July 11, 2020. At the age of 96, Mary Crisswell Meadows ran into the arms of Jesus while surrounded by her family as they sang praises to their Lord and Savior. (Absent from the body is present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8.) Mary was not sick, but died naturally at home.

Mary was born in Craborchard, Nebraska on August 16, 1923 to Manley and Elizabeth Barttlett. She is the firstborn of five siblings. She grew up in Marysville, Kansas and Beatrice, Nebraska. She met her husband Dale Henry Crisswell and they were married in 1939. To this union 12 children were born, seven sons and five daughters. Dale passed in 1973. In 1983, Mary married Albert Meadows of Eureka, Kansas, gaining two more daughters. Albert passed in 2005. 

Mary accomplished many things in her long lifetime. Her greatest and proudest accomplishment was raising her 12 children. She often referred to them as her blessings. Mary held the office of Mid-Kapp president for many years. She was a 4-H leader and animal judge. She had been a school bus driver, housekeeper, avid gardener, and a very successful fisherman. After her children were grown, she went back to school and received her GED. She was a self-taught quilter, seamstress, and storyteller. She had a remarkable memory when telling her childhood and the exciting history of raising her 12 children. 

Mary and Albert were winter Texans for 20 years. She volunteered at a Mexican Elementary School as a teacher’s aide for many of these years. Mary never learned Spanish, but was very fluent in ‘speaking children.’ While in La Feria, Texas, she retired the un-defeated title of Pool Champion after 5 years. She also taught an exercise class for seniors. Mary taught painting classes for 15 years at La Feria Park, where in 1 year she had taught 106 students. They traveled across the United States visiting family and friends, where Mary sold many of her paintings. CBN and CCF honored Mary and Albert in 2004 for their contribution in digging 5 cisterns, providing fresh water for 5 villages in a foreign country. 

Mary always sponsored several kids each summer when she found out they wanted to go to Christian summer camp. She knew the importance of sowing the Kingdom of God into young people’s lives. (Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6). 

At 84 years old, Mary accompanied Jefferson Street Baptist Church on her first mission trip to Mexico City. While there, she helped teach VBS. Mary enjoyed it so much that she returned the following year!

In her later years, she completed 3-5-K’s. Winning the medal for oldest to compete in each race. Mary was 90 years old on her last 5-K. 

Mary was proceeded in death by her parents, 3 siblings, 2 husbands and her firstborn daughter, Mary Sue Crisswell. She is survived by her sister Erna Beach of Beatrice Neb. Her sons, Dale (Cynthia) of Topeka, KS, Pete of Erie, Pa, Rex (Sally) of Woodard, Okla., Carl (Nikki) of Spencer, Okla., David “Slab” (Elaine) of Sharon, Okla., Gary “Shorty” (Suzan) of Altoona, KS,, Jim (Julie) of Benadict, KS. Daughters, Betty Ann Crisswell, of Eureka, KS, Nancy (Greg) Ford, of Las Vegas, Nev., Becky Crisswell of Climax, KS, Terry Asberry of El Dorado, KS. 30 Grandchildren, 73 Great Grandchildren, and 7 Great Great Grandchildren. Step daughters, Shirley Finke of Emporia, KS and Connie (Howard) Schlotterbeck of Eureka. 

Mary touched the lonely, fed the hungry, helped the poor and loved the unlovable! She showed kindness to strangers, never met an enemy and loved on every stray kid that crossed her path. 

She is greatly missed! Her legacy of love and compassion will continue to live on through her family. 

Her memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. August 15 at Toronto Cowboy Church, 781 Hwy 105, Toronto, KS 66777.

The Eureka Herald

PO Box 590

Eureka, KS 67045

Phone: 620-583-5721

Fax: 620-583-5922