GAIL DENISE CROPPER-COSTEN (1960 - 2011)

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Gail Denise Cropper-Costen

POCOMOKE CITY — Gail Denise Cropper-Costen was born April 9, 1960, to the late Elsie and Nathaniel Cropper. She departed this life Friday, April 1, 2011, at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury.

Gail graduated from Pocomoke High School, Class of 1978, and then she attended Salisbury State for two years.

Gail accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior early in life here at St. James. As a member of St. James, she remained a faithful servant to the end. A willing worker in God's vineyard, Gail served as a Sunday school teacher, she cooked and coordinated the meals for Vacation Bible School, and was chairwoman for the Administrative Council. She formed and directed the Mass choir, was a member of Angelic Voices, chairwoman of the Church Anniversary Committee, Praise and Worship Team and past member of the Usher Board as well as the former director of the youth choir. Gail was involved in every aspect of the church. Whatever needed to be done, you could count on Gail to get it done. She loved the Lord and her church, and would always get her praise on and talk about how good God is. Gail's unwavering faith in God enabled her to face her illness with Christian fortitude and grace. The daughter of Zion and woman of grace, "Never Let a Day Go by Without Praising God's Name." Gail had a beautiful voice, the voice of a "Nightingale," and loved to sing God's hymns.

Gail and Calvin were high school sweethearts. They were united in holy matrimony May 1, 2004. They shared a lifetime of love and enjoyed being parents to Avrian T. Costen, who preceded her in death on Jan. 27, 2009, and Vance O. Costen.

Gail was a compassionate woman who never knew a stranger. She never failed to help anyone in need and her generosity knew no bounds. Her quick wit and clever mind was the source of contagious smiles and laughter, she possessed an attitude which redirected her strength and brightened the lives of her family, her church family, friends and community. Gail's favorite saying was "You have not, because you ask not."

Gail leaves to cherish fond and loving memories her husband, Calvin; one son, Vance Omar Costen of Pocomoke City; three sisters, Malinda Tull and Jeanie Mason, both of Pocomoke City, and Sheila Cropper of Salisbury; one uncle, Ernest Brittingham Sr. of Pocomoke City; one aunt, Arnita Ayres of Baltimore; the daughter she never had, Ms. Tamara White of Pocomoke City; one goddaughter, Ms. Shelby Dickerson of Fruitland; two godsisters, Mrs. Peggy Dickerson and Ms. Christine Allen; three godbrothers, Jerry Marshall, Ricky Harvey and Christopher Brittingham; a special sister in the faith, the Rev. Shirlyn Henry Brown; and several nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.

Gail was also preceded in death by her parents, Nathaniel and Elsie Cropper; and one brother, Louis Merrill.

Funeral services will be conducted Saturday at 11 a.m. from St. James UM Church in Pocomoke City, with interment in the church cemetery. Family and friends may call at the church Friday from 6-8 p.m.

Arrangements are by Cooper & Humbles Funeral Co. in Accomac.

Published in The Daily Times on Apr. 8, 2011
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