October 07, 2021

NORTH FORT FLYERS, Fla.- A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20, at the First Baptist Church in Golden City, Mo., for Franklin Dee Crabtree, 82, North Myers, who died peacefully, surrounded by love, on Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hope Hospice of North Fort Myers.

Dee was born September 19, 1938 and grew up in the small town of Golden City, Mo., the youngest child raised by his mother. He met his sweetheart, Betty Jean Bergdall, in Enid, Okla., and they married there on July 27, 1957. After nearly 64 years of marriage, he still thanked her each day for her love and patient wisdom.

Dee worked in the shoe business with Genesco for most of his career, moving his young family from Enid to Tulsa, to Oklahoma City, to Houston, Texas as a retail shoe store manager, working long hours; then moved to St. Louis and finally to Nashville, Tenn., where he worked in the import division with extensive travel to Brazil and India. Along the way, he imparted his abiding work ethic and generous consideration for other people through work, church, home and family. His children and grandchildren are the beneficiaries of his life lessons, love, attention and care.

After retirement, Dee and Betty moved to Murfreesboro, Tenn., to be closer to Brenda and her children, Keith and Eric. Then they moved to North Fort Myers in 2014 to be closer to Steven and his children, Jefferson and Sarah. Dee is survived by his wife, Betty; son Steven Dee Crabtree; son-in-law, Steve Dawson; grandchildren, Eric Dawson, Jefferson Dee Crabtree and Sarah Ann Crabtree. He was preceded in death by his parents, adoring siblings and daughter, Brenda Lea Crabtree, and grandson, Keith Crabtree Dawson. He leaves behind family and friends he loved greatly and those who will miss him in the days ahead.

He is the last of seven siblings to pass and he will be missed by his nieces and nephews, Tom and Cathy Needham, Raymond, Alberta, William Needham, Las Vegas, Nevada; Jim and Sandy Mapes, Springfield, Mo.; Sue Finley, Lawrence, Kan.; Mike and Elizabeth Finley, Altamont, Kan.; Mitch and Angie Davis, Golden City, Mo.; Brett and Sarah Davis, Lamar, Mo. and Dee and Joel Rhymer, Claremore, Okla.