Virginia Ann Crabtree, 70, of Satsuma, died Monday, Jan. 19, 2009, at Haven Hospice Roberts Care Center in Palatka.
She was a former president of the Downtown Merchants Association of Palatka, member of the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and founder, chair and committee head of the Blue Crab Festival, where she was "Mudder Crab." Ann was born in Melbourne, Fla., to A.C. and Alice H. Woodrow. She attended Melbourne High School and was a member of the Melbourne Marching Band. Her early childhood was spent on Jacksonville Beach and she continued her love of the beach throughout her life, enjoying area beaches. She was known by her children for her specialty, "Periwinkle Soup." She moved to Palatka in 1961 and in 1966 married the love of her life, Tom Crabtree. With her four children and his three children, they became what their children like to call the "original" Brady Bunch. A certified ceramic instructor, she owned and operated a ceramic shop. In 1976, she co-founded and operated Tom Crabtree Wholesale Company Inc., with her husband until 2001 when she semi-retired and opened, first, a restaurant, and then an antique business, Fifth Street Emporium.
She and her husband enjoyed traveling and visited all 50 states plus North, Central and South America and parts of Europe. She was affectionately known by her grandchildren/great-grandson as Mudder aka Mudd. She enjoyed spending time with family and friends and loved living life to the fullest. She always wanted to make the best of every situation.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Porter Wilkinson, who was killed on the USS Wasp in World War II; her beloved sister, Mrs. Marjorie Miller of Jacksonville Beach; and two brothers, Sidney Wilkinson of Bradenton and Albert Woodrow of Rockledge.
Survivors include her husband, Tom Crabtree: children, Teju (Mike) Adkisson of Interlachen, Toni (Gary) Sullivan of Avon Park, Steve (Donna) Laibl of Jacksonville, Marcia (Ben) Hall of Alpharetta, Ga., and Chip (Liz) Laibl, Danny (Tammy) Crabtree and Cindy (Ricky) Stallings, all of Palatka; 14 grandchildren; one great-grandson; aunt, Mary Freeman; and multiple nieces, nephews and cousins as well as beloved dog and constant companion, Cosmo.
It was Ann's wishes to be cremated. A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24, at Johnson-Overturf Funeral Home with the Rev. Mike Oliver officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the Humane Society of Northeast Florida, 112 Norma St., Hollister, FL 32147 or the Haven Hospice Roberts Care Center, 6400 St. Johns Ave., Palatka, FL 32177
Memories and Condolences may be sent to the family at