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Obituary for Robert R. Crum

Robert “Bob” Richard Crum, 86, lifelong resident of Iowa City, IA went on to his heavenly home with Jesus on January 14, 2017. Bob passed away at home where he had been cared for and comforted by his wife and family. His cause of death was from Mastocytosis, a genetic mutation disease.

Bob was born June 10, 1930, in Iowa City, IA, son of George and Margaret “Peg” Banger Crum and joined his sister, Betty Jane, nine years older. The family home on Magowan Avenue would be his home while attending K-12 grades at University Elementary and High School and the University of Iowa, where he graduated with a degree in political science.

As a young boy, Bob was industrious, mowing neighborhood lawns and delivering newspapers. He enjoyed hunting rabbits with his dad in the area which is now Normandy Drive, then an open field. He attended Old Brick Presbyterian Sunday School, then walked to the Whetstone Drug Store, where his father managed the soda fountain and store front. There he could read comic books until his father and he walked the long way home to Magowan Avenue for his dad’s afternoon break. The family had no car until Bob was a senior in high school. In high school he secured a job with the University lawn mowing crew, mowing with hand pushed reel mowers, four men abreast, back and forth on the Pentacrest. Two summers, while in college, he and 3 friends, found jobs in Fairbanks, Alaska helping in the construction of the air base.

After college graduation, he began his sales career with Pharmaceutical companies, starting in the Quad Cities, where he met his wife Joanne Jensen. After marrying in 1955, they relocated permanently back to Iowa City, where they raised four children; Beth, Tom, Sarah and David.

After the death of Joanne, Bob married Velma Stubbs Kelso, also an Iowa City native, on September 17, 2006. Being retired, they traveled extensively from Alaska to California. Texas to Missouri and Wisconsin. South Carolina to Maine and time at their home in Estes Park, Colorado.

They found a fitting summary to their life together. “Once in a while, in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale!” Author Unknown

Being a Christian, Bob was a member of the Iowa City Nazarene Church, at 1035 Wade Street and served several years on the church board and the IC Compassion board. Volunteering in the compassion center and weekly free community meals, were especially rewarding to him.

Survivors are, his wife, Velma, children; Beth (Roger) Wombacher, Tom (Pam) Crum, Sarah (Patrick) Mulligan, David (Marcy) Crum, Brian (Nic) Kelso, Julie (Lon) Marshall, Nancy Kelso, 14 grandchildren and their spouses and 5 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be Wednesday from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service in Iowa City. Funeral Services will begin Thursday at 11:00 am at the Nazarene Church in Iowa City, Iowa with Pastor Michael Lynch officiating. Visitation will also be held at the church Thursday morning from 10:00 am until service time.

Bob requested no flowers, but to direct memorials to the Nazarene Church or the IC Compassion Center, both at 1035 Wade Street in Iowa City.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Robert R. Crum, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service -- Iowa City

605 Kirkwood Avenue
Iowa City, IA 52240





10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Iowa City Church of the Nazarene

1035 Wade Street
Iowa City, IA





11:00 AM
Iowa City Church of the Nazarene

1035 Wade Street
Iowa City, IA


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