Jerald Austin Crass, who reached his 83rd birthday, was born on July 10, 1930 in Myrtle, Mis
souri and entered the gates of heaven on July 12, 2013. Jerald was known to friends as "Popeye" and to family as "Grandpa". Popeye served his country for 22 years, enlisting in the US Air Force on January 4, 1951, then relisting in his beloved US Navy on August 3, 1956 where he continuously served until his retirement in 1973. He had the honor to serve on USS Shangri-La Pacific Fleet, and USS Lawrence, USS Conyhgham, USS Shenandoah, USS Albany, USS Jonas Ingram, all of the Atlantic Fleet. You might even say he sailed the seven seas. Popeye married the love of his life, Jennifer Cheryl Bryan, on March 21, 1963 then spent the next 50 years building a life together and enjoying life's ride. Popeye loved hunting, fishing, the great outdoors and mostly fellowshipping with family and friends. It was common to find a house full on Sunday morning for breakfast. Popeye never met a stranger and befriended just about everyone he came in contact with. Popeye has three children, Terrie Crass-Hays, "Tuffy" Jerald Austin Crass II, and Stephen Blaine Crass and his son in law Charles Gregory Hays. His life was furthered enriched by his three grandchildren, Ashelyn Jade Hays, Austin Charles Bryan Hays, and Katelyn Cheryl Crass. If Grandpa wasn't cooking then he could be found on his tractor plowing the fields or in the bleachers for volleyball or baseball cheering and offering words of encouragement being the "Biggest Fan" to those grandkids. He was loved and cherished by all. Popeye was survived by Sam Crass, Glen Crass, Charles Crass all of Thayer, Missouri, and Sue Crass-Daytona Beach Shores, FL along with his many nephews and nieces. Popeye's life will be celebrated on Friday, July 19, 2013 at 11am at the DeLeon Springs First Baptist Church. Please come and share your favorite memory of Popeye. The family will be receiving friends on Thursday, July 18, 2013 from 6pm to 8pm at Allen-Summerhill. Arrangements are also being handled by Allen-Summerhill, 126 East New York Ave., DeLand, FL 32724, 386-734-4663.
Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on July 16, 2013