Obituary: TJ CROWDER
September 25, 1932 – August 7, 2020
Iliff , Colorado
TJ Crowder, a lifelong rancher/farmer, died on Friday, August 7th, 2020 at his home near Iliff, CO. A closed casket visitation will be held from 4-6 pm on Tuesday, August 11th at Chaney-Reager Funeral Home, Sterling, CO. Graveside services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 12th at Sunset Memorial Gardens with Pastor Dale Pierce officiating. Lunch will be served at the United Church of Crook following the service.
TJ was born September 25, 1932 to Helen Arlene (Moore) Crowder and Elton Ellis Crowder in Independence, OK. A beloved husband, father and friend, TJ was 87 years old. He was confirmed in the Independence Methodist Church in 1946 and graduated from Independence High School in 1950.
He began his military career on January 13, 1953 and became part of the 547th Field Artillery Unit. Orders sending him to Korea were issued, but later rescinded as the war effort wound down. TJ was an exceptional horseman and while stationed at Fort Reno, OK was part of the regiment that trained and transported 23,000 head of horses/mules to Istanbul, Turkey. He also showcased horses to the Mexican government and trained many horses used in military funeral processions, including President JFK’s. He was honorably discharged on January 12, 1955.
TJ married Anna Faye Smith on April 12, 1957 in Putnam, OK. They moved to CO in 1959, ultimately settling at their current homestead 2 miles north of Proctor where they raised their family. TJ farmed and was in the cattle business his entire life. He managed the Ceres Feedlot at Proctor, bought fat cattle and in 1980 started TJ Crowder and Sons Cattle Feeding. He also ranched in AZ, MO, OK and WY. He served on the Board of Directors for the Crook Volunteer Fire Department for 22 years and President for several years. He actively worshipped with his family at the United Church of Crook.
TJ had a wonderful, slow way of talking and telling a story, which he loved to do. Many family meals ended with a well-told story or two and watermelon – which he couldn’t get enough of! A cattleman his entire life; branding day was one of his favorites. A long, dusty day was always rewarded with a Rocky Mountain Oyster fry. TJ raised, trained and raced Thoroughbred horses and felt watching the horses run was a thing of beauty. He loved family get-togethers, saying it was the only gift he ever needed! Faye, his much-loved partner, was always by his side through thick and thin years. While his four kids definitely gave him gray hair, he loved them dearly, along with his eight grandkids and five great-grandkids, who gave him great joy! While an Okie at heart, he grew to love Colorado and tried to live by “The Cowboy Code”.
He is preceded in death by his parents and sister Lois Sullivan.
TJ is survived by his wife Faye and children Eldon (Lisa) Crowder of Fort Morgan, CO; Cathy (Dennis) Schulte of Eaton, CO; Farrel (Jodi) Crowder of Iliff; Boyd (Christy) Crowder of Iliff along with eight grand-children and great-grandchildren. He’s also survived by sisters Donna Nicholas of Thomas, OK and Peggy (John) Bisbee, Rolla, MO.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in TJ’s name to Hospice of the Plains or United Church of Crook and may be left or sent to Chaney-Reager Funeral Home, PO Box 1046, Sterling, CO 80751.
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