Dr. Elwyn Elrod Crume was born in Kenna, New Mexico, on June 20, 1931, to Price Thomas Crume and Helen Elrod Crume. He passed away on April 11, 2021, in Clovis, New Mexico. Memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 24, 2021, at 2:00 pm at First United Methodist Church in Clovis, New Mexico. He was the youngest of four children, and his mother passed away when he was four years old.
When he was five, he started school at the Kenna School so that there would be enough children to open the school, and his sister was his teacher. He attended junior high in Elida and high school in Clovis, graduating in 1947 at age 16.
While in high school, he worked as a soda jerk at B&J Drug in Clovis. One day, Dr. Harold McDonald came in and asked if Elwyn would like to learn how to make glasses. He answered that he would like that very much. He eventually moved in with Harold and Ione McDonald and developed an interest in optometry.
He earned a degree in mathematics from Texas Technological College in 1951. He did not have an automobile and would hitchhike to and from Lubbock. He said the Double T on his suitcase would get him a ride to the next town. While in Lubbock, he met Patricia Drachenberg on a blind date.
Elwyn moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1951 to attend optometry school at Los Angeles College of Optometry. Pat followed him to California and they were married the day after his graduation on June 11, 1954.
While in school, he was drafted to go to the Korean War. Since he was in professional school, he received a deferment but decided to sign a commission to be an optometrist in the United States Air Force, serving in Valdosta, Georgia. He served three years active duty and 20 years in the Air Force Reserves, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.
He and Patricia and their two young sons moved back to Clovis in 1957, and he opened his optometry practice. A few years later, their daughter was born. She is now carrying on the legacy of the optometry practice. He loved taking care of people and was a beloved optometrist until his retirement in 2010.
He was a past president of the Clovis Rotary Club; past president of the Curry County Chamber of Commerce; member of the Committee of 50, the Clovis Executive Club, Retired Officers Association, Red Cross, Elks Lodge, Masonic Lodge, First United Methodist Church, and the Men's Bible Class; and active with the United Way of Eastern New Mexico.
He was also a past president of the New Mexico Optometric Association and was the first New Mexico optometrist to become a fellow in the American Academy of Optometry. He was one of the first doctors to prescribe contact lenses in New Mexico.
Elwyn loved flying his Piper Comanche airplane, and he held an instrument rating. He loved fishing, hunting, golf and playing cards. He loved laughing at and telling a good joke. He also enjoyed dabbling in real estate.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Rowena and Verdine, and his brothers Wayne and infant Philip. He is survived by Patricia Crume, his wife of 66 years; his sons Gary and Barry (Susan), and daughter Diane (Calvin) DeWitt. He loved his beautiful granddaughters Trisha McClaran (Lance), Jenna DeWitt, Tara Hinds (Zackary), and Brooke Crume, as well as three great-grandchildren.
Memorials are to be made to the Clovis Rotary Club, PO Box 512, Clovis, New Mexico, 88102 or to First United Methodist Church, 1501 Sycamore, Clovis, New Mexico.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Muffley Funeral Home (575)762-4435, www.muffleyfuneralhome.com