Funeral services for Earl Monroe Crofford, Jr., 74, West Plains, Missouri, will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, February 10, 2020 at First Baptist Church, under the direction of Robertson-Drago Funeral Home.
Mr. Crofford passed away peacefully at 8:00 a.m., Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at his home.
He was born May 29, 1945, at Newport, Arkansas, to Earl and Dorothy Pauline Lewis Crofford. Earl graduated from Newport High School, with the Class of 1963. He loved playing tennis, football, basketball and track, representing the Newport Greyhounds. Earl attended Arkansas State University at Jonesboro, Arkansas before joining the United States Navy in 1967. Years later he furthered his education by earning a degree with University of Missouri, Columbia. While in the Navy, he married Patricia Ann Crumpton, also of Newport, on November 18, 1967. Mr. Crofford worked in human resources for several companies, including Waterloo Industries, Pocahontas, Arkansas, the City Water and Light, Jonesboro, Arkansas, LeeVac Shipyard, Jennings, Louisiana and in 1984, the family moved to West Plains and he began working at Marathon Electric (later known as Regal). Earl quickly became a Zizzer supporter in many ways. In 1987 he began his teaching career and was also the Zizzer boys’ tennis coach. Many happy times were spent teaching young men to play and have a passion for the game. Ann Burtrum was the bus driver for the Zizzer Tennis Team; Earl always told her that she was the good luck charm for the team – she drove and they won! He also made many educational trips fun for the DECA students. Education was very important to Earl; his motto was “Is it good for the students?” In Earl’s lifetime of working he also served and volunteered on many organizations, some included are Northeast Arkansas Safety Council, Missouri Vocational Association, American Vocational Association, Missouri State Teacher’s Association, Mountain Grove Chamber of Commerce, and United Way. Earl gave his life to Jesus as a young man; he and his family attended Church and became members wherever they lived. While in West Plains they were members of First Christian Church and currently First Baptist Church. He served in many ways, including serving on boards, Deacon, Elder, Sunday School Teacher and Youth Group Leader. Parkinson’s and dementia began to take control of Earl’s body in 2008, the year he retired. Earl never forgot his years in the classroom; he spent many days and nights with Pat talking about his former students. It was always a joy when any student would visit; his eyes would light up and the joy was obvious. Tennis, golf, fishing and hunting were a few of the hobbies he loved, but being with family was the most important. Earl was a loving son, husband, father, granddaddy and great-granddaddy.
He is survived by his wife of fifty-two years, Pat Crofford; two children, Steve Crofford and wife, Carrie and Amy Cunningham and husband, Scott; four grandchildren, Haley, Kyley, Carter and Hudson Cunningham; two great-grandchildren, Gabe and Astrid Perez; sister-in-law, Myna Sarzotti and husband, Tony; two cousins, Carol Bowden and Bill Lewis and wife, Donna; two special nieces and one nephew, Rob Crumpton, Lynn Crumpton and Sandy Lightner; and many special family members and friends..
His parents, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Bob and Martha Crumpton and one nephew, Bill Crumpton, preceded him in death.
Visitation will be held from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m., Sunday, at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Oak Lawn Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to The American Cancer Society and may be left at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home. Online condolences may be expressed at www.robertsondrago.com.