Lyndell Elizabeth Crowder


Lyndell Elizabeth Crowder, 94, of Manson died May 20, 2018 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. She’ll be lovingly remembered by her family for her courage, strength, and generosity.

 Born August 6, 1923 in Leola, Arkansas, to Jim and Maggie Key (Ritchey),

Lyndell and her family came west for opportunity in Brewster, Washington’s orchards when she was 17. She got right to work, and fit right in. While working in the orchards, she also joined the girls’ basketball team, represented the town as princess in Wenatchee’s Apple Blossom Festival, and graduated as salutatorian of Brewster High School’s class of 1942.

 Before World War II she met Melvin Crowder, another Arkansas transplant who’d come to Washington with his family. They danced at Maple Hall near Riverside, married in Wenatchee on May 18, 1945, and honeymooned at Mare Island, California while Mel was on leave from the Navy. 

After the war, the couple made their home in Manson, and their living in the fruit industry. Together they planted trees and grew apples in Manson and Brewster. Lyndell spent her time in the orchards, warehouses, and offices - laboring, supervising crews, and learning. Mel did the same as a horticulturist. They raised two daughters, Jackie and Linda. In retirement, they sold pollen and nursery trees to growers throughout Central Washington.

For their kids and grandkids, they exemplified hard work, encouraged education and ambition, and offered all the support they could. 

Lyndell was a lifelong member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Chelan Silver Star Chapter, and served as its long-time treasurer. She spent many weekends at the family cabin at Conconully Lake, cleaning more fish than she would’ve liked. She was a Seattle SuperSonics season ticket-holder in the late 1960’s, and loved watching basketball. At home, she surrounded herself with family photos and mementos of the apple industry that was such a big part of her life. When Mel died in 1993, she was proud to start the Mel and Lyndell Crowder NCW Memorial Horticulture Scholarship to support Central Washington students studying to work in the fruit industry.

 She’s survived by her daughters, Jackie Griffiths (Dave) of Wenatchee, and Linda Batch (Tom) of Manson; four grandchildren, Jenann Ross (John) of Wenatchee, Mindy Christopherson (Tom) of Woodinville, Greg Batch (Kristen) of San Jose, Calif., and Kyle Batch (Sompheng) of Manson; and eight great-grandchildren, Jordyn Ross, Jackson Ross, Cade Christopherson, Luke Christopherson, Ruby Batch, Olive Batch, Thea Batch and Evie Batch. She was preceded in death by her husband, Melvin Crowder; parents, Jim Key and Maggie Key (Ritchey); and brothers, Cleatis Key, Harlan Key, and Winfred Key.

Her family is grateful for the caring and kindness of the staff at Senior’s Delight and Life’s Little Pleasures in East Wenatchee.

A private family internment service will be held next week at Okanogan City Cemetery. Arrangements by Precht Rose Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Mel and Lyndell Crowder NCW Memorial Horticulture Scholarship fund through the Community Foundation of NCW, 9 S. Wenatchee Ave, Wenatchee, WA 98801.  Please leave any thoughts and memories for the family at  Services are entrusted to Precht Rose Chapel of Chelan.

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