Cover photo for Dr. William Lee Crabtree's Obituary
Dr. William Lee Crabtree Profile Photo
1931 Dr. William 2013

Dr. William Lee Crabtree

May 10, 1931 — February 1, 2013

Dr. William Lee Crabtree, age 81, of Paragould, died Friday, February 1, 2013, at Flo and Phil Jones Hospice House in Jonesboro. Dr. Crabtree was born May 10, 1931 in Oil Trough, Arkansas. Bill was a 1950 graduate of Oil Trough High School and then attended Arkansas College, now Lyon College, from 1950-1953, working during the summer months at car manufacturing plants in Detroit, MI. He met Bonita in the fall of 1952 and they were married August 30, 1953. Their son, Robert, was born July 8, 1954. Bill coached basketball at Pleasant Plains, Arkansas, 1953-1955, where his junior team was state runners-up in 1955. He coached the following year at Cave City and then he had a career change repossessing cars for universal CIT for three years. He then decided to get his dental education, taking classes at Memphis State and Arkansas State from 1959-1960. He was accepted into the University School of Dentistry in 1960 and graduated in 1963, where he was a member of the XI Psi Phi Fraternity. Upon graduation, he moved with his family to Paragould and entered practice with the late Dr. B.E. Gill for 6 months until Dr. Gill moved to Heber Springs. Dr. Crabtree remained in private practice, W.L. Crabtree Family Dentistry, until December of 2012. In his early years in Paragould, he served as president of the Little League Ball Team (1964-1965) and enjoyed visiting with these boys in later years as they became adults. Doc was a member of the Kiwanis Club for 40 years and served in various positions and as president in 1972. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce (1964-2013), ASDA, American Dental Association (1963-2013), receiving the lifetime membership award in 2012. He also was a member of the NE Arkansas Dental Study Club. Sports were always a passion of his and he became a high school basketball official and refereed for seven decades, his last game being in February, 2012. He also was a member of the Red Wolf Club at ASU and could referee from his comfortable seat. His loved golf and claimed to be an avid but non-proficient golfer. In one of the most important decisions of his life, he was baptized into the Church of Christ by Leon Sanderson in 1959. He was an avid member of Seventh and Mueller Church of Christ, loved his church family and strived daily to live up to his commitment. He is survived by his beloved wife of 59 years; Bonita, of the home; one son: Robert Michael Crabtree of Little Rock; one brother: Harold L. Crabtree of Newport; two special nieces and their spouses: Carlena and Jerry Adams of Jonesboro, Bethany and Lee Benson of Newport; one great niece: Reagan Benson; one great nephews: Corey, Braden and Nathan Adams; one special aunt, June Crabtree of Oil Trough, his wife's cousin, who he fondly regarded as his sister-in-law, Janice Gleghorn, of Batesville and a host of family and friends. He was preceded in death by his mother, Cleo Barrett and grandparents, Bessie and Kelly Crabtree. The family will receive friends from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Sunday, at Heath Funeral Home. His life will be celebrated at Seventh and Mueller Church of Christ, 10:00 AM, Monday, with Michael Cox and Larry McFadden officiating. There will be a private burial in Batesville. Memorials may be sent to Seventh and Mueller Church of Christ Building Fund or the charity of your choice. Pallbearers are Johnny Stanford, Dr. Gary Dehls, Dr. harold Willmuth, David Summitt, Larry Gatlin, Gary Washington, Frank Guinn and Dr. Alan Crawford. Honorary pallbearers are the 304 Sunay School Class at Seventh and Mueller, Chad Crabtree, Don Perkey, Antone Gullow, Ted Greenway, C.R. Dudley, Bill Fisher, Robert Box, Mack Harbour and Gary Watsen. Sign online guestbook at www.heathfuneralhome.com. He loved travel and was always eager for another trip and adventure. May God bless him and welcome him as he enters into this, his last trip.

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