Raymond H. Crum, Jr. (Col. Ret.) went to heaven on Monday, Oct. 16, 2023, surrounded by his daughters. He was born on Nov. 7, 1935, to Raymond Huff Crum, Sr. and Celestial Strine Crum in Waynesboro, PA, and moved to Plant City, FL in 1942. Ray graduated from Plant City HS in 1953 and was involved in the Marching Band, Key Club and was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” his senior year. He then went on to college at The Citadel in Charleston, SC where he participated in the Chapel Choir, appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show and with the Band Company. Ray finished his senior year as Drum Major and had the opportunity to lead The Citadel Marching Band at President Eisenhower’s Inauguration. While at The Citadel, Ray met the love of his life, Joyce A. Kuhne, who was a nursing student at MUSC. They married at The Citadel Chapel in 1957 and enjoyed 62 years of marriage before her passing in 2019. He was a proud 1957 graduate, an active alumni and was able to make one last visit to his Alma Mater with his family in June.
Ray went on to have a distinguished 24-year career in the Army, following in the footsteps of his father, mother and brothers. During his service, Ray also obtained his MBA from the University of Alabama in 1966. Over his career, his primary role was in the Quartermaster Corp. and the Crum family moved 16 times across the United States and England, with his favorite assignment being Hawaii. While stationed in Hawaii, Ray served two tours in Vietnam, first in Cholon and then in Long Binh, where he organized a choir and a boxing team to boost his troops’ morale. His final assignment was at the Pentagon where he retired as a Colonel in 1981. Ray was awarded the Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Army Commendation and Distinguished Service Medals, among many others.
Upon retirement from the Army, Ray and Joyce moved to Peachtree Corners, GA, to join his best friend from The Citadel, Harry Van Bergen and his wife Peggy, working as Chief of Staff for Van Bergen Bell Foundries. He was not a fan of heights, but he enjoyed seeing bell towers and bell systems installed in many churches and colleges throughout this time. Ray and Harry continued their best friendship for 68 years, well beyond their retirements. They talked at least once a day until Ray’s passing, always discussing the stock market and any other important world issues they wanted to solve.
Ray was very active in the community of Peachtree Corners participating in Church, Veteran and Neighborhood Committees. He enjoyed living in Wedgewood Chase, where he and Joyce made a host of dear friends. He is also proud of the recent completion of the Veterans Monument in Peachtree Corners, assisting with its planning and construction. Ray and Joyce were founding members of Christ the King Lutheran Church and for decades enjoyed serving in the Choir, Call Committees, and Bible Studies. For many years, Ray led the Veterans Day Celebration at Christ the King and continued to attend church online until his passing. Ray was brilliant in his knowledge of cars and had recently bought and sold several personal vehicles. He was also happy to pinstripe any car that showed up in his driveway, to give unsolicited car advice to friends and to gripe about fuel prices. In his earlier years, Ray had a passion for restoring 1965-67 Ford Mustangs.
Ray and Joyce loved to travel and cruise with friends and family. They spent their retirement visiting many countries and states, and especially enjoyed vacationing at their condo in Perdido Key, FL. Some of their most memorable trips were to France, Poland and Alaska.
Ray also loved a good glass of Bourbon and could be found at 5:00 PM having a glass with the Wedgewood Chase “Sippers,” hosted by his dear friend, Ann. Please raise a glass in his memory – he would love that. A charming man with an amazing memory and great sense of humor, Ray was fond of a good conversation and was always happy to give his opinion, whether you wanted it or not. He kept notebooks of daily stock market highs and lows, as well as files on pretty much anything. He was a brilliant conversationalist, and we will miss these discussions greatly.
Ray was the proud father of four girls, Beth, Lisa, Laura, and Christa. He and Joyce raised them to love the Lord, be independent and frugal. Ray was particularly opinionated with his girls, but it was because he loved them so dearly and expected them to do their best. Laura and Christa were privileged to be able to care for their father for the past year after his prostate cancer diagnosis. He fought hard and valiantly and has now gone home to be with the Lord and his Joycie.
Ray is predeceased by his parents, (Ray Sr. and Celestial), brothers, Fred and Dan (Ann), sister, Druscilla (Bill), and wife, Joyce. Left to cherish his memory are daughters, Beth, Lisa (Rob), Laura (Bill) and Christa (Mike), sister-in-law, LaRue and honorary daughter, Renee. Grandchildren, Amanda (Anthony III), Tyler (Lauren), Faith (David), Grace (Jeff), Amelia, Brantley and Eden. Great Grandchildren, Anthony IV, Alivia, Aubrey, Pierce, Grant, Thomas, Abbie and Violet, born just 2 weeks ago. He also leaves a host of nieces and nephews who loved their Uncle Bub dearly.
The family would especially like to thank the staff at Atlanta Cancer Care, Oncologist Dr. Harpaul Gill, Arbor Terrace Hamilton Mill (Talisha) and Agape Hospice (Janessa) for the excellent care given to Ray in these final months.
A Memorial Service will be held on Veterans Day, Nov. 11th, 2023, at 2:00 PM at Christ the King Lutheran Church 5575 Peachtree Parkway Peachtree Corners, GA 30092. Please wear red, white and blue to honor Ray, a proud Veteran.
Contributions in Ray’s memory may be made to the Christ The King Lutheran Church Flower Fund or Agape Hospice Care of Northeast GA @ sagefoc.com.
On-line condolences may be expressed at www.crowellbrothers.com. Arrangements entrusted to Crowell Brothers Funeral Homes & Crematory, 5051 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Peachtree Corners, GA 30092. 770-448-5757.