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04/14/09 - NNHS Newsletter -
Mercedes Smith Crum

Mercedes Smith Crum
(1921 - 11 Apr 2009)

Hampton High School Class of 1938

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,   
We have more sad news this morning. 
   Mercedes Smith Crum, Hampton High School Class of 1938, widow of the former proprietor of Crum's Bakeries, mother of Blaine Crum ('57) of AL, Larry Crum ('60) of VA, Christopher Crum of MA, and of the late Alma Crum Piggins ('64) (20 July 1946 - 25 Dec 1995) and the late David Crum, passed away at the Riverside Convalescent Center on Saturday, April 11, 2009 at the age of 88.

 From the Daily Press - 04/14/09:   

              Mercedes Smith Crum


HAMPTON - Mercedes Smith Crum, a lifelong resident of Hampton and a member of the Wythe Presbyterian Church, died on Saturday, April 11, at the age of 88, at the Riverside Convalescent Center.

Born in 1921 to Lawrence and Alma Smith of Hollywood Avenue, she was one of five children. Her brothers and sisters, who all preceded her in death were, Louis Smith, William Kent Smith, Alberta Smith Adams and Lawrence Smith.

Mercedes graduated from Hampton High School in 1938. Soon after, she married Blaine Crum Jr., a founding partner of Crum's Bakeries, who would be a loving partner for 69 years. They reared four children and supervised the care of a youngest child with Down's syndrome. In 1958, 20 years after leaving high school, Mrs. Crum entered the Norfolk College of William and Mary; in 1962, she graduated with a bachelor of science in elementary education and with the highest ranking in her class. Following graduation, Mrs. Crum began her career as an elementary school teacher with Hampton City Schools. She was soon promoted to the position of the first Director of Special Education, a newly created program. She served with distinction for 12 years before returning to the classroom. She was both highly respected by her colleagues and devoted to her students, emphasizing to them the importance of making the most of their individual talents. She worked tirelessly to educate and support those with special needs.


Mercedes Smith Crum


Mrs. Crum was a member and past president of the PEO educational organization. She was a founding member of the Wythe Presbyterian Church and the first woman to be selected as an elder in the church. Whether in her profession, at home or at church, Mrs. Crum set an enduring example for personal responsibility and attention to the needs of others that forged unshakeable friendships and the lasting devotion of her family, friends and colleagues. Her strong faith, eternal optimism and easy laughter lifted many a heavy heart.

The family extends its heartfelt appreciation to the Riverside Convalescent Center, on Algonquin Road, friends and family for caring for Mrs. Crum the past 6 years.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Blaine Cecil Crum Jr.; daughter, Alma Crum Piggins; and son, David Stewart Crum.

She is survived by her sons, Blaine Cecil Crum III and wife, Lynda of Mobile, Ala., Lawrence Edward Crum and wife, Kathy of Chesapeake, Va., and Christopher Paul Crum and wife, Tucker of Brookline, Mass.; seven grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; 14 nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, at R. Hayden Smith Funeral Home. The funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Thursday, by the Rev. Susan H. Cothran, at the R. Hayden Smith Funeral Home, with interment to follow in Peninsula Memorial Park.

The family requests that donations in Mrs. Crum's name be directed to the Wythe Presbyterian Church, 151 Robinson Road, Hampton VA 23661. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in the Daily Press from 4/14/2009 - 4/15/2009.
Guest Book


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I met Mercedes when I worked part-time for her and Mrs. Bunn in the Special Ed Department Hampton City Schools. She assisted me in obtaining my first full-time job at the Multi-Handicapped Center upon graduating from High School in 1974. She was instrumental in creating the Multi-Handicapped Center for children with special needs and taught me a lot about special education. Your mother was a wonderful lady. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time.

~ Debbie Critzer Price, Hampton, Virginia

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I grew up on Hollywood Avenue. My grandfather and father owned the Texaco Service Station at the corner of Kecoughtan Road and Hollywood Avenue. L.G. Smith & Son. All of our families grew up on the "silver dollar" biscuits from Crum's. The "Hollywood Avenue Smith's" were great friends. We all ended up on the Chickahominy River, the Crums, Kent Smith, Lee & Tommy Smith. I shared this e-mail with my mother.
~ Thomas Smith, Toano, Virginia

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I had the honor of working with Mrs. Crum as a part-time Cooperative Education Student (COE) in the late 70's. I attribute my decison to enter the field of special education to Mrs. Crum. She was a wonderful woman with a beautiful spirit. Although I have not seen or spoken to her since I left Hampton City Schools, she will always be someone special in my heart. My prayers are with you.

~ Deborah Gregory, Hampton, Virginia

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chris, Blaine and family. We pray our heart felt love for you will in some way provide comfort to you in these days of sadness.


~ Dave, Foster, Aaron and Brandy Coxe, Mobile, Alabama



   Our deepest condolences are extended to the Crum family and their friends at this difficult time.

       From Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 04/14/09, 9:21 AM - "Death of    Alma Crum (Piggins) '64 Mother":

Did you catch this one?

Wife of founder of Crum's Bakery and mother of late Alma Crum Piggins ('64)

Crum, Mercedes S.

   Thanks so much, David.  Yes, I'm just running behind this morning.

  Y'all take good care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER! We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty
219 Four Ply Lane
Fayetteville, NC 29311-9305

O Lord of Life, Where'er They Be

- Lyrics by
Frederick L. Hosmer, 1888; Music by Melchior Vulpius (circa 1560-1615)

O Lord of life, where’er they be,
Safe in Thine own eternity,
Our dead are living unto Thee:
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

All souls are Thine, and here or there
They rest within Thy sheltering care;
One providence alike they share:
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thy Word is true, Thy ways are just;
Above the requiem, “Dust to dust,”
Shall rise our psalm of grateful trust:
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

O happy they in God who rest,
No more by fear and doubt oppressed,
Living or dying, they are blest:
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

"O Lord of Life, Where'er They Be" midi courtesy of - 04/08/08

"O Lord of Life, Where'er They Be" lyrics courtesy of - 04/08/08

Greg Olsen Paintings courtesy of – 03/15/05

Blackwork Flowers Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 08/12/04

Hampton High School's Crab clip art courtesy of - 10/02/05 (still missing...)
Replaced courtesy o
- 02/17/09

P.E.O. Sisterhood logo star courtesy of - 03/23/09

Navy Seal clip art courtesy of - 05/29/06

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