Mercedes S. Crum
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HAMPTON - Mercedes Smith Crum, a lifelong resident of Hampton and a member of the Wythe Presbyterian Church, died on Saturday April 11, at the age of 88, at the Riverside Convalescent Center.
Born in 1921 to Lawrence and Alma Smith of Hollywood Avenue, she was one of five children. Her brothers and sisters, who all preceded her in death were, Louis Smith, William Kent Smith, Alberta Smith Adams and Lawrence Smith.
Mercedes graduated from Hampton High School in 1938. Soon after, she married Blaine Crum Jr., a founding partner of Crum's Bakeries, who would be a loving partner for 69 years. They reared four children and supervised the care of a youngest child with Down's syndrome. In 1958, 20 years after leaving high school, Mrs. Crum entered the Norfolk College of William and Mary; in 1962, she graduated with a bachelor of science in elementary education and with the highest ranking in her class. Following graduation, Mrs. Crum began her career as an elementary school teacher with Hampton City Schools. She was soon promoted to the position of the first Director of Special Education, a newly created program. She served with distinction for 12 years before returning to the classroom. She was both highly respected by her colleagues and devoted to her students, emphasizing to them the importance of making the most of their individual talents. She worked tirelessly to educate and support those with special needs.
Mrs. Crum was a member and past president of the PEO educational organization. She was a founding member of the Wythe Presbyterian Church and the first woman to be selected as an elder in the church. Whether in her profession, at home or at church, Mrs. Crum set an enduring example for personal responsibility and attention to the needs of others that forged unshakeable friendships and the lasting devotion of her family, friends and colleagues. Her strong faith, eternal optimism and easy laughter lifted many a heavy heart.
The family extends its heartfelt appreciation to the Riverside Convalescent Center, on Algonquin Road, friends and family for caring for Mrs. Crum the past 6 years.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Blaine Cecil Crum Jr.; daughter, Alma Crum Piggins; and son, David Stewart Crum.
She is survived by her sons, Blaine Cecil Crum III and wife, Lynda of Mobile, Ala., Lawrence Edward Crum and wife, Kathy of Chesapeake, Va., and Christopher Paul Crum and wife, Tucker of Brookline, Mass.; seven grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; 14 nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, at R. Hayden Smith Funeral Home. The funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Thursday, by the Rev. Susan H. Cothran, at the R. Hayden Smith Funeral Home, with interment to follow in Peninsula Memorial Park.
The family requests that donations in Mrs. Crum's name be directed to the Wythe Presbyterian Church, 151 Robinson Road, Hampton VA 23661. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Daily Press from Apr. 14 to Apr. 15, 2009.
Memories & Condolences
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14 entries
April 8, 2021
Think of you, A.J. and rest of family so often. Thank you for continuously bringing a smile to my heart. Love you and miss you.
Janet Quinto
April 17, 2009
I mostly knew Mrs. Crum through loving stories her daughter A.J. would tell. When I met Mrs. Crum, I realized that A.J. had captured her perfectly - a warm, loving smile, a strong spirt, and the will to do the right thing. My thoughts and love go out to the entire Crum family.
Janet Quinto
April 16, 2009
Dear Crum Family,
Mom Crum was such a pleasure. I am grateful to have known her. I hope there is comfort in the knowledge that she touched so many lives in so many wonderful ways. For all of the years I worked with Tom, she made me feel such a part of the family. You have such a wonderful family -- and she was such a blessing.
My prayers are with you.
Jennifer Morton
April 16, 2009
Larry, Angie and I were sad to learn of your mother's death. You and Kathy are in our thoughts and prayers.
Brian & Angie Callahan
April 16, 2009
Our Love and Prayers are with each of you.

Always, The Steve Witt Family
Faye Witt
April 15, 2009
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
Jimmy Johnson
April 15, 2009
Larry - Very sorry to hear about your mother.  She was a very fine person and I remember her from visiting your home and from her being my boss when I worked for her in Hampton and in helping me advance in my career.  We will keep you in our prayers.
George & Mary Helliesen
April 15, 2009
Dear family - Mercedes was a special lady whom I saw a lot while being librarian in several schools. Her loving smile was always welcome. She always answered any question with that smile too. May the Lord be with you all in the coming months.
Hazel Adams
April 15, 2009
Dear family,
She was a truely gifted lady. We consider it a blessing to have known her and been associated with her as friend and fellow Christian at Wythe Church.

Ken and Clara Crumbly
April 15, 2009
Mother-in-law, Mom, Friend – I miss you.
Tom Piggins
April 14, 2009
Chris, Blaine and family. We pray our heart felt love for you will in some way provide comfort to you in these days of sadness.

Love Dave, Foster, Aaron and Brandy
April 14, 2009
I had the honor of working with Mrs. Crum as a part-time Cooperative Education Student (COE) in the late 70's. I attribute my decison to enter the field of special education to Mrs. Crum. She was a wonderful woman with a beautiful spirit. Although I have not seen or spoken to her since I left Hampton City Schools, she will always be someone special in my heart. My prayers are with you.
Deborah Gregory
April 14, 2009
I grew up on Hollywood Ave. My grandfather and father owned the Texaco Service Station at the corner of Kecoughtan Rd. and Hollywood Ave. L.G. Smith & Son. All of our families grew up on the "silver dollar" biscuits from Crum's. The "Hollywood Avenue Smith's" were great friends. We all ended up on the Chickahominy River, the Crums, Kent Smith, Lee & Tommy Smith. I shared this e-mail with my mother.
Thomas Smith
April 14, 2009
I met Mercedes when I worked part-time for her and Mrs. Bunn in the Special Ed Department Hampton City Schools. She assisted me in obtaining my first full-time job at the Multi-Handicapped Center upon graduating from High School in 1974. She was instrumental in creating the Multi-Handicapped Center for children with special needs and taught me alot about special education. Your mother was a wonderful lady. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time.
Debbie Critzer Price
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