Grace Crowder

Grace Crowder (October 23, 2011)

Grace Elizabeth Crowder, a homemaker who canned vegetables from her farm, died of stroke complications Tuesday at Providence Place Assisted Living in Chambersburg, Pa. The Mount Airy resident was 86.

Born Grace Elizabeth Dieter in Baltimore, she was raised in East Baltimore and attended city public schools through the sixth grade. As a young woman, she worked at Montgomery Ward on Washington Boulevard.

Family members said that her mother died of cancer when she was 9 and that her father was frequently absent. She was dropped off at the home of a paraplegic and for the next seven years was her caregiver.

"She was a remarkable woman. She was never bitter," said her daughter, Carolyn Bott of Pensacola, Fla. "She had a deep faith. Because she had lacked the opportunity to get an education, she taught us the value."

In 1947, she married Jesse T. Crowder Jr., a Baltimore Sun chief financial officer and treasurer, who was an official of the A.S. Abell Co. He died in 2008.

The couple lived in Elkridge and later on a farm in Mount Airy.

"My mother was known for her vegetable and fruit canning. She also provided a large Sunday dinner for her family," said her daughter. "She had taught herself to sew as a girl and throughout her life made many of her own clothes and many for me as well."

A funeral will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Fairview Christian Church in Artemas, Pa. She was a member of the Wesleyan Church in Damascus.

In addition to her daughter, survivors include three sons, Dr. Wayne Crowder of Frederick, Jesse T. Crowder III of Orlando, Fla., and Wesley Crowder of Gettysburg, Pa.; 13 grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com