JARS v9n1 - In Memoriam: Ella J. Crabb

In Memoriam: Ella J. Crabb
Dr. M. L. Trembath
Aldergrove, British Columbia, Canada

A Gallant Lady

Ella J. Crabb, nee Paul, wife of David, formerly of West Vancouver, Langley and lately Qualicum Beach, passed away Nov. 24, 1994. Ella died as she had lived - bravely - her concern more for those near and dear to her than for herself.

Fraser South Rhododendron Society has lost a charter member; Vancouver Rhododendron Society has lost a long time member; and Mount Arrowsmith Rhododendron Society has lost a newer, though active member. We are all very aware of our loss. Ella was one of those most valuable people without whom organizations fail to prosper. She was ready to help whoever, whenever, and wherever help was needed. She and Dave edited the FSRS newsletter for several years, keeping us up to date with club happenings along with information from other chapters and articles of interest gleaned from newsletters and garden journals. They had recently taken on this job for the MARS Chapter. Ella and Dave were awarded a Bronze Medal by FSRS for their generosity in sharing their garden, their knowledge, their plants and their yeoman job as newsletter editors.

Ella's enthusiasm for her plants was infectious, although it occasionally led to a frustrated howl from Dave - "Ella, where have you put ...?" and the reply would come, "Well, it didn't look happy there, so I moved it ..." The Crabb garden in Langley was a Mecca for all rhodoholics and we were all welcomed, rain or shine, toured and coffee'd or tea'd, and toured again. There was an incredibly large collection of rhodies in that garden, each known and cherished.

Ella took delight in her animal friends, the dogs Rhodie and Sam, the cat Buffy, the birds, and the wild birds they encouraged and fed - even the squirrel who stole from the feeders and sent Rhodie into paroxysms of barking. There always seemed to be a chuckle behind her voice, as though she was amused by the vagaries of us all.

I can hardly bear to think that I will never again pick up the phone and hear the very definite voice say, "Mike, how are ye? Mike, what do you know about..."

As the ballad says, "Sad am I without thee."