On December 9th, 1934 in the midst of the Dust Bowl an even more powerful force was born unto Mabel and R. P. Crabtree. Julia Ann (Judy) Crabtree the baby sister of Lewis Preston, William Roger and Martha Lynn was born at the home place Southwest of Kerrick, TX.
Judy’s education began at the Murdoch school in Kerrick where she attended through third grade. Judy started 4th grade at Boise City when the family moved to a new home place eight miles south of town. One day in class Judy discovered the boy behind her had dunked the ends of her long braids in his ink well. She was not sure if Lyman was sweet on her or just ornery, she would realize later it would be a lifetime of both. Judy was always very involved in the activities at school including playing saxophone in the band. She became the drum major and was proud to accept the trophy for best high school marching band at a homecoming parade held at Panhandle A&M College. As a sophomore in 1951, Judy was voted Football Queen and was escorted by her future brother-in-law Kenneth Wells to receive the honor. That same year Farm Bureau held a contest for Outstanding Young Man & Woman and Judy won the contest and the $25 cash prize.
After high school Judy attended Oklahoma A&M College (now OSU) in Stillwater. Judy was again very active in all aspects of campus life. She was a member of Phi Upsilon Omicron and Kappa Phi sororities. Judy was the Editor and Publisher of the school calendar for 1957. She was elected Secretary of the Mortar Board and Secretary-Treasurer of the senior class. In 1956 she graduated with honors earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Home Economics with an emphasis on apparel and textile merchandising, which is now known as Fashion Merchandising. This played hand in hand with her lifelong passion for style and fashion. As an alumnus of OSU she always felt pity for alumni and fans of the “Other University” (OU).
On October 27th, 1956 Judy married her high school sweetheart and the love of her life Lyman (Potts) Potter in Stillwater, Ok. The union blessed them with three fine sons, Lyman Marlowe, Wade Preston, and Jesse Cole. Lyman and Judy embarked on a life of farming and ranching, where Judy enjoyed helping Lyman and the boys. Whether it was driving grain trucks, hauling water, building fence, or working cattle she was ready to help. Once after donning an old pair of very pointy-toed boots to help work cattle she was affectionately given the nick name “Tex” and is still called that by many of the boys’ friends.
In March of 2000, Lyman suffered a major stoke that left his left side paralyzed. If there was ever an example of courage, devotion, and determination, it was how Judy cared for Lyman. She held a full time job, then would come home and take over Lyman’s care, without ever a complaint. Lyman did not complain about his situation and tried to keep her spirits up. Once they were leaving after eating at Sheen’s and Judy was struggling with Lyman’s feet and wheelchair. As she was bent down Lyman said “Did you know you are starting to get some grey hairs?” The same love and orneriness from their school days was still intact. They enjoyed 48 wonderful years before Lyman passed in 2004.
Judy loved her boys’ fiercely and enjoyed spoiling them anytime she had a chance. You did not have to be one of her children for Judy to spoil you. Cousins, nieces, nephews, coworkers, friends of the boys, or anyone she came in contact with was just as likely to be fair game for her love and compassion. One of her specialties was desserts, and you are truly misfortunate if you never had one of her home made chocolate cakes, chocolate chip cookies or scotch-a-roos.
Judy worked for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) for several years and enjoyed the many friendships she formed with her coworkers. After retiring she loved being able to spend more time with her kids and grandkids. She also enjoyed taking guided bus tours around the country her favorites were Yellowstone National Park, the mansions and plantations of the south, and the northeast to view the leaves display their autumn colors.
Judy was a lifetime member and enjoyed being involved in all aspects of St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Boise City. She enjoyed teaching the kindergarten class for several years. Anytime she thought she recognized someone, but was unsure, her boys would tease that maybe they were from her kindergarten class. Judy was a member of Epsilon Sigma Alpha and enjoyed the friendships and activities it involved. She was always concerned with the community (and the world) and the people in it. On several occasions she reached out to young people who were struggling or on the fringe of acceptance and arranged to take them to community events so they would realize someone cared about them.
Judy was a great daughter, but was unequaled as a wife, mom, granny and great granny. After putting up with all boys she was thrilled to have two granddaughters Amanda and Haley Kat to spoil even if she did have a hard time beating Lyman to it. She was then fortunate to be blessed with two grandsons, Dakota and Bailey and enjoyed spoiling them as well. She was blessed again to have four great grandkids, Darby, Destiny, Topher and Grady. In 35 years she never failed to travel up to 700 miles to be at a grandkids birthday.
Judy was preceded in death by her parents, Mabel and R. P. Crabtree; her brothers Lewis and Roger Crabtree; her husband Lyman, and son Marlowe.
Judy is survived by her sister Lynn and husband Kenneth Wells, of Stratford Texas, her sister-in-law, Mary Crabtree of Boise City, Oklahoma, her two sons, Wade and wife, Lisa of Vinita Oklahoma; Cole and wife, Brenda of Bryan Texas, two grandsons, Dakota Lay and wife, Jordan; Bailey Potter, two granddaughters Amanda Marshall and husband Chris; and Haley Potter and husband Daniel, and her four great grandchildren Darby Newkirk, Topher and Grady Marshall; and Destiny Lay.
Funeral services will be Saturday morning, October 12th, 10:00 AM at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. Interment will follow in Boise City Cemetery and are entrusted to Henson-Novak Funeral Directors of Boise City.
Memorials may be given to St. Paul’s UMC of Boise City or Memorial Hospice of Dumas, C/O Henson-Novak Funeral Directors, P.O. Box 1306, Guymon OK 73942. Friends may sign the online guestbook and write condolences at www.hensonnovak.com.
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