William “Bill” Kirk Crume, 82 years old, peacefully passed away Friday, November 6, 2020 at his home. He was born February 22, 1938 in Carrollton, KY to William and Jane Crume.
Bill contracted scarlet fever while an infant and became profoundly deaf for the rest of his life. He built his life around a passion for art and his faith in Jesus Christ from a young age. He attended the Gallaudet School for the Deaf in St. Louis until 1956 and then attended St. James High School in St. James, MO and graduated in 1960. Bill attended Gallaudet College (now Gallaudet University) in Washington, DC and graduated in 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts in commercial art. Upon graduation, he worked for the Vitro Corporation as an illustrator. On February 14, 1969, Bill married Louise Lepka of Cleveland, Ohio. They were married for 44 years and raised their family in the Washington, DC area. Bill worked at Vitro Corporation until he retired in 1994. He and Louise then relocated to Cleveland, Ohio. He worked a second career as a store associate and illustrator for Giant Eagle Foods in Westlake. Upon retirement from Giant Eagle and the passing of Louise, Bill relocated to St. Louis, MO to rekindle a relationship with childhood friend, Sharon Schwarz, whom he knew from their days at the Gallaudet School for the Deaf in St. Louis.
Bill was an active member of many churches of different denominations throughout his life. He was a passionate scholar of the Bible, an avid religious teacher, and a regular host for Bible game shows at religious conferences. He was very active with the St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church in Cleveland, where he served as an RCIA teacher and became a fourth level Knight of Columbus. He was also most recently a member of St. Richard’s Catholic Church in St. Louis.
Bill was also known for his sarcastic wit and sense of humor, and he enjoyed making people laugh.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, his younger brother Robert “Bob”; and his wife, Louise. Bill is survived by his fiancé Sharon Schwarz; his older son Peter Crume of Decatur, GA, his wife Kristen and their two daughters Cayla and Samantha; his younger son Philip Crume of Elkhart, IN and his wife Julia; younger sister, Sue (Fred) and their three daughters Christa (Peter), Sara (Scott), and Lora (David) and their children; by youngest sister Betty (Rick) and daughter Leah (Jason) and children; and youngest brother Jim (Debbie) and children Robert (Danae) and Jenni (David) and children.
Services for Bill will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, November 14 by invitation only in order to minimize risk for attendees due to COVID-19. The family will provide a link to a streaming video service for those who would like to participate. Sign language interpreters will be provided.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Bill may be offered to the Catholic Deaf Society
c/o St Richard's Catholic Church, 11223 Schuetz Rd, St Louis MO 63146.
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