Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Geraldine “Gerri” E. (Hammaker) Crowell (February 9, 2019)

Geraldine “Gerri” E. (Hammaker) Crowell passed away peacefully on February 9, 2019 at Upper Valley Medical Center in Troy, Ohio at the age of 74. She was the daughter of the late Aloysius Henry Hammaker and Eleanor (Keith) Hammaker.

Gerri was preceded in death by her brothers and sisters Walter Hammaker, Robert Hammaker, Richard Hammaker, Jeanette (Don) Floyd, Raymond (Marjorie) Hammaker, Mary Lou (Cecil) Livesey, Elsie Reir and Donald Hammaker. She is survived by her husband Leslie Crowell whom she had been married to for 37 years. Gerri is also survived by her children Michael (Sandy) Besecker, Melissa Anthony, and Justin (fiancee Mandy) Crowell; grandchildren Ashley (Lee) Kozak, Cassie (Gavin) Bixler, Chris Besecker, Eric Besecker, Alex Rehmert, Austin Anthony, seven “little darling “ great-grand children, and numerous nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her sister Darlene Winterrowd and Gerri’s best friend Kathy (Hoblit) Bowen.

Gerri loved Jesus and her faith never faltered. Her love for her country was strong and she had a tremendous fear for the direction her country was going and what her grandchildren might be facing in the future. She would stick up for and protect individuals who were not able to defend themselves.

Gerri had a natural and committed desire to serve others always putting others first as was demonstrated by her generosity and selfless giving; never wanting any acknowledgement or recognition for her anonymous giving. She gave generously to individuals in need, national disasters, and always looked forward to Shiner’s Fund Drive knowing the great work they do giving selflessly to help burned and crippled children at no cost to the families (she loved little Alex).

Gerri’s desire to serve others coupled with her entrepreneual spirit dates back to when she had the Old Snell restaurant on Broadway, Pantry Bake Shop on the corner (Whitecotton building) by the Post Office, Pantry Bake Shop and Diner located on East Main Street, Pantry Bake Shop out of her basement, and most of all the Pantry Bake Shop at the Great Darke County Fair (for 30 years). The home of the famous “Pin Wheel”, Orange Cream Cookies, Old Fashion Cream Pie and much more.

Her uncompromising quality for perfection was in everything she did and she expected nonetheless out of others. “I will have nothing to sell before I will sell a poor quality product”. If you made a promise or a commitment to her you darn well better keep it!

Gerri loved playing cards and was an avid and extremely good Bridge player, teacher and mentor. And, as she always emphasized: ”length over strength”. Her strong relationships she had developed with her bridge buddies over many years brought her great pleasure. Her biggest frustration was not being able to out play her husband in Gin.

Gerri loved flowers and found contentment in working in her flower beds, which included hand planting 186 pots of impatiens each spring. Boy did she love when it rained because it “sure beats dragging that darn hose around”.

Family gatherings were always top on Gerri’s list. She loved family cookouts and holidays as it gave her an opportunity to prepare fancy meals, play with the kids and watch all the family interaction. And as the evenings would grow nigh there was always more eating and of course cards and games.

A private celebration of life will be held at a later date. Keeping with Gerri’s spirit of giving, any contributions can be made anonymously to someone you know that might be in need. Condolences for the family may be expressed through