Cover photo for Gary Edward Crum's Obituary
Gary Edward Crum Profile Photo

Gary Edward Crum

November 6, 1944 — April 21, 2023

Saint Paul

Gary Edward Crum

Saint Paul, VA – Gary Edward Crum joins his beloved wife of 37 years, Millicent (“Millie”) in the Kingdom of Heaven.  Gary is survived by two step-children: Kim James of Florida, and Robert Startup (wife Jodi) of Ohio; his step-grandson and ward, Freddie Startup (wife Tiffany) of Ohio; and by his sister Carolyn Crum Smith and her children, Rev. Charles Smith and Lela Marie Smith.  He also had great-grand nieces and a nephew, an aunt, and cousins.

He grew up in Newport News, VA, where he graduated from Ferguson High.  Gary had an undergraduate degree from the Coll. of William and Mary; three Master’s degrees from the Univ. of KY, Columbia Univ., and Geo. Wash. Univ. and a Ph.D. (in Medical Entomology) from the Univ. of Kentucky. 

He worked in State, Federal, and Local governmental public health agencies, including serving as Health Commissioner for Jackson Co. Ohio; Chief of Staff of the Ohio Dept. of Health.;  and as the head of the four-county  urban health department in the Ky. suburbs of Cincinnati.  In-between these posts, he taught college at George Washington Univ., reaching the rank of Assoc. Prof.; and at the Univ. of Virginia’s Coll. in Wise, VA (where he was also Executive Director of the UVA-Wise ”Healthy Appalachia”  Public Health Institute, the SW Virginia Health Authority, and the college’s Graduate Medical Education Consortium (GMEC) which recruited new physicians for the Virginia Legislature’s program to increase medical care in the rural Virginia mountains --  holding all three Ex. Dir. Posts simultaneously.

Gary received formal commendations from by the Ohio Senate (for overseeing the first state Health Resources Plan), the Ohio Suicide Prevention Board, the Virginia United Daughters of the Confederacy (for Historical Musical performances), the Jackson Co. Trustees Assoc. (for handling of a town’s arsenic contamination in well-water), and other entities.

All through his adult life Gary was active in Pro-life activities, including serving at different times as Legislative V. President for So. Carolina Citizens for Life, Founding President of both Public Health Workers for Life and Southern Baptists for Life, President for the Castello Institute of Stafford (a short-lived entity for America Life League in Aquia, VA), founding Board member of University Faculty for Life, official administrative consultant for Alternatives for Abortion International, co-author of the Ohio H. Dept. “Woman’s Right to Know booklet,” paid sole developer of an extensive pro-life leader  oral history archive for American Life League, guest pro-life commentator on CNN’s Sonya Live program, etc.

He in his elder years received licensure to preach after finishing “UMC Local Pastor School,” and had continuing pastoral training at Hiawassee College in TN and at Union Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH.  Gary began preaching in 2009 for rural United Methodist Church congregations in Russell County, VA; but his work planting a new independent Methodist church (“Holy Feast Bible Church”) in SW Virginia starting in 2020 kept him occupied in his final years.

Gary authored many scientific, bioethical, and other publications, including the 2018 booklet, Mending the Methodist Fray (Xulon Press).  His hobbies included singing and performing music (e.g., playing banjo, clarinet, and concertina unpaid at open-mikes and as a Bristol street busker); and lending a loving hand to his dear Millie.  

Funeral services will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. Friday, April 28, 2023 in the Combs-Hess Funeral Service Chapel with Rev. Daniel Garrett officiating. A committal will follow the service in East Lawn Memorial Park in Kingsport, TN. The family will receive friends from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, April 27, 2023 in the Combs-Hess Funeral Service Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Holy Feast Bible Church, P.O. Box 1072, Castlewood, VA 24224.

Gary attributed his accomplishments to God’s grace, adding to his favorite Bible verses in his old age this one from Proverbs 15:15b: : . . . he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.   

Timothy 4:7,8   "I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness."

Expressions of sympathy may be made on Combs-Hess Funeral Service Facebook page and our website at Combs-Hess Funeral Service, 291 Highway 71 Fincastle Road, Lebanon, VA 24266, (276) 889-4444 is serving the Crum family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary Edward Crum, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Thursday, April 27, 2023

Starts at 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, April 28, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Friday, April 28, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

East Lawn Funeral Home & Memorial Park

4997 Memorial Blvd, Kingsport, TN 37664

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