Edna Marie Loftis Crouch was born Feb. 23, 1912 in Maynard, Ark., to Sarah Louella Jones Loftis and Dr. John Riley Loftis. She died on April 25, 2017 in Springdale, Ark., at the age of 105. She was preceded in death by her parents and by her siblings: Buell Loftis, Dr. William Osler Loftis, Beatrice Loftis Biggers, Eunice Katherine Loftis DeClerk, and Dr. John Riley Loftis Jr. Marie was married to Courtney C. Crouch, who preceded her in death. She is survived by three sons: Courtney C. Crouch Jr. and wife, Brenda, of Hot Springs, Ark.; Michael E. Crouch and wife, Kay, of Salisbury, Md.; and James E. Crouch and wife, Cathy, of Springdale. She was blessed with eight grandchildren: Donna Sue Morgan and husband, Patrick; Courtney C. Crouch III and wife, Amber; Jennifer Crouch and wife, Kathryn Lent, Patrick Crouch and wife, Stacey Malasky, Matthew J. Crouch; Elizabeth C. Jilka and husband, Milan; John C. Crouch; and Mary Catherine Dean and husband, Brian. She was also blessed with Annie Crouch, George Crouch, Oliver Jilka, Augustine "Gus" Jilka and Leota "Leo" Crouch-Malasky, her great grandchildren. During her youth in Maynard, Marie enjoyed assisting her father, who was a country doctor. She often went with him on house calls, first by horse and buggy and then later by car, which she drove-probably before her teen years. However, to make house calls in a car, her father had to send his older son Buell out in the buggy to patch the road so the car could travel. Marie was fond of recalling her youth when she developed her lifelong love of music, literature, gardening and needlework. She also learned to sew and cook and how to be a gracious hostess. Marie attended Harding College for her freshman and sophomore years of college. In the fall of 1932, Marie enrolled in the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where she pledged Pi Beta Phi Sorority. She graduated in 1937 from the University of Arkansas. There she met a young lawyer from Springdale by the name of Courtney Chet Crouch on a date arranged by a friend of Courtney's named Bryan Work who was popular with the sorority girls because he had a car. One of Marie's and Courtney's first dates, perhaps their first, was at the original Mary Maestri's restaurant, which was in the Mary Maestri home, where she remembered eating at a table set up in the bedroom. For years, Marie was touted by her family to be Mary Maestri's oldest customer. Marie and Courtney were married in 1936, when Courtney, at age 23, was the mayor of Springdale. During the war, they moved several times while he was employed with the Braun Firm to locations as far west as Boise and Palo Alto. They returned to Springdale in 1947 where they made their home and raised a family. While putting her family first, she was active in the Pi Beta Phi Alumni, the Springdale Hospital Auxiliary, PTA, Bridge Club, and the Arts Center of the Ozarks. She was likely the oldest member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood in the state and perhaps, the world. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Springdale for more than 70 years. Marie's passion was her yard. She had a "green thumb," which she attributed to the hours she spent with her mother in the family vegetable and flower gardens. In the days when Springdale really had no landscapers, she turned their yard into a showplace. Inside, Marie had a gift for decorating and for cooking. Her fried chicken and her apple pie were renowned, and she passed on to her daughtersin-law and the grandchildren how to cut up and fry chicken and make apple pie. Marie truly lived a full and fruitful life loved by her family and friends. In her later years she was assisted greatly by the loving CNAs, nurses, and management at The Maples at Har-Ber Meadows, to whom her family will be forever grateful. A visitation will be held at the First United Methodist Church at 206 W. Johnson in Springdale at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, May 1 followed by a funeral service at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please feel free to donate to your favorite charity or to the First United Methodist Church Foundation, the Arts Center of the Ozarks, or Circle of Life Hospice, all in Springdale, Ark. Arrangements by Brashears Funeral Home of Huntsville, Ark. www.brashearsfuneralhome.net.
Published April 30, 2017