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Mary Lee Crooks

October 4, 1926 ~ June 9, 2019 (age 92)
In Loving Memory of
Mary Elizabeth (Lee) Askey Crooks
     Mary Elizabeth (Lee) Askey Crooks was born October 4, 1926 in Merriam, Kansas, the daughter of Mary Edith (Keller) and Richard C. Askey. She left us quickly on a Sunday morning, June 9, 2019, at the age of 92 years. She lived her last few years in Washington, Missouri, at The Homestead Retirement Home.
     Mary Lee’s grade school years were spent in Allerton, Iowa, then high school in Browning, Missouri.  She moved to Kansas City, Missouri while still a teenager and earned her diploma attending night school. During the World War II years, Mary Lee worked at Pratt Whitney in Kansas City, MO.  On November 11, 1945, Mary Lee was united in marriage to Keath J. Crooks after he returned from serving in the armed forces.  Mary Lee and Keath loved to share the story that their first vehicle as a married couple was a tractor.  Their 68 years of marriage were spent in and around Browning where they raised their three daughters, Donna, Kathy and Toni.  
      Mary Lee was a doting wife, mother, and grandmother. She became a devoted caregiver of many years for her father-in-law, Walter Crooks and then later her mother, Mary Garrett. Her last couple of years were spent caring for her special friend, Lee Jacquin, in Washington, MO.
      Mary Lee became a member of the Browning Methodist Church in the late 1940s where she took pride as an active member of Hope Circle and the Sewing Circle. For many years, she taught Sunday School, and up until the age of 89, she was pianist for the church. Mary Lee was a member of the Legion Auxiliary #274 and PEO Chapter V since 1981, having held most of the offices in that Sisterhood.  She was very proud to be a part of helping young women attend college through PEO funds.
     Mary Lee was devoted to her family and friends, and was a leader in her community. She enjoyed reading and gardening. Her many accomplishments included playing piano, singing, and quilting. To her family, she left a legacy of beautiful quilts to treasure. Her family has fond memories of the family dinners and her favorite recipes, which continue to be enjoyed. She spent many hours playing Scrabble and card games with Keath and family around the kitchen table. She enjoyed playing badminton and croquet, and had a special fondness for cats and kittens!  She and Keath attended their daughters' countless basketball and softball games. Mary Lee loved to go Morel mushroom hunting. One memory includes bragging rights for catching and bringing home a 13 lb. pond catfish. 
     Mary Lee was preceded in death by her husband Keath, mother Mary Garrett, father Richard C. Askey, brother Richard W. Askey, and several brothers- and sisters-in law.  Family members left to treasure her memory are daughters Donna Brown (Bob) Villa Ridge, MO; Kathy Sayre (Roger Robinson) Olympia, WA;  and Toni Bell (Ken) Omaha, NE.   There are seven grandchildren: Scott Brown (Janel) of Villa Ridge, MO; Marc Brown (Jessi) of Wright City, MO; Jennifer Sayre of Olympia, WA; Brad Sayre (Rachel) of Maple Valley, WA; and Chad Bell (Brandy), Rachel Grosskopf (Levi), Preston Bell (Andrea), all of Omaha, NE.   She also leaves ten great grandchildren: Kylie and Savannah Johnson (Olympia, WA); Donavan and Hunter Sayre (Maple Valley, WA); Madeleine and Jameson Brown (Villa Ridge, MO); and Grant and Olivia Bell, Palmer Grosskopf and Tenleigh Bell, all of Omaha, NE.
     Mary Lee touched many lives and will be missed. Even though we grieve for her, not so much has been taken from us as given to us!
    Funeral services will be held 11:00 AM Saturday, June 15, 2019 at the United Methodist Church in Browning, Missouri. Burial will follow at Locust Valley Cemetery. A visitation is scheduled for one hour prior to the service, starting at 10:00 PM, at the church. 
     Memorial contributions are suggested to Browning United Methodist Church or to Locust Valley Cemetery.
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