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NORMAL — James Robert “Bob” Crabtree, 72, of Normal passed away at 1:30 p.m. Friday (March 13, 2011) at Heritage Manor, Bloomington, after an 11-month battle with his illness.

His funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at East Lawn Funeral Home, Bloomington, with his good friend, Pastor Joe Magner (Stanford Church of God) officiating with the assistance of the Rev. Vaughn Hoffman (Wesley United Methodist Church). Buril will be in East Lawn Memorial Gardens Mausoleum, Bloomington. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. today at East Lawn Funeral Home, Bloomington.

Bob was born March 11, 1939, in Crawfordsville, Ind., the son of Ewell and Gladys Crabtree. He married Barbara J. Dennison on March 11, 1961, in McLean. She survives in Normal. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past March.

Also surviving are one son, James Eric Crabtree, Bloomington; one daughter, Leanne Crabtree Adcock (fiancé Larry Recar), Bloomington; one sister, Anita (Charlie) Crowe, Bloomington; two brothers, Gene (Mary) Crabtree, Bloomington; and Charlie (Kathy) Crabtree, Normal; three grandchildren, James Aaron Crabtree, Sarah Crabtree and Lauren Adcock; and many nieces, nephews, and friends he considered family.

He was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents.

Bob worked in the auto parts industry before his retirement in 1999. His personality made him a great salesman, and he was also in management throughout his career. After retirement, he worked part time for Enterprise Rental Car and Dennison Ford. He attended Wesley United Methodist Church.

Bob was an amazing person who loved everyone and never met a stranger. He battled spinal cord tumors which debilitated him for all of his adult life, yet he never complained about his situation. He enjoyed working on cars, working in the yard, riding his scooter and visiting his childhood home in Hackers Branch, Ky. He will be remembered for his love of family and friends, his sense of humor, his love of music, and his strength and will to live.

The family would like to thank everyone who prayed with, visited and comforted Bob over the past year. Heartfelt appreciation goes out to all Heritage Manor staff for the loving care given to this wonderful man. Special thanks to the doctors and nurses at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center and BroMenn Advocate Medical Center for their efforts to extend his life on Earth.

Memorials may be made to Hospice Passages Charitable Foundation, Wesley United Methodist Church or Stanford Church of God. Online condolences may be submitted to www.EastLawn-Bloomington.com

His suffering has ended and he is now resting in peace with no more pain. We look forward to the day when we meet him again in Heaven. We know he’ll be standing there with open arms and that unforgettable smile.

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