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Lisa Kurts-Crume, 52, passed away on Thursday following a sudden illness. A graduate of Treadwell High School and Creighton College and working towards her Masters of Education at University of Memphis, Lisa was a lifelong Memphian who spent that life giving back to the community she loved. She daily served our city’s senior citizens in her 15 years employment at Trezevant Manor retirement community, but her generosity and nurturing spirit went far beyond the work week. Be it collecting food and warm clothes for our homeless citizens, fostering abused and abandoned dogs with Weimaraner Rescue of the Mid-South, using her acting skills to raise awareness and funding for sexual and domestic abuse victims through the Vagina Monologues, or raising money for veterans’ charities with her brothers and sisters of Boozefighters Motorcycle Club Chapter 57, Lisa knew that a life well lived is a life lived in the service of others. Lisa was a passionate and tireless ally of the Mid-South’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community. She served as President of the Memphis chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, was an avid supporter of the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center, and spent time meeting with elected officials about the challenges facing LGBTQ Tennesseans with the Tennessee Equality Project. Lisa lived her life with an open heart and open mind and understood that people’s differences were far less important than their common humanity. She taught countless people how to love without judgment, how to accept all God’s children without hesitation, and how to fight for the things they believe in. Lisa was constantly opening her life, her home, and her arms to people in need, especially LGBTQ youth whose own parents were less supportive, and most definitely earned her title of “Mama Lisa.” Her quick wit and vibrant smile made it impossible to stay unhappy in her presence, and her uncanny ability to see the big picture and delegate tasks (i.e., boss everyone around) with a sugar sweet diplomacy meant you’d always stay busy. And as the first female Junior ROTC Battalion Commander in Memphis City School history, she could certainly keep you in line if diplomacy didn’t work! Lisa is preceded in death by her father, Nathan Kurts, and brother, Earl Kurts. She is survived by her husband, Charles “Chuck” Crume; “dauson” Cole Bradley (Chris Reeder); mother, Mary Reed; sisters Susan Kurts-Acred (Buddy) and Linda Kurts-Gallenbeck (Brent); sister-in-law, Barbara Dunlap (Mike); nieces Gina Acred, Michele Acred (Angela Crossen), Lauren Parrish, Brittany Gallenbeck, Ashley Brashier, Courtney Thompson, and Liz Acred-Neyman (Jesse); nephews Chad Dunlap, Zachary Parrish, Dylan Hopper, Sam Acred, and Daniel Dover all of Memphis, Tennessee. She is also survived by her step daughters, Callie Bailey (Josh) of Hanover, IN, Devon Winder of Price, UT, and Miranda Allen of Utah; granddaughters Brooklyn, Lainey, Cheyanne, Lindsay, Kalie, Haidan; grandsons Christian, J.J., Logan, Jayden, and Louie; the sister of her heart, Beverly Enloe; the daughters of the heart, Beth Good, Alisha Wall, and Jennifer Ballheimer; and hundreds of other friends and family whose lives she touched with her light. May her legacy live on in the people she loved and inspired; wherever you go, you take her with you. Arrangements for Lisa’s FUNeral Celebration will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Weimaraner Rescue of the Mid-South, the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center, or your preferred breast cancer prevention charity.
Published in The Commercial Appeal on Mar. 23, 2014
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