Lee Young Crapps

Lee Y. Crapps passed away on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at E.T. York Hospice Care Center in Gainesville. She was born on May 12, 1942 in Los Angeles, California to Miriam and Albert Chamberlain. Her mother remarried when Lee was 8 years old to Milton Young at the end of his naval career. The family later moved to his hometown of Gouldsboro, Maine which is on the coast in the “down east” area. Lee lived on the ocean and as a child enjoyed the beauty of Maine, the pleasant summers and the winter activities. They spent many holidays with her beloved Grandmother in New York City.


Lee attended 2 years of public high school at Hancock County High School and 2 years of boarding school at Mount Mercy Academy at Waterville, Maine. She then attended the University of Maine at Machias. Lee’s college career ended one exciting spring break in Ft. Lauderdale while visiting her Grandmother. She met a wonderful Georgia Tech student and followed him to Atlanta with $40 in her pocket. However, within three days she had a good job with a major insurance company as a claims correspondent. The transition from rural Maine to Atlanta was exciting and she enjoyed her new independence.


Lee married Wallace H. Smith on June 6, 1963, the day of his graduation from Georgia Tech. She continued work while Wally completed his Master’s Degree. Upon graduation, Wally accepted a job with IBM and they moved to Jacksonville in 1966. Lee accepted a job with Xerox Corporation. Wally and Lee purchased a home and she was active in the community. She served in her church, was a Board Member of The Children’s Horne Society volunteered at Baptist Memorial Hospital and worked as a fund raiser for St. Vincent’s Hospital. Lee enjoyed Jacksonville and especially boating on the St. Johns River and in the ocean.


Shortly after their marriage, Lee was reunited with her natural Father after nearly 20 years. After her parents were divorced in California, her Father bought a yacht and entered the chartering business. He later settled at Staniel Cay, a small island in the Exumas about 80 miles southeast of Nassau. Lee was excited; but, a little nervous to see him again. Lee and her father reestablished a bond and she visited him at this beautiful island regularly. Lee was lucky to have a father in the Bahamas and a step father in Maine that loved her dearly. She also had the best of both worlds with such lovely places to visit.


A beautiful daughter, Katherine Lee Smith, was born on April 30, 1968 to Wally and Lee at Baptist Memorial Hospital. She was bright, small, and very feminine and brought great joy to their lives. Lee balanced raising a child with work and also continued her volunteer activities.


The following year brought tragedy to Lee. On November 16, 1969 Wally was involved in a boating accident and drowned. Her friends and the Smith family, including Wally’s parents, three sisters and four brothers, rallied to her in this time of tragedy. At the time of this loss, Lee was pregnant with her son who was born at Baptist Memorial Hospital on May 10, 1970 which was a special Mother’s Day present! He was bright, large, very masculine and the image of his father.  He also brought great joy to Lee. Lee’s friends were a great source of strength and helped in her attempts to provide a normal life to two small children while grieving the tragic loss of her husband.


In June of 1971, Lee started a new direction in her life. She sold her home in Jacksonville and on June 5, 1971 married David K. Crapps who was a friend and fraternity brother of Wally. He is

one of ten children and now the children were blessed with lots of new relatives as well as the joys from the many they already had. During their first year of marriage, the family survived David’s serious auto accident as well as a large fire in their home. During her second year of marriage her husband quit his job and entered the University of Florida for his Ph.D. Four and one-quarter years later, he started a consulting business on borrowed money.  Their marriage survived and life was great!  They later bought a place on the water in Prospect Harbor, Maine close to her childhood home.  Lee enjoyed the summers in Maine for over 25 years.


Lee loves her children, Kathy and Wally, and is so proud of their accomplishments. Her main goals have been to encourage them to obtain the necessary education and to participate in leadership roles in their church, school and community so that they would be prepared to contribute to society. Kathy graduated from Rollins College and soon thereafter received two Master’s Degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kathy is married to Robert Hatcher and now lives in Houston, Texas (Clay Hatcher and Kelly Hatcher – children through marriage).  Wally graduated from the University of Notre Dame, earned a Master’s Degree at the University of Florida and a Master of Business from Michigan State University.  Wally is married to Betsy and has three children:  Katherine, David and John.  Lee loved her grandchildren dearly.


Lee always felt that she had a small part in Kathy and Wally’s achievements. She did the usual carpooling and was a very active volunteer at their schools. Lee was also active at the

Alachua county Boy’s Club serving on the Board of Directors for several years and the Buchholtz Quarterback club serving as Concessions Chairman for the Varsity and JV teams and many other school related activities.


Lee was active in her community in other ways, serving on the Church Council at Holy Faith Catholic Church and served as an Eucharistic Minister for over 30 years. She was a volunteer at Alachua General Hospital and active in the Junior League of Gainesville. While in the Junior League, she was on the Board of Directors serving as Secretary, Admissions Chairman, Follies Ads Chairman and Follies Ticket Chairman as well as other League Projects. Lee was a Sustainer in the Junior League. Lee took great pride in being a member of P.E.O.  Lee enjoyed walking, reading, travel, spending time with her husband, helping others, and visiting with friends and family. Lee has maintained a good relationship with her children, their spouses and grandchildren.


Lee was active at Holy Faith Church in Gainesville, FL and Birch Harbor Baptist Church in Birch Harbor, ME.  There will be a funeral service for Lee at Holy Faith Church on Friday July 26, 2019 at 9:30 am, followed by a Celebration of Life in Maine (date to be announced) followed by burial at the Prospect Harbor Cemetery in Maine.

Scroll to Top