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Crowe, Mattie Lou Bean Johnson

Posted: Thu 1:37 PM, Dec 13, 2012
Funeral Home: J.C. Kirby & Son Broadway Chapel
Mattie Lou Bean Johnson Crowe, 98, of Bowling Green, passed away on Dec. 11, 2012.

Mattie Lou, the third child of Redford and Ida Bean, was born June 27, 1914, in Narrows. She spent the early part of her life in Bowling Green. Several years after her father passed away, she moved to Whiting, Ind., with her mother and grandfather to join her older brother, Henry. Henry had a good friend, Cleo Johnson, who wound up becoming his brother-in-law. Cleo and Mattie Lou were married March 11, 1936, in Valparaiso, Ind. They had five children, Dale, Glenda, Karen, Janet and Jerry. Karen passed away at 15 days.

The Johnson family eventually settled in Schererville, Ind., which remained their home for almost three decades. Mattie Lou was very active in all the different interests of her kids. She was a Brownie and Girl Scout leader, a Cub pack leader and neighborhood cookie chairman for the Scouts. One of her primary jobs was the chauffeuring of the kids to their many activities. She and Cleo were both active in the Lake County Democratic Party, where Mattie Lou served as a chairperson and delegate. Her fudge and homemade bread were legendary.

Once the children were all in school, the house was much too large and quiet for her ... so she looked for new opportunities. A new retail store, Robert Hall Clothes, was opening in Highland, Ind. Mattie Lou was one of the original employees at this location – she thoroughly enjoyed the interaction with people and the competitive aspects of sales.

In 1973, after a lengthy illness, Cleo passed away; they had been married nearly 38 years. Mattie Lou continued to work for a time, but life had other plans for her. A gentleman, who had been recently widowed and whose wife had been a customer of Mattie Lou’s, asked her out for dinner. They hit it off immediately and on June 1, 1974, were married in Highland, Ind., and Mattie became Mrs. Earl Crowe.

They moved to Bowling Green within the first year of their marriage since they both had family ties to the area. They became very active in Providence Knob Baptist Church, where Mattie became a Sunday school teacher and Earl was a deacon of the church. They felt the need to do more and Mattie began teaching Sunday school at Britthaven Nursing Home in Bowling Green. Mattie continued this ministry into her late 80s. This was a legacy of which she was extremely proud.

In December 2002, Mattie again sustained the loss of her husband. She remained in their home for a number of years, then joined Jerry and his family in Shepherdsville. As her grandson Daniel said, “She was adored by two really good men.” Mattie had much love in her life and enjoyed good health until the last few years. After Earl’s passing, she enjoyed road trips with Glenda, extended visits to California with Janet’s family and spending time with Jerry’s family. Bowling Green continued to be home to Mattie; she moved back to live at the Bowling Green Retirement Village and later Colonial Manor Nursing Home.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, Cleo Johnson and Earl Crowe; son Dale and daughter Karen; grandchildren, Jim Johnson, Amanda Grimmer and Michael Grimmer; brothers and sisters-in-law, Dewey (Alta) and Henry (Sara) Bean; as well as a baby sister, Melvina Lois Bean.

Mattie is survived by her children, Glenda Davalos, Janet (Ralph) Grimmer and Jerry (Judy) Johnson. Survivors also include 13 grandchildren, David Johnson, Diane (Rick) Schairbaum, Jeffery (Carol) Johnson, Sandra Clark, Dee (Jim) Smith, Rob Sampson, Dawn Grimmer, Daniel (Lara) Grimmer, Erin Grimmer, Brian Johnson, Meghan Johnson, Nick Schlafer (Melissa) and Nolan Johnson. Mattie also had 17 great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews, all of whom she loved. We will all remember her with a smile.

J.C. Kirby & Son Funeral Home, located at 832 Broadway Ave., Bowling Green, is in charge of services. Pastor Joe Causey of Providence Knob Baptist Church will officiate both in Bowling Green and Schererville.

Mom will be interred at Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens with our Dad in Schererville, Ind. We would like to thank the staffs at Bowling Green Retirement Village and Colonial Manor Nursing Home for the extraordinary care Mom received at both facilities. Many thanks also to her friends at the “Knob” for their love, support and friendship over the years. The “Knob” was the center of her life for 30-plus years. ... Pastor Joe Causey and his wife, Bonnie, provided spiritual, emotional and physical support to Mom and our families in so many ways.

Remembrances in Mom’s name may be sent to Providence Knob Baptist Church, P.O. Box 132, Rockfield, KY, 42274.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at J.C. Kirby & Son Broadway Chapel.

Funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at Fagan Miller Funeral Home in Highland, Ind. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.
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