Peterson Funeral Chapel
Kathleen Marguerite (Eckels) Crabb passed away on June 24, 2022 at Mercy Hospital in Joplin, MO. She was born to Wilbur and Marguerite (Klimper) Eckels on New Year’s Day 1932 in Wolf Creek, Wisconsin. She was the first of four children and thus, began her need to mother and nurture those around her. Her family and grandparents moved in 1938 to the Aurora, Missouri area where she resided the remainder of her long life.
Kathleen graduated from Aurora Senior High School in 1948. She married Carl Dean Crabb on August 4, 1948. They quickly had 3 boys in 4 years (Carl Richard “Dick”, Michael Dean and Kerry Lee), followed by a daughter (Gayle Ann) 2 years later. Another daughter (Peggy Lynne) was born 6 years after that to make their family complete. The family didn’t have much money, but they had love and all the chaos a posse of kids brings. Their little house was the gathering spot for their children’s friends and anyone who needed a place to belong and a hug. Kathleen and Carl were married for 59 years before his passing in 2007.
Kathleen was a hard worker inside and outside the home. She took care of everything that needed to be done. She began her career in office work when her youngest child went to school. She worked for Southwest Manufacturing, MWM, Methodist Manor and then finally the Aurora Special Road District.
Kathleen was a caretaker, first for her siblings, then her children, and then her parents in their later years. She was dedicated to their well-being, independence and quality of life until their passing. Her grandchildren (and great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren) were welcomed with great delight, and she loved each addition. Even in her last days, she was thrilled to have the little grandchildren visit and give them kisses.
Kathleen was a dedicated Christian and a member of Aurora First Baptist Church for more than 80 years. She professed a personal relationship with Jesus and desired her family to follow Him. She prayed for many years for the salvation of her husband and rejoiced when he accepted Christ late in life. She prayed for her family constantly and would encourage you to accept Jesus’ invitation to be a part of your life and have eternal life.
Food and family was a lifelong theme for Kathleen. She learned to garden in her childhood and continued this throughout her life to feed her family and others, canning copious amounts to share. She will be well remembered for her vegetables and beautiful roses. Kathleen spent a lifetime opening her arms to everyone and sharing her delicious cooking. Her gooseberry, rhubarb and coconut cream pies, and homemade cinnamon rolls were highly requested. Strangers, family and friends all found themselves welcomed at her kitchen table (or occasionally the garage “dining hall” if the gathering was too large). We rejoice that she is now eating at the Lord’s banquet table.
Kathleen is survived by her extensive family who are honored to have spent a lifetime with her and will carry on her legacy. She leaves behind 2 siblings, Thomas Wilbur Eckels (Sue) and Charles Max “Mickey” Eckels (Trish) along with their families; 4 children, Dick Crabb, Mike Crabb (Betty), Kerry Crabb (Barbara) and Peggy Williams (Stan); son-in-law, Billy Enfinger; 14 grandchildren and their spouses; 25 great-grandchildren and spouses; and 3 great-great-grandchildren, all of whom loved her very much.
Kathleen was preceded in death by her parents, one sister (Diane Eubanks), husband (Carl Crabb), beloved daughter (Gayle Enfinger), two daughters-in-law (Wanda Crabb and Diane Crabb) and 2 great-grandchildren born to heaven.
Kathleen will be cremated and laid to rest privately in the family plot at Maple Park Cemetery in Aurora. Visitation with the family will be at the Aurora First Baptist Church on Friday, July 1, 2022 at 10am with a memorial service at 11am. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Aurora First Baptist Church. Please join us in celebration of Kathleen’s life and eternal reward.