Lela (Locklin) Crawford

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Born on January 21, 1956 - July 29, 2014. A Celebration of Life service for Mrs. Lela Margaret Locklin Crawford will be held on Friday, August 1, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Talladega with the body lying in state for one hour prior to the service. Officiating ministers will be Rev. William Snider, Rev. Rodney Loper and Rev. Robert Blankenship. Burial will follow at Pine Hill Memorial Park with Rev. Rick Yancey officiating. Pall bearers will be Andrew Blankenship, Anthony Heath, Keith Jordan, Jason Locklin, Taylor Locklin, Ryan Paulus, Neil Shirah, and Mark Wilcox. She is survived by her husband of 37 years, Alton Leslie Crawford; sons Benjamin Locklin Crawford and Matthew Leslie Crawford (Megan), and John Alton Crawford; grandchildren Greyson and Rilynn; mother, Lela Lewis Locklin; brothers John Marshall Locklin, Jr. (Amy) and Lewis Edward Locklin (Deon); sister-in-law, Maudine Crawford Wilcox (Jimmy); and numerous cousins. The third child and only daughter of John Marshall Locklin, Sr. and Lela Lewis Locklin, she was born on January 21, 1956, in Monroeville, Alabama. When she was five, the family moved to Auburn where she finished kindergarten and attended Dean Road Elementary School. Two years later, the family moved to Tuscaloosa where she attended second and third grade at Verner Elementary School. The family then moved to Talladega where she attended Graham Elementary School, Dixon Jr. High School, and Talladega High School. Her high school activities included the newspaper and annual staffs, Dramatics and French Clubs, Future Teachers of America, serving as a majorette and Sr. Honor Society. She also volunteered as a Candy Striper for the Red Cross at Citizen's Hospital and served as a reader at Alabama Institute for the Blind. She joined First Baptist Church in Talladega when she was nine years old where she was active in the Sunday School, Girls' Auxiliary Mission Group and the Youth Choir. She worked in Vacation Bible School, helped with Mission Friends (3-5 year olds) and later worked with the second grade in Sunday School. She graduated from Talladega High School in 1974. In 1977 she received her Bachelor of Science degree with special honors in Elementary Education from Jacksonville State University. After graduation, she was employed by the Talladega City Board of Education and began teaching second grade at Salter Elementary School. Attending classes at night and in the summers, she received her Master of Arts degree in Education in 1980 from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She "retired" from teaching in 1984 to devote her days to full-time motherhood. Lela and Alton Leslie Crawford were married on July 23, 1977, at the First Baptist Church of Talladega with Dr. T. M. Hamby officiating. After their marriage, they built their first home on a small farm in Talladega. In 1993 they built a new home in the Shangri-La subdivision on Lake Robin. She loved her family and enjoyed traveling with her husband. She joined the Talladega Bible Methodist Church in 1986 and has served as superintendent of the Children's Missionary Band, King's Kids leader, Sunday school teacher, treasurer, church clerk, member of the flower and hospitality committees, and president of the Women's Missionary Society. She also wrote and directed numerous children's Christmas programs. On the district level, she has held the following positions in the Women's Missionary Society of the Alabama Conference of the Bible Methodist Connection of Churches: editor of the quarterly publication, The Missionary, 1990-2011; vice president, 1998-2011; and president, 2011-2014. Active in the community as well, she was Vice Regent of the Andrew Jackson Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, a member of United Daughters of the Confederacy, a docent at Heritage Hall Museum, a member of the East Alabama Horsemen's Association supporting her husband and sons in local, state and national competitions. In addition, she was instrumental in organizing a library for the Bible Methodist Christian School in 1986 and spent one day a week holding classes in the library for the elementary grades. She served over twenty years on staff as a volunteer librarian. Throughout her life, she exemplified Christ. Always cheerful and optimistic in her long battle with cancer, she was an inspiration to all who knew her. She was a vibrant dedicated Christian who truly loved the Lord. Usrey Funeral Home, Talladega, will direct the services.
Funeral Home
Usrey Brown Funeral Service
516 East North Street
Talladega, AL 35161
(256) 362-2344
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Published in The Daily Home from July 31 to Aug. 1, 2014
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