Porter Claude Crapps, III
Porter Claude Crapps, III, a respected civic leader, banker and forester, died peacefully at his home in Live Oak, Florida on December 19, 2013, surrounded by his family. He was 76 years old.
Claude is survived by his long-time companion Jackie Kent Dove, his three children Thomas and wife Cris, Steve, Nancy, and five grandchildren. Claude is also survived by his siblings, Betsy Burch, David Crapps, Peat Crapps, Virginia Johnson, John Crapps, Dicy Hannum, and Daniel Crapps. Claude was preceded in death by his father, Porter Claude Crapps, Jr., and his mother
Mary Elizabeth Parker Crapps and his adopted mother Virgina Birchfield Crapps, as well as brothers James and George.
Claude was born in Gainesville, Florida and lived his earliest years in Hines located in Dixie County, Florida. The Crapps family relocated to Melrose, Florida for a short period of time from Hines before settling in Live Oak, Florida in 1951. Claude enrolled in Suwannee High School, where he graduated in 1955, and attended Clemson University studying Forestry. He graduated from Clemson in 1959. During this time, Claude became an avid and life long Clemson Tiger.
Following graduation in 1959, Claude served in the United States Marines Corps followed by 6 years in the Reserves.. During the time that he was in the Reserves, Claude returned home to Live Oak and worked with his father in First National Bank of Live Oak, the Hamilton County Bank of Jasper, and on the family's timber holdings. He remained employed with the First National Bank and the Hamilton County Bank of Jasper, and later became Chairman of the Board of Directors of both banks, until the banks were sold to Barnett Banks. He continued to worked at Barnett Bank as vice-president and commercial lender before retiring from banking in 1992.
After retiring from the banking business, Claude returned full time to his love of forestry and "working in the woods." He could often be found repairing fences, hanging gates, plowing fire lanes or preparing game plots for hunting leases. Truly Claude was happiest when he was outdoors and working on his farms. Further, Claude's interest in forestry was reflected in his commitment to reforestation and state wide forestry management. Claude was appointed by Governor Claude Kirk as member of the Florida Forestry Council in 1968. He continued to serve this state-wide board with distinction until his death, only missing one meeting in 45 years. Furthermore, Claude was recognized a member of the Society of American Foresters, recognized as a Certified Forester by the State of Florida and a recipient of the the Distinguished Forestry Alumnus Award by Clemson University for his life-time work in forestry.
Claude strongly believed in civic participation, and worked to make Live Oak a better place. He was a member of numerous civic clubs, including the Rotary Club
, Director for the Advent Christian Village and Advisory Board, Member of the Suwannee County Development Authority, the Suwannee County Chamber of Commerce, the Suwannee County Fair Board, the Florida Farm Bureau, Member of the Florida Farm Bureau Advisory Committee, Trustee for the Live Oak Police and Fire Pension Funds, Member of the Endowment Board for the Florida Sheriff's Boys Ranch, and a Member of the North Florida Community College Foundation Board. Among his many honors, Claude received the Suwanee County Citizen of the Year in 1980, and on September 22, 2013, he received the Mayor's Community Service Award from the City of Live Oak for his long, continued service to our community.
Claude will remembered for the trust that he inspired in the community, as shown by the number of individuals who asked him for help with their finances or to administer their estates. Further, he will certainly be remembered for his humor, including his "gifts" during Rotary Christmas parties, and the quiet way that he helped people by giving them his time and resources. Claude takes with him his family's love, and will be remembered for a job well done as a good and faithful steward of God's gifts.
A private funeral for Claude was held on December 21, 2013 at Live Oak Cemetery at sunrise. A public memorial service is planned for Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 10:30 am at the First United Methodist Church. The family requests that in lieu of flowers that individuals make gifts to one of the following charities that Claude supported: Friends of Heritage Park and Gardens, 1004 Helvenston Street, Live Oak, Florida; 32064; Advent Christian Village, 10680 Dowling Park Drive, Live Oak, Florida 32060; and Florida Sheriffs' Youth Ranch, 2486 Cecil Webb Place, Live Oak, Florida, 32060.
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Daniels Funeral Homes & Crematory, Inc. of Live Oak and Branford is in charge of all arrangements.