Ida Mae Call Crabtree, age 89, of Wellston, passed away Monday, Aug. 9 at Sonata Hunter’s Creek in Kissimmee, Florida. She was born March 21, 1932, in Wellston, Ohio, the only child of the late Jasper C. “Jap” Call and Mary Jane “Jennie” Simmons Call. Ida Mae is survived by her daughter, Valleri, and Valleri’s spouse, Sherry Blankenship, and their daughter, Alex Blankenship, all of Kissimmee, Florida. They are grateful for the time which they were able to spend with her in her later life, particularly for the years in which she lived in Florida. Ida Mae is also survived by her special friends, Everett and Michelle Leach of Wellston. She was preceded in death by her parents, Jap and Jennie Call, and her husband of 59 years, Ralph D. Crabtree, in 2010.
Ida Mae was a 1950 graduate of Wellston High School and continued her education by obtaining a Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education from Rio Grande College and a Master of Education Degree from Ohio University. On October 19, 1951, she married Ralph Dale Crabtree at the E.U.B. Church in Wellston. Ida Mae was an admired educator, who throughout her 32 years of distinguished service in the field of education, demonstrated unwavering dedication in performing her duties and fulfilling her responsibilities with caring and competency. After one year as a teacher in the Oak Hill School District, she joined the Wellston City School District, where she spent 21 years teaching and 10 years in school administration. Ida Mae was always sincere and energetic in her approach to her work and displayed a genuine commitment to achieving her myriad of goals in a skillful and professional manner. Throughout her career, she supported countless students in their scholastic endeavors, and helped to mature within them a desire for academic excellence. Giving of her time and abilities far beyond what was required or expected of her, Ida Mae earned the respect and gratitude of her colleagues, her community and, most importantly, her students. She was a life member of the Ohio Education Association, and a member of the National Education Association, the Southeast Ohio Education Association, the Wellston Teachers Association, the American Association of University Women, Phi Delta Kappa, and Delta Kappa Gamma.
The greatest joy of Ida Mae’s personal life was her high school sweetheart and late husband, Ralph. They shared many interests and loved improving their home, traveling to wonderful destinations and caring for their beloved cats. She never tired of looking at pictures of their many adventures and telling stories of their life together. She also cherished her years as a student at Wellston High School, engaging in antics with her girlfriends and participating in scholastic and extra-curricular activities, especially as a WHS cheerleader. Ida Mae also had an extremely close bond with her parents, particularly with her father, and loved her paternal first cousins with the closeness of sisters. In the early 1960’s, Ida Mae and her cousin Lois Hill worked on John Kennedy’s campaign to become the President, meeting Kennedy and his running mate, Lyndon Johnson, several times and traveling to Washington, DC to attend the Inauguration and his Inaugural Ball.
Calling hours will be Saturday, Aug. 14, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the McWilliams Funeral Home in Wellston. Additional calling hours will be held Sunday, Aug. 15, from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the funeral home. Graveside service will follow at 2 p.m. at the Ridgewood Cemetery with Pastor Jim Griffith and the Reverend James Waugh co-officiating. For those attending the calling hours or graveside service, the family requests that facial coverings and social distancing be required. Online condolences can be sent to the family at www.mcwilliams-funeralhome.com