of Richardson, Texas; and a brother-in-law, Conrad Hart from Chandler, Oklahoma. He also leaves many wonderful nieces and nephews.
One of his favorite Bible passages was Matthew 6:33-34. He loved a statement by Frank A. Clark: "If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere." He leaves with us Col. 3:15-17: "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts...."
Note: Dad wrote his obituary on March 3, 2008. It has been updated recently only to include deaths, births and marriages in the family since that date.
The family requests that memorial in Jim's name be sent to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. You may send you memorial to this link: https://omrf.org/donation-form/ and specify Alzheimer's Research. You may, also, send a memorial by mail to: OMRF, 825 N.E. 13th Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104 and specify Alzheimer's Research.
Graveside services will be held Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 9 a.m. at the Mt. Olivet Cemetery Pavilion, and Memorial Services will be at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church of Pauls Valley.
Interment will be at Mt. Olivet Cemetery under the direction of Stufflebean-Coffey Funeral Home. We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the family's guestbook at www.stufflebeanfuneralhome.com.
Published on March 21, 2017