Walden B. Crabtree, 91, of Medina, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Thursday, April 6, 2023. He finally succumbed to a condition affecting his breathing that he had been battling courageously for many years. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 64 years, Marilyn; brothers Albert and Roscoe; and sisters Elizabeth and Mary Jane. He is survived by sons Stephen, Geoffrey, and Walden; daughters Monica, Michelle, Moira, Mona, and Marilyn; sixteen grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
He was a scholar-intelligent, analytical, thoughtful, and well-read. Though born into poverty and tough circumstances, he worked hard and was a good student. The first in his family to go to college, he earned his BA in philosophy from St. Meinrad College. After graduating and marrying the love of his life, he taught Latin and English at Bosse High School in Evansville, Indiana, from 1959 to 1965. Then, with his wife and six children in tow, he returned to school to study philosophy and education at Indiana University, earning his MS of Education and PhD in three years. He then moved to the University of Akron where he taught various education courses for 26 years. He was widely admired for his skill as a teacher by students and colleagues. He won two outstanding teaching awards, and he was tapped by the university to deliver a commencement address in 1992. Having achieved the rank of full professor, he retired from the University of Akron in 1994.
He was deeply admired and loved by his family and all those lucky enough to know him. He was always making everyone laugh with his wry jokes and witty observations. But what really stood out about him to most people was his pure goodness, his respect for the uniqueness of every individual he met, and his genuine kindness.
Walden penned some autobiographical notes, and here are some thoughts he wanted to share with the world:
"He found satisfaction in many things; he loved nature and the outdoors, and he loved summers, autumns, winters, springs, blowing (and softly falling) snow, and cool summer breezes. He enjoyed participating in and observing athletics-handball, baseball, fast pitch softball, football, basketball, and tennis. He enjoyed observing the many wonders of planet earth and the nighttime sky. He did not fish, hunt, or golf. He loved classical music.
He was especially proud of his family-his beautiful and talented wife, three sons, and five daughters. He considered himself a secular humanist. He believed that knowledge is derived from man's experiences, i.e., from the sciences and the humanities, and he believed that morals and ethics should be based on man's experiences, not on some alleged sacred book or the alleged preferences of some supernatural entity.
When you see the sunset (or sunrise), think of him; when the soft snow falls, remember him. When you gaze in awe at the starry sky, remember that, once, he passed this way, and that for all eternity, until time ceases to be, he will love his beloved, beautiful Marilyn, his kids, his grand-kids, and his great grand-kids."
As per the wishes of Walden, there will be no public service