Val Howard Crabtree, 97, formerly of Convoy, Ohio died on Saturday, December 16, 2017.
He was born May 10, 1920 in Van Wert to the late Fay (Shamberger) and Calvin Crabtree of Convoy.
Val is survived by his loving wife Joan (Eaken) of 70 years and children Fay (John) Day of Dayton, Ohio, Vala Wilkerson of Statesboro, Georgia, Van of Dayton, and Vaun of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia. Also surviving are sister-in-law Martha Christiensen of Surprise, Arizona and five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his brother Ward (Lela) Crabtree (2000) and sister Avis (Leonard) Malzac (1989).
Val graduated from Tully-Convoy High School in 1938. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on January 5, 1942 and served in the Air Transport Command in India. As an aerial engineer, with the rank of sergeant, he flew the treacherous India-Burma air route known as The Hump. For his services, he was awarded the Air Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal.
After the war, he returned to Convoy and married Joan Eaken in 1947. He worked at the International Harvester in Ft. Wayne, Indiana for 35 years.
In 1962, he founded and managed the Convoy Browns, a women’s fastpitch softball team that competed with teams around northwest Ohio and eastern Indiana. The team played at the former ballpark, the Sports Center, west of Convoy. His winning seasons attracted large crowds. He managed the team until 1974.
Val was cared for by his wife Joan and daughter Fay and her husband John at their residence where he died. The family expresses their gratitude for the compassionate care given by Carmen, Tina, Amy, Dusty, Becky, Mitch and the staff of Heartland Hospice.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be at Corpus Christi Catholic Church 527 Forest Ave. Dayton OH 45405 , on Thursday December 21, 2017 at 10 AM with visitation 1 hr before. Burial will follow at Shiloh Park Cemetery, Dayton
Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Val to a charity of choice. Arrangements were handled by Baker Hazel and Snider Funeral Home, Dayton. Condolences may be expressed at www.bakerhazelsnider.com.