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Crystal Leola
Barklow (Williams)

September 14, 1919 – September 30, 2018

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Obituary for Crystal Leola Barklow (Williams)

Crystal (Cris) Barklow, 99, died on September 30, 2018. She was born on September 14, 1919, to Mary (Trent) and Clisby Williams. She grew up in a large family of five brothers and three sisters in the small Oregon town of Mitchell. As a child, she enjoyed being outdoors and climbing the nearby painted hills. She would often tell stories about those early days when life was met with many unique challenges.

On May 12, 1939, she married her lifelong love, Lyle Barklow. When they were first married, they were fortunate to be able to live with his parents and sister on their Oregon farm. All three of their children were born there: first was Connie in 1940, followed by Tom in 1941 and Linda in 1949. Cris was very loving and kind and cherished her role as a mother and wife. Her life centered on the needs of her kids and husband. She especially enjoyed taking her children and their friends to Elma High School and church activities. No wonder she was such a natural as a grandmother.

Cris and Lyle faced the loss of their two daughters; both dying in car accidents five months apart. Connie was 23 and had married Loren Jay by then, and Linda was only 15. This was a very difficult time for Cris, but as observed in many times throughout her life, she showed strength, bravery and character.

During this same time period (1963), Tom (her only son and surviving child) married Patricia Wolfe. They had three girls: Bonita, Cris Anne and Michelle. The family maintained a close and lifelong relationship with their late daughter’s husband, Loren Jay, his wife Teresa and their thirteen children.
Cris (and Lyle) enjoyed taking the grandkids on various adventures during the summer one at a time as well as together; they had a way of making each of them feel like their favorite.

Around 1973, Cris and Lyle moved from their log cabin in Shelton to an Airstream trailer park in Olympia. The purchase of that Airstream furthered their interest in travel. It was not surprising that they became Snowbirds when Lyle retired. One of their yearly winter trips was down to Palo Verde with a group of Airstreamers, which included family and friends. They enjoyed camping in parks, woods and deserts and would return with pictures of sunsets, cactuses and wildlife to share.

They enjoyed walks in nature, were avid rock hounds and enjoyed creating art pieces with the rocks they found. This joy of camping and all the many related activities were passed down to their grandchildren. Lyle died in 1999, Cris continued traveling in the trailer with the help of a nephew, but stopped after a few years.

She enjoyed all things grandkids. By then, she had great grandchildren and endless activities to attend. She enjoyed all of them equally from ball games, band concerts and graduations to the Special Olympics and the birth of each great and great-great grandchild.

After the death of her cherished son, Tom, in 2009, Crystal began to show signs of memory loss. She slowly lost her memories of family and friends, but still seemed to enjoy each visit. She smiled when she’d see the great grandchildren, she still loved children.

The final five years of her life were lived at the Beehive Memory Care community in McCleary. When her great granddaughter asked her how long she thought she would live, she said, “I will live to be 100.” She was only one year short of achieving that prediction. Crystal was very much loved and will be missed by many. As she would say, it will be a good miss, because she will be with her loved ones that went on before her.

Crystal Barklow is survived by her grandchildren Bonita (Al) Tetreau, Olympia, Cris Anne Cox (Robert), Prineville, Oregon, and Michelle Taylor (Jay Zillyett), Montesano; two sisters Dorene Ashcraft, Prineville, Oregon, and Jeanne (Harold) Martin, Omak, one sister in law Bonnie Varbel; Loren and Teresa Jay, Salem, Oregon, several grandchildren, great grandchildren and one great-great grandson. She was preceded in death by her husband, Lyle, and her three children, Connie, Tom and Linda, as well as six of her siblings and two brothers-in-law.

A graveside service will be held 11:00am, November 3rd at the Masonic Cemetery in Elma, Washington. In lieu of flowers, please donate to one of the following organizations: Alzheimer’s Association, National Brain Tumor Society or the Special Olympics.

To send flowers to the family of Crystal Leola Barklow (Williams), please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.

To send flowers to the family of Crystal Leola Barklow (Williams), please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.

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