Beloved funeral home owner and community leader passes away at 88

Franklin Crumpler, the owner and operator of Crumpler Funeral Home in Raeford, well-known for his thoughtful care of thousands of Hoke families and his devotion to his community, passed away at the age of 88.

Crumpler was born in Sampson County, NC, on September 22, 1934, to the late Gordon Lee Crumpler and Margaret Bradshaw Crumpler. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Velma Crumpler Chumley, and brother Vernon Ray Crumpler.

A devoted follower of Christ, Crumpler was a member of two churches, First Baptist Church in Raeford, where he served as a lifetime deacon, and the Dundarrach Community Church of Shannon.

Frank Crumpler speaks at Dundarrach Community Church in this photo from 2021.

“I will always remember him as being an active participant in so many of the churches in Hoke County,” reminisced Terry Dooley, pastor of Dundarrach Community Church. “His love for the First Baptist Church and for Dundarrach Community Church was evident in his attendance and the positive way he spoke of the churches, the pastors, and the invitations he was known to give.”

“While he is now with his heavenly Father enjoying the fruits of his labor, Hoke County has lost a one-of-a-kind guy. His legacy, however, will ensure. His positivity, which so greatly enriched our lives, will carry on with us.”

Before becoming a beloved community leader, Crumpler attended Clinton High School and later went on to become a member of the North Carolina National Guard. He graduated from Cincinnati College of Embalming in 1956, today known as Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, before working with Jernigan & Warren Funeral Home in Fayetteville.

In 1960, Crumpler moved his family to Raeford, where he purchased and opened the Crumpler Funeral Home. It was here that he raised his family, teaching them the family business and guiding them on to also become licensed funeral service professionals.

Throughout Crumpler’s life, he had many accomplishments and accolades, among which included: working as the longest-serving elected official in the United States as the Hoke County Coroner, as well as being awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest honor.

“Anyone who crossed paths with Frank was struck by his humor and his warmth,” said Rep. Richard Hudson. “Frank’s dedication to the residents of Hoke County and his passion for serving his community and nation will never be forgotten.”

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Dayne Capps Crumpler, and their three children, Kemp Crumpler (Margaret), Kel Crumpler (Kim), and Kalen Crumpler Wilhide (Rick), all of whom live in Raeford. Crumpler is also survived by his eleven grandchildren and nineteen great-grandchildren.

The visitation and funeral service for Crumpler was held on Wednesday at First Baptist Church in Raeford.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorials be made to the First Baptist Church of Raeford, located at 333 N. Main St. in Raeford, and the Dundarrach Community Church, located at 5498 St. Paul’s Rd. in Shannon.