Frank Mills Crabb, 79, of Benton, died Friday, Jan. 25. He was born in Wynne on March 26, 1933. Frank was the seventh of eight children, born to the late Aaron Floyd Wills and Winifred Floy Chadwick Wills.
After the untimely early death of both parents, the five youngest children (two sisters and three brothers) came to Little Rock to live in the Arkansas Methodist Children’s Home. One of the children, Jerry, was adopted by Harlow and Glena Kraus of Clarksville; Jack was adopted by the Rev. Fred and Mary Harrison of Texarkana; and Frank by Eldon and Ethel Crabb of Benton. Two older brothers and one older sister continued their education and careers in the military. The eight children managed to maintain close contact with each other over the years, with frequent visits and planned family reunions that have continued to this day through the third generation.
When Frank came to Benton in 1945, he found the all-American dream for a young boy: a friendly and loving community. He was never idle. He could be seen every day riding his bicycle across town, delivering telegrams or the local paper with faithful dog Sport following close behind.
Throughout high school, Frank was a straight-A student and an outstanding athlete in football, basketball and track. He earned a football scholarship to attend Southern State College in Magnolia (now Southern Arkansas University).
Frank maintained a 3.6 grade-point average and graduated with honors with a degree in chemistry. In college, he was voted most intelligent and class favorite and received the board of trustees' Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Graduate award and was listed on the Arkansas Intercollegiate Football team.
During the summer of 1955, before he began fall semester at Washington University School of Dentistry, Frank worked as a recreation director at Tyndall Park in Benton, leading the community in a great summer of activities on the ball fields and the swimming pool.
After four years of dental school, Frank served his required tour of duty with the U.S. Army and was stationed in El Paso, Texas. After this tour, he remained active through the Arkansas National Guard.
From 1961 to 1966, Frank shared a dental office in Wynne with a former Washington University classmate. Later, he came to Benton, where he practiced dentistry for over 45 years. His patients frequently called him the “singing dentist”.
Frank enjoyed people and lived life to the fullest. When he was not in the office, he was on the golf course at Trace Creek Country Club. During the thriving days of Trace Creek, he served as president and was chairman of many 4 Ball Tournaments, to which he invited golfers around Central Arkansas.
Frank served in the Army National Guard 204th Medical Detachment, another area of his interest in people and serving others. His unit was deployed during Operation Desert Storm in 1990-1991. He later retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
After 44 years as a practicing dentist, Frank closed the doors to his clinic and enjoyed many days of retirement with his family, working in his yard, catching up on grandchildren’s activities and visiting relatives. He was a member of Benton's First United Methodist Church.
He is survived by his wife, Azy Tubb Crabb; a son, J. Frank Crabb and wife Denise and their children, Matt Larkan and Rachel Dormas and husband Paul; a daughter, Cristal McQuary and husband Jack, and their sons, Ross and Patrick McQuary; and a son, Cliff Crabb and his sons, Daniel and David Crabb.
Frank is also survived by one sister, Mary Ann Wills Bemberg.
A graveside service is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28, at Pinecrest Memorial Park.
A celebration of life will follow at 4 p.m. at Benton's First United Methodist Church.
Visitation is set from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at Ashby Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Benton's First United Methodist Church Children’s Playground or the Christian Community Care Clinic.
Online guest book: www.ashbyfuneralhome.com .
Family comments:Special thanks to Saline Memorial Hospice House in Bryant.