Crystal was born on November 11, 1931, in Neon Kentucky. She was the fourth child of six children born to Willie and Lola Gibson. She graduated from Fleming-Neon High School in 1951. She attended summer classes at Eastern College and in the Fall of 1951, she attended Morehead State University. There, she met Norma Lee Lewis, who introduced Crystal to her brother, Byron Reid Lewis, and it was love at first sight. After their first date, they both knew they had met the person they wanted to marry. Reid and Crystal were married on July 10, 1952 in Clintwood, Virginia. Reid and Crystal then moved to New Jersey, where Reid was stationed in the Army, and they lived there until December 1952. Reid was sent to Germany in December of 1952 and Crystal returned to live in Neon while Reid was overseas.
Reid carried a picture of Crystal in his wallet while in Germany and had a large portrait painted from the picture and mounted in a gold frame and shipped it home to Crystal. The portrait hung in their family home in Hazel Green, Kentucky for the duration of their lives.
Crystal taught fourth and fifth grade at Hemp Hill School from 1956 to 1958. She had two daughters, Lola Lessa in 1953, and Athena in 1955, in her parents’ home in Neon, Kentucky. In 1959, Reid and Crystal moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas, where Crystal worked for a short time in the Agricultural Department at the University of Arkansas. Also in 1959, they had a third daughter, Erana. They moved to Lexington, Kentucky in 1965 and lived there until 1978. During that time, Crystal babysat for numerous neighborhood children, many of whom considered her a second mother and maintained a lifelong relationship with her.
She was a wonderful cook and loved preparing meals for her family and friends. She liked to sew, and she made clothes for her daughters and their dolls. She enjoyed being with her family. She loved elephants and had a large collection of all types from all over the world – stuffed animals, figurines, a green jade elephant, and a tiny blown glass elephant the size of a fingertip. Her favorite color was green, she loved Elvis music and movies, and she also loved Shirley Temple movies. She had strong morals and was never heard to say a curse word in her entire life.
In 1978, Reid and Crystal moved to Hazel Green, Kentucky and lived on Reid’s parents’ farm. They had a large garden and grew and canned many vegetables. While they lived in Hazel Green, they joined the Jehovah’s Witness Congregation of West Liberty, where Crystal was very active. Crystal enjoyed lots of fellowship and friendly get-togethers with the members of the Congregation.
Reid passed away in 1993 and Crystal continued to live on the family farm until 2012, when she went to live with Athena in Lexington. Crystal loved her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren very much. We all say “Thank You, Mom (Mamaw) for helping to create 11 people. If not for you, none of us would be alive today.” The Lord called her home on July 8, 2020. We all miss her very much, but we have the blessed assurance that one day we will be reunited.
Funeral services will be 1:30pm,Sunday, July 12,2020 at Herald & Stewart & Halsey Chapel with Rev. Larry Thompson officiating. Interment in Ezel Cemetery, Ezel, KY, Visitation 12:noon Sunday at Herald & Stewart & Halsey Funeral Home, West Liberty, KY. Pallbearers will be Family and Friends. COVID-19 regulations will be followed as set forth by Governor Beshear and the CDC. The family request that visitors respect their desire to keep everyone safe by practicing social distancing guidelines
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