Gene Joseph Crabtree

March 17, 1931 - September 16, 2012

Gene Joseph Crabtree

March 17, 1931 - September 16, 2012


Gene Joseph Crabtree

Gene Crabtree, lifelong Lynden resident, passed away Sept. 16, 2012 at Peace Health Hospital in Bellingham. He was 81.

Gene was born to Arthur and Jennie (Verduin) Crabtree, on the family farm in the house that his dad built. He was the youngest of 7 children. Gene graduated from Lynden High School (class of 1949). He played football there and at Skagit Valley College.

In November of 1950, Gene married Virginia Larson. Together they owned and operated Crabtree Seed Potato farm on West Main Road where they raised their six children. He retired from farming at age 76. Gene enjoyed 50 years of service as Commissioner of the Washington State Seed Potato Commission, stepping down in May of 2012.

Gene was an avid outdoorsman and favored fishing, camping, hiking, clamming, crabbing and telling stories. He had many enjoyable times and adventures with his family and friends; traveling to Europe, Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, and around the lower 48.

He was proud of his pioneer heritage and became a local history buff and genealogist. He was a lifelong member of the historical Clamdiggers Association. Gene was a member in good standing in the Loyal Order of Camels where he was Treasurer for many years. He appreciated a good joke and was competitive at darts, cards, cribbage and pool. He was not adverse to garage selling, collecting, and attending auctions. After retirement he also enjoyed daily coffee with his pals at the Rusty Wagon discussing topics of the day.

He will be sorely missed.

Gene was preceded in death by parents Art and Jennie; brothers Archie (Clarice), John, Gerald (Ruth), and Colby; sisters Minnie Marie Kingma (Si) and Genevieve Crabtree; niece Connie (Crabtree) Nieuwendorp and nephew Richie Larson.

Gene leaves behind, wife Virginia; daughter Nikki Crabtree and her 2 children Ben Kliendel and Rachel Weidkamp with husband Clint and their 3 children Rebecca, Christina and Levi; daughter Jeanne Crabtree and husband Bob Petersen; daughter Cathy Crabtree and her 2 children Neal Koning and Lea Sadler; son Dan Crabtree with wife Debbie and their son Jonathan; daughters Jennifer Crabtree and Becky Crabtree; his later- in- life companion Robin Ingram, her daughter Ashley Malinger with husband Jon and their 2 daughters Isabella and Victoria; sisters-in law Greta and Alice Crabtree; brother-in law Dick Larson (Lil); numerous other relatives and many, many friends.

The family wishes to thank the staff of Fred Hutchinson and Peace Health Medical Group for their kindness and caring.

Farewell Tribute Information

Visitation will be Friday, September 21, at Moles Lynden 1907 Front St. from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. A celebration of Gene’s life will begin at Monumenta Cemetery in Lynden, with interment at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, September 24. A memorial service to follow at 11:00 a.m. at New Life Fellowship Church 801 E. Pole Road, Lynden.

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4 responses to Gene Joseph Crabtree

  1. Mary Garrett says:

    Rest in peace Gene. My thoughts and Prayers are with those you left behind. Gene was such a special person. He could say something poker faced, get down the road a bit and then it would hit you! And you would have to grin, laugh and shake your head. Funny, kind hearted and a hoot to know!

  2. Dave Kingma says:

    Thinking of you all, my good cousins, at this time of your dad’s passing.

  3. Gene you will be missed. Our deepest sympathy to Robin and Gene’s family. From The Dekubbers

  4. Dolly Witt says:

    Uncle Gene even though I haven’t seen much of you in the past years…you have always been a favorite of mine (right down to that mischeif smile) and you will always have a special place in my heart. With saddness…Dolly

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