Elsie Dora Dollins Crawford

- February 16, 2024

Elsie Dora Dollins Crawford took her final breath on February 16, 2024. Born January 22, 1930, Elsie, affectionately known by all as Gammy, appeared to enjoy nearly every moment of her 94 years, particularly those years that she was able to enjoy watching her great and great-great grandchildren. Though she would be endlessly perturbed she did not make the 100-year mark, her time on earth was filled with the love and laughter of 5 generations of family. 

Elsie was born to the late James Thomas Dollins and Viola Lee Blakely Dollins. Preceding her in death was her husband of 56 years, Dewey Crawford, who passed in 2003. In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her parents, her brothers, James and Robert Dollins, and her sister, Effie “Bay” Dollins Kidd, as well as two sons-in-law, Jerrold Dutton and Allen Leake, and a bonus great grandson, Nicklous Pendleton. 

Gammy was a hard worker all her life. From a soda counter girl at Woolworth’s; a seamstress, who made dresses for weddings and mended many a wounded Stuffie; and a church sexton, she always had a smile and a helping hand for anyone. She helped maintain acres of gardens, snapped thousands of beans, and canned more vegetables than can be counted. She was a wonderful cook, though she never thought so, and each Christmas she made tons of candies and other goodies that everyone looked forward to. 

After raising their four children, she spent her summers caring for her grandchildren. Many fond memories were created during those times. When her great-grandchildren were born, while not as mobile, she was at a stage in life where she could sit and enjoy watching them grow. Nothing made her happier than attending events for them, and several football seasons she made it to every home game to watch her great-grandsons play – even in pouring rain, and freezing temperatures. She clipped every newspaper article that had any picture or mention of a family member and kept them all. The absolute joy she had once her great-great-grandchildren were born undoubtedly added a couple years to her life. She adored each of them and spent hours a day watching her digital frame scroll through pictures of them, with a smile on her lips. 

Gam’s faith was strong. She was a member of Mechanicsville Baptist Church for over 70 years. She exemplified what the Bible teaches. Never having a bad word to say about anyone, even if she didn’t agree with their choices, she loved everyone. Until her eyesight began failing her, she read her Bible daily, as well as her numerous devotionals. 

She was quick to smile, and despite telling us she never felt pretty, she was the most beautiful woman to us, with a pure heart and a giving nature. Gammy wore the title of our family matriarch with pride and grace. 

Left to remember her with love and to celebrate her life are her children: Donna Harris, Stephen (Geri) Crawford, Nancy Dutton, and Carolyn Leake; grandchildren: Kelly Harris (Clark Belanger), Dana (Jerome) Cherry, Pamela Crawford, Eric (Shannon) Dutton, Trevor (Sheila) Dutton, Shawn Leake (Judy Solberg), Chris Leake (Ashley Ledden), and Diane Leake; great-grandchildren: Aine Kurth (Paris Forde), Tiger Belanger, Jeremy (Yolanda) Hancock, Trey Cherry (Ashley Schumann) Jordan (TaeAhn) Cherry, Sydney Cherry (Jacob Woodson) Katy Cherry, Victoria Dutton (Bailey Jenkins), Isabelle Dutton (Josh Healy), Leah Dutton, Wesley Dutton, Emmaline Dutton, Will Dutton, Dylan Butler, Brittany Dutton (Shawn Martin), Bo Dutton (Haileigh Dillon), Miranda (Tucker) Herr, Matt Leake, Marcus Leake (Caitlin Gentry); great-great grandchildren: Roman Hancock, Adrian Hancock, Seylah Cherry, Landon Cherry, Elsie Herr, and Evelyn Leake. Also cherishing her memory are her sister-in-law, Catherine Dollins and a host of nieces and nephews. 

The family will receive friends Saturday, February 24, 2024 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at Preddy Funeral Home Chapel in Gordonsville. The funeral service will be held Sunday, February 25, 2024 at 2 p.m. at Mechanicsville Baptist Church (Boswell’s Tavern), with interment to follow at the Walker Family Cemetery.

Those who wish to honor her memory may do so by making a donation to the Nicklous Pendleton Scholarship Fund at https://www.pvcc.edu/donors-friends/pendleton, or by sending checks to Nicklous Pendleton Scholarship Fund, c/o Diana Stalnaker, 1686 Lindsay Rd, Gordonsville, VA 22942.