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Mercer Funeral Home - Denmark
17536 Heritage Highway Post Office Box 341
Denmark, SC 29042
(803) 793-4211
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Mary Bass Crum


1921 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Mary Bass Crum Obituary
Mary Bass Crum

Denmark

Mary Bass Crum, the daughter of Stirling Wesley Bass and Mary Boyd Bass passed away on May 2, 2014. Her mother died shortly after Mary was born, and she was raised by her loving father and stepmother Mary Agnes Kirkbride Bass. Mary was the wife of Henry Hayne Crum, II and the mother of Mary Elizabeth Crum (James H. Byrum, Jr.), J. Wesley Crum, III (Eleanor Rainey Crum) and H. Hayne Crum, III. She was born on January 23, 1921 in Greenville, Texas and grew up in Kingsville, Texas.

Mary graduated from the University of Colorado in 1940 at the age of 19 with degrees in pharmacy, chemistry and English and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Chi Omega. She received her M.S. in Science Education from Clemson University.

Upon graduation, she worked as a pharmacist at Providence Hospital in Denver, Colorado working there for two years. In August of 1942, she volunteered for the US Army Women's Auxiliary Corps. She served in Fort Des Moines, Des Moines Iowa, Fort Oglethorp, Georgia, and Fort Jackson, Columbia, S. C. As a Captain serving at Fort Jackson, she met Major Hayne Crum who had been transferred from the European theater with the 1st Army Headquarters to start the planning for the invasion of Japan. She had the privilege of going on Columbia's first Honor Flight for World War II veterans.

After marrying Hayne Crum they settled down in Denmark, SC where he was an attorney and she taught high school chemistry, physics, geometry, and English as well as coached the Debate and Public Speaking teams. She was a recipient of the district Star Teacher of the region. It gave her great joy when former students visited her and told her how she had inspired them to go into teaching, science fields or to use their debate and public speaking in their careers. She was instrumental in establishing The Environment Education Association of South Carolina, Inc. and, working through a National Science Foundation grant, was one of the two teachers who developed the first South Carolina environmental science public high school curriculum in the late 1970s.

Mary was active in Bethel Park United Methodist Church, singing in the choir, teaching Sunday school and working with Bible school. She was an active member of the Garden Club of South Carolina, serving in numerous offices, including serving as District Director of the West Low Country District and working with the South Carolina Department of Transportation to develop the wild flower program and the litter program. Mary served as a Board member and member emeritus of the South Carolina Wildlife Federation. On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Wildlife Federation, she was named one of its Legends of Conservation.

Mary was an avid University of South Carolina Gamecocks fan—particularly of the women's basketball team, rarely missing a home game for the last 12 years. She was also a die-hard Atlanta Braves fan.

She will be remembered as a woman who made learning fun for people of all ages, for her innate curiosity and compassion, her wonderful, timeless stories, her ability to make all people have a sense of self-worth and her joie de vivre.

Mary was predeceased by her husband, her brother, Stirling Wesley Bass, Jr., and her sister, Helen Ruth B. Davis. Mary and Hayne Crum were happily married for 54 years. Mary is survived by her children, three grandchildren, David Stirling Crum (Angela Ashley Crum), William Hayne Crum (Leigh Cann Crum) and Thomas Wesley Crum. She is also survived by six great grandchildren, Katherine Crum, Stirling Crum, Rachel Crum, Hayne Crum, Isabella Crum and David Crum. In addition Mary is survived by 6 devoted nieces and nephews —Samuel Pancoast Hunt (Cynthia Boice Hunt), Priscilla Hart Hunt (Victor Lesser), Jennifer Crum Hunt, Henry Thomas Hunt (Janet Berney Hunt), Martha Davis Walker (Jackson Walker) and Donald Davis. She is also survived by numerous great nieces and nephews, who called her "MayMay", as did her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

The family wants to thank the residents, staff and care givers at Still Hopes Episcopal Retirement Center for their friendship, companionship and care during her residence and last illness. Memorials may be made to Bethel Park United Methodist Church of Denmark, SC, the South Carolina Wildlife Federation, Denmark-Olar Schools' Foundation or the .

The family will receive friends at the Bethel Park United Methodist Church on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm. The funeral service will follow at 3:00 pm with interment in the Denmark Cemetery following the service. Mercer Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. 803-793-4211

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Published in The Greenville News on May 3, 2014
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