On December 3, after a fruitful life of service that spanned two continents and the Hawaiian Islands, Mary Henderson Crowley, age 83, closed her eyes in this world and opened them in the presence of Jesus Christ. A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, educator, and community servant, Mary was born in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 22, 1932, to James Lewis and Bertha Ann Henderson, and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School. She was married to Dale Patrick Crowley in 1950 at Metropolitan Baptist Church (now Capitol Hill Baptist), and in 1952 at the age of 20 became the youngest female missionary to Japan, quickly attaining fluency in language and culture. Ten years later, she and Dale moved to Hilo, Hawaii, where together they founded the Big Island's first K-12 Christian school. In 1976 they returned to Washington, D.C., where Mary helped establish another Christian school. She served on the board of Leesburg Christian School and was a charter member of Believers Baptist Church in Leesburg, Virginia, where her Christian faith, unconditional love, and boundless friendliness influenced many. She will be deeply missed by her husband, Dale Patrick Crowley and her five children: David Crowley, Sharon and her husband Terry Overstreet, Grace Marie and her husband Wayne Lantz, J.D. and his wife Kim, Celeste and her husband Steve Bailey, 19 grandchildren, and 21 great grandchildren, as well as her sister Lois Merchant, brother James Henderson, and many devoted friends-all mourning, yet rejoicing. A remembrance service for Washington, D.C. area family and friends will be held at 12 noon, January 16 at Believers Baptist Church and Leesburg Christian School (21336 Evergreen Mills Road, Leesburg, Virginia 20175). To celebrate her life as a Christian educator, memorial gifts may be given to Leesburg Christian School. Arrangements are being handled by Updike Funeral Home Cremation Service, Bedford, (540) 586-3304.
The Guest Book is expired.
Updike Funeral Home & Cremation Service
1140 West Lynchburg Salem Turnpike
Bedford, VA 24523-1803
Published in Bedford Bulletin from Dec. 9 to Dec. 10, 2015