Phone: (317) 925-3800(317) 925-3800
Henry W. "Uncle Hank" Crews Jr.
April 07, 1945 - September 15, 2017
In Loving Memory of Henry W. Crews Jr.
Henry Ward Beecher Crews, Jr., fondly known as "Uncle Hank," beloved husband of Marva June West Crews, was born on April 7, 1945 in Oxford, North Carolina. He was blessed with devoted parents Shirley Long Posey and George Posey, Jr. whom he loved dearly. He spent his early years growing up in Georgetown, Illinois with his maternal grandmother Hattie Long and his maternal grandfather John Gilmer Long, whom he considered the most influential man of his life.
As a young boy, he moved with his family to Detroit, Michigan and his life was enriched with the addition of his brothers Leonard D. Posey and George "Gil" Posey and later Henry B. Crews and the late Cecil Crews. He attended Cass Technical High School, where he studied the performing arts and was member of the varsity cross country team. This is also where he met and married Wanda Jeane Riley Crews, the mother of his son Jeffrey Keon Crews, whom he called his pride, and daughter Kimberley Anne Crews Goode, whom he referred to as his joy. In 1985, Henry married Marva and was blessed by the love and support of their combined families for the rest of his life.
After high school graduation, Henry began providing for his family through a number of jobs. He seemed to excel and be recognized for his intellect and work ethic in whatever position he held. At the young age of 19, he was fortunate to begin what would lead to a long and successful career with the Chrysler Corporation. He started on the assembly line in the foundry and ultimately was promoted into management serving as plant union relations manager, training and team concept management leader and manufacturing area manager responsible for total quality and budget. He was very proud of his work at Chrysler and the lifelong friendships he built at the automaker.
In 1976, his career at Chrysler led to a transfer to Indianapolis, Indiana. Not long after this move, Henry made a life changing decision to transition from corporate America to full time ministry under the leadership of Dr. T. Garrott Benjamin, Jr., at Second Christian Church, now known as Light of the World Christian Church. In 1980, Henry earned a Certificate of Ministerial License as a lay minister in the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ and began serving as the church’s business administrator. He served in this role for three years before returning to Chrysler where he remained until retirement in 2000. His love for God’s work and God’s people continued through his commitment to serving in the men’s choir, as a Sunday School teacher and a Bible study instructor.
Formal and informal education was important to Henry. Since joining the workforce right out of high school, he expanded his knowledge and grew by participating in a number of leadership programs and organizations, including the Detroit Jaycees, where he served in a variety of roles, including as vice president of the local chapter. His college journey was not traditional, but he persevered while working full time to earn an Associate of General Studies degree and a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from Indiana University in 1985. He went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University in 1989.
He continued his love of education by teaching at Indiana Wesleyan University, where he served on the Faculty Advisory Council, and by working with students in Indianapolis Public Schools and as an instructor with the Center for Leadership Development, where he played a key role in creating the Business Orientation Project. He also served as a role model and mentor to many young people who he encouraged to study hard and be of good character, while inspiring them to do their personal best in all things. The impact Henry had on these young lives is evident in the touching letters he has received from former students and mentees.
Henry also had a passion for the community. Throughout his life he volunteered his time for many causes. Most recently, he poured his heart into helping those with sickle cell anemia and was recognized for his distinguished service to the Martin Center Sickle Cell Initiative. He was also recently sworn in as a mayoral appointee to the Indianapolis Fire Department Review Board and was a proud life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., initiated in the Iota Lambda Chapter in Indianapolis.
Henry’s greatest love of his life was family and particularly his children and grandchildren. Nothing gave him more joy than celebrating their accomplishments in the classroom, in the workplace or on the volleyball or basketball courts. He was proudly their biggest cheerleader.
His greatest gift to the world was uplifting others. Countless numbers of men, women and children have been blessed by Henry’s kind words, wise counsel and genuine concern for their well-being. He inspired others through his generous spirit, positive outlook and commitment to caring for others.
He leaves to mourn his memory his wife Marva; brothers Henry B. Crews (Ardis), Leonard Posey (Lois), George Posey (Patricia); sisters-in-law Carol Meriwether (Lee), Janice Shelby(Steven) and Loretta Posey; children Jeffrey Crews (Sabrina) and Kimberley Goode (Andre); step-children Cheryl Hubbard Hill (Bruce) and Melanie Jackson (James); grandchildren Krystalyn Goode, Garrison Goode, Kaylyn Goode, B. Carson Donnell, McKenzie Donnell, Bruce Hill, III, Bryce Hill, Brandon Hill; and a host of cousins, nephews, nieces, friends, colleagues and Right-Hearted people all over the world.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Martin Center Sickle Cell Initiative, http://www.themartincenter.org/donations.htm.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Saturday, September 23, 2017 at Light of The World Christian Church, located at 4646 Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN 46228, with visitation from 9:00 a.m. Entombment to immediately follow at Crown Hill Cemetery.