Obituary Listings

Ella Mae Crawford
There are condolences waiting approval on Ella's Tribute wall
Obituary for Ella Mae Crawford

Ella Mae Crawford, the daughter of Levi Alpheous and Vena Mae (Conkin) Gilbert, was born on August 11, 1926 in Shenandoah, IA, and went to be with Jesus on December 23, 2016, in Shenandoah, IA, at the age of 90 years.

Ella Mae’s childhood years were filled with energetic, and busy, days with the Gilbert Family’s 13 children, (six sisters and seven brothers). This included living together on a farm, and attending the rural Careview Country School. Ella Mae would always laugh when she shared her many stories about when she was young and walked several miles in the snow, with her brothers and sisters, to the country school. Her family later moved to Shenandoah, where she attended the Shenandoah School District. After High School, Ella Mae was united in marriage to Fred Crawford in Smith Center, KS and blessed with two children, Charlene and Dwight. Ella Mae was extremely broken hearted, as was her entire family, with the loss of her husband, Fred Crawford, a U.S. Army Veteran who was stationed, and killed, in Italy during the World War II Campaign. On behalf of her Heroic Military husband, Fred Crawford, Ella Mae was honored, with receiving Fred’s Purple Heart Medal of Honor, and Bronze Star Medal of Honor, as well as a signed document of condolences from Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States.

In 1959, Ella Mae graduated from Barnes Beauty School in Council Bluffs, IA. She then worked as a beautician for five years, and in 1964 she started her own Beauty Shop business located under the Bowen Bakery in Shenandoah. Several years later she bought a house and established a beauty shop in the basement of her home. Within a few more years, she purchased a house next door to her home. Her team of brothers tore down the house and constructed an addition to her current home which was completed in 1975. This was a spacious beauty shop addition where “Ella Mae’s Beauty Shop” was located in her home for 35 years. Ella Mae retired in 2011 and had achieved a career as a beautician with a total of 52 years.

Additionally, Ella Mae always made extra special time through the years for her parents, children, grandchildren, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, and many friends. Whenever anyone needed something, Ella Mae loved helping others and was always available to help. Ella Mae looked forward to every high school reunion and reconnecting with her classmates, and she especially enjoyed the 50th reunion. Additionally, she loved volunteering with the Methodist Women’s Group and managing, the Methodist Missions Room and the annual church rummage sales. Ella Mae’s passion for gardening, and yard work, was spectacular. She could make anything grow, and took the time to raise a plentiful garden to share with others, which included caning tomatoes. Ella Mae was known to be up early in the morning, working all day in her beauty shop, in the yard until dark, and was still mowing her beautiful yard at the age of 84 years old. With our love for Ella Mae, she will always be in our hearts with the wonderful memories we shared with her.

Preceding Ella Mae in death were her parents, Levi and Vena Mae; husband,Fred; son, Dwight; three sisters and brothers-in-law, Eula Clark and Russell, Blanche Stoker and LaVerne and Evelyn McConkey and Ted; seven brothers and four sisters-in-law, Ellis, Kimber and Aletha, Elmer and Louise, Orlan and Irene, Bill and Norma and John and Ozzie Gilbert.

Survivors include her daughter, Charlene Crawford of Kellogg, IA and granddaughters, Bethany Cook and her husband Ryan and Rebecca Murphy of Omaha, NE; grandson, Chad and wife Angie Murphy-Synder and great grandaughter, Samantha Synder and great grandson, Charles Synder all of Alvion, IA; daughter-in-law, Barb Crawford, of Shenandoah, IA and grandsons Mark of Shenandoah, IA and Matthew, wife Jennifer, and great grandson Evan and great granddaughter Bryn of Waukee, IA; sisters, Myrtle Richardson of Gretna, NE and Lena Hewitt of Palm Bay, FL and sister-in-law, Pastor Marcia (Gilbert) Barnett and husband Pastor Don of Claremont, MO; very, very, special nieces and nephews; other relatives and friends.

Ella Mae’s noble request to donate herself for humanity has been respectfully honored by her family and the Anatomical Board of the State of Nebraska, for the advancement of medical research and science. Ella Mae’s family invite her relatives and friends to attend Ella Mae’s Life Celebration Memorial Service at the First United Methodist Church in Shenandoah, IA at 10:00 am on Friday, January 13, 2017.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Ella Mae Crawford, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





10:00 AM
First United Methodist Church

200 Church Street Shenandoah, IA 51601
Shenandoah, IA 51601

Celebration of Life Memorial

Memorial Contribution

Directed to the Family.

405 W. Thomas Ave
Shenandoah, IA 51601

Create new album
Subscribe To Obituaries

We appreciate your support
In accordance with the wishes of the family, this
message has been declined.
Ella Mae Crawford

Thank you for sharing your
memory of Ella

Provide comfort by sending fresh
flowers from our local florist.

Send Flowers
No thanks, please don't show me this again.