In Tribute: Adventurous owner ‘didn’t feel like a granny’

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

They had their fair share of parent-child arguments, as expected in any parent-child relationship. The most common disagreement Sue Crow of Clovis started was when she would boast her frequent travels took her to every state, including Alaska twice.

“She never was convinced Hawaii was a state,” said daughter Kaye Willmon. “She didn’t count it.”

Crow, who overcame constant medical problems to travel the contiguous states but always ended up back in Clovis, died April 7.

Born Aug. 1, 1917, in Tolar, Texas, Crow came to Clovis soon after marrying Lewis Crow. It was in Clovis the couple raised their family through countless hours of their Vogue Cleaners laundry business on Main Street.

When Lewis died in 1967, Sue pressed on, running the business for another 12 years despite two broken hips.

“She had artificial hips, but at that time back in 1972 it hadn’t healed right,” daughter Bobbie Johnson of Clovis said. “She had to work. She did a lot of it on crutches.

“It didn’t keep her from dancing, though.”

In addition to country dancing and traveling, Crow enjoyed canning foods (Willmon said her mom looked forward to canning tomatoes every year), fishing and playing nickel slot machines whenever she visited Willmon and son Jackson Crow in Las Vegas, Nev.

Now a resident of Ruidoso, Crow said his mother was extremely talented in many fields, as she once owned a ceramics shop and once took deer skins from a hunting trip and made him a leather jacket.

The creativity spilled over into the home, as well.

“Whenever I was about 15,” Willmon said, “she did a complete mural on our dining room wall that was gorgeous and it was there for a few years.”

Willmon, also a resident of Ruidoso, said her mom would always have a roast ready for a family event and probably could have made a successful career with her own restaurant as well.

After retirement, her health continued to take a toll on Crow. She had both of her knees replaced in 1989, and other injuries limited her mobility to where she spent her final five years in a nursing home. While she was there, family members said she loved to play bingo.

Crow’s children remembered a hard-working provider as they grew up, and a fun-loving friend once they had families of their own.

Johnson joked her children would often spend more time with their grandmother because she only needed to hear the car engine running for the next adventure.

“She didn’t feel like a granny,” Johnson said. “She wanted to go.”