Dorothy Jewel Crain, 96, of Terre Haute, formerly of Atlanta, ended her story on earth July 3, 2017, following a short illness. She was born July 27, 1920, in Demopolis, Ala., to Ledyard Walker and Eula Thomas, the oldest of six children. Her early life at times resembled something out of a southern gothic novel but she found comfort in her grandparents and their farm. Her maternal grandmother, Miss Ellen, instilled many qualities in Jewel that would carry her through the difficulties life would bring. At age 12, her family was dismantled by a host of reasons typical of the era. Recognizing Jewel's potential, the family with whom she was staying sponsored her education. In June, 1939 she graduated as Valedictorian from the High School Academy of Trevecca Nazarene College (Nashville, Tenn.).
A mutual friend introduced her to William Bruce Crain and they married on Dec. 26, 1939, and raised two children. She worked as the church secretary of Atlanta First Church of the Nazarene for many years. Her organizational skills shone the brightest when she served as chief administrative assistant in the Trust department of C & S Bank in Decatur, Ga., Finding retirement unfulfilling, Jewel returned to the workforce and worked as an administrative assistant in the Dietetics Department of Emory University Hospital until her final retirement at age 75. Following the passing of her mother (also at 96) she moved to Terre Haute. She arrived with her collection of Hummels, along with her tenacity, intelligence and independence. She embodied the adage, "bloom where you're planted," by making new friends, taking computer and creative writing classes, joining the congregation of Memorial United Methodist Church and getting to know her new hometown. She beat breast cancer in her 80s and participated in support groups and research fundraisers. In 2009, she moved to Westminster Village, where she integrated herself into the life of the community by making many new friends and serving on numerous committees.
She is survived by her children, William Crain (Rebecca) of Leawood, Kan., and Margaret Andrews Bourne of Terre Haute, her grandchildren, Hilary (Kevin) Gardner of Waco, Texas, Elizabeth (Craig) Christiansen of Plainfield, Jennifer (Ryan) Brist of South Pasadena, Calif., and Allison (Jon) Kapellusch of Newburgh; 11 great-grandchildren, Graham, Annika, Sam, Fred, Kate, Avery, Henry, Vivian, Carys, Perri and Veda and by Wanda Dickerson, an honorary member of Jewel's family.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bruce, in 1981 and by all five of her siblings.
Jewel had a special place in her heart for her faith, Atlanta and its Dogwood trees, the value of a "Classic Coca-Cola," the Nutcracker Ballet, puzzles, competitive card games and dominos, learning, traveling and her family. She was an accomplished seamstress, crafting everything from elaborate dresses for her young daughter to costumes and doll clothes for her granddaughters. Her ability to analyze and interpret "figures" suggest that had she been born in another era or of a different gender, she would likely have become a prominent CFO.
In other words, she was the best and we'll always remember her as a most precious Jewel in our family crown.
DeBaun Funeral Home is handling arrangements; a memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 22, 2017, at Memorial United Methodist Church, 2701 Poplar St., Terre Haute. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to The Jackson Center for Conductive Education, FBO Sam Christiansen Scholarship Fund, 802 Samuel Moore Pkwy, Mooresville, IN, 46158, (317)-834-0200, www.thejacksoncenter.org. Jewel was a strong advocate for her great-grandson, Sam, who has Cerebral Palsy and rehabilitates in their therapy program. Online condolences may be left at:
Published on  July 12, 2017