James M. Crabbe

May 5, 1940 - March 13, 2023

James Milton Crabbe, 82, died peacefully on Monday, March 13 in his home in Beaumont, Texas. (03/13/23 – Trinity)

James is survived by his sons Corby and Clay, his daughter Beth and son-in-law Michael Augustine, grandson Jamey, granddaughter JoAnna, great-grandson Brody, brothers Charles and Lee, sisters Marlene, Ruthie, Alice and Sharon, and many cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents; James Burton Crabbe and Marie King Crabbe.

James was born May 5, 1940 to father James Burton Crabbe and mother Marie King Crabbe in Beaumont, Texas. The family lived in the 800 block of Miller Street until August, 1942 and later moved to 2121 Forrest Street where James attended Junker Elementary School. There were many friends on Forrest and Caldwell Streets.  Bicycles were the transportation for kids in those days. James biked as far as Magnolia Park, Gulf Street Fair Grounds, downtown Beaumont and the Neches River with friends. His dad taught him sports, hunting and fishing and his mother provided a wonderful home life and started his early Christian education at the Sabine Tabernacle. He practiced his faith throughout his life.

James and his siblings spent many memorable weeks with their grandparents Robert and Rosa King in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where he learned to pick figs, pears, and berries, dig potatoes and shuck corn. From his grandparents, and also Aunt Catherine, James learned to milk cows, gather eggs, and feed chickens, turkeys and guineas. He also got to learn fishing in the bayou from cousin Bobby and played with other local cousins and friends.

At the age of 9, James and his brother Charles travelled by bus across town to watch the AA Professional Beaumont Exporter baseball team play. The return trip at 10PM was an adventure because of having to transfer buses near downtown Beaumont.

James attended James Bowie Junior High where he met many new friends. His education matured as well as his athletic ability. The family moved from Forrest Street to 4595 Detroit in 1956 where James attended French High school, excelling in football and basketball in his junior and senior years and later would attend McNeese College on a football scholarship.

James met the love of his life Lynda Gager at French High School.

They married in 1960 and spent their first 3 years in Georgia while James served in the army at Fort Benning. They had their first child Corby during this time. Beth came along shortly after would later give them two grandchildren; JoAnna and Jamey, and great grandson Brody. Second son Clay came a few years later.

After college at McNeese, James started his first job with Shell Oil Company as an assistant engineer supervising the building of roads and facility locations in the oil fields of South Louisiana. The family moved around a lot, living in Slidell, Lafayette and Lake Charles. James travelled a lot for his job and while driving through an area always had his eyes open to find a nice piece of land to buy. He found a dream in Dry Creek. The place had forty acres, a log home and barn built shortly after the civil war, 35 cows, a stocked pond and woods nearby for hunting. The family moved there in 1970 and started living the country life. They had a big garden, raised lots of animals including cows, horses, pigs, chickens, ducks and guineas. James quit his job at Shell because the travelling didn’t allow enough time for the farm. He went to work at East Beauregard High School, teaching phys ed and history, and coaching high school baseball and junior high basketball for both boys and girls. His second son Clay was born on the farm in 1971. James remodeled the old log house, adding rooms for the kids in the attic, and installing air conditioning. He grew watermelons and hauled hay in the summers.

Those were wonderful years but the farm and school teaching wasn’t going to put the kids through college so he began working offshore on oil rigs and pipefitting in the refineries during the summers. Lynda was doing a masterful job of keeping the home together while going to McNeese to get her art degree.  The commutes were grueling and he needed to work more so the family moved to Port Neches in 1979. He worked in most of the refineries in the area, probably putting in more 7/12s than anyone ever, working his way from pipefitter to construction superintendent.

James and Lynda bought some acreage from her father on the outskirts of Beaumont and built a new home there in 1992. They designed the house and did much of the work.

James retired early and took a job on a friend’s ranch, which gave him a chance to work as a cowboy – a lifelong dream. He bought a few cows for his small farm and also raised horses, goats and chickens. He built a big barn, outbuildings and fences and always grew a big garden. He had a nice pond but rarely went fishing –  working was more fun.

James and Lynda enjoyed traveling after retirement. They went to England, Paris, Amsterdam, Switzerland, Austria and Banff, Canada. James had a great time and even laughed about having his pocket picked on both trips to Paris. James traveled to Mexico and Arizona with son Corby and enjoyed a trip to Montana with brother Charles and Corby. He especially enjoyed a horseback trip in Colorado with brother Charles, sister Sharon and Corby.

James Crabbe could have been or done anything he wanted to do, but he wasn’t ambitious, and had his priorities in the right place – God, family, friends, country. He loved God and served him well over his life, as a Sunday school teacher and deacon and as a witness to all in his speech and conduct. He even sang in the choir (although not very well). He loved working almost as much as he did God and family. He worked many jobs to support his family including oil field assistant engineer, coach, teacher, offshore rig worker, pipefitter, construction supervisor and ranch manager. Working with his hands gave him joy. He built tables from old wood and crafts like angel wings for daughter Beth’s craft business. He did remodeling and repairs in every house he lived in, built fences and barns, remodeled the old farmhouse in Dry Creek, put a new deck on his mother’s beach house. He built a monster skateboard ramp for son Clay and insisted on helping Corby remodel his beach house after he became to weak to work much. While his son Corby and brother Lee caught flounder on the pier in Cameron, James preferred to spend his time catching mud minnows and cleaning fish for them – too little work in fishing.

James loved to help people. He regularly picked up hitchhikers. When he had extra money he would gladly give it to a stranger in need, once giving a $100 tip to a down-on-her-luck waitress. He stopped off on the way home from church on a Wednesday night to help a farmer pull a calf. He risked his job to fill out a test for a black man who couldn’t read and write.

He liked everyone he met and everyone liked him.

A gathering of Mr. Crabbe’s family and friends will begin at 1:00 p.m. with his funeral service at 2:00 p.m., Monday, March 20, 2023, at Calvary Baptist Church, 3650 Dowlen Road, Beaumont. His interment will follow at Magnolia Cemetery, Beaumont, under the direction of Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont.


Download Program

Gathering of Family and Friends

Calvary Baptist Church – Beaumont
  • 3650, Dowlen Rd, Beaumont, TX, 77706,
  • March 20, 2023
  • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Funeral Service

Calvary Baptist Church – Beaumont
  • 3650, Dowlen Rd, Beaumont, TX, 77706,
  • March 20, 2023
  • 2:00 pm


Magnolia Cemetery
  • 2291, Pine St, Beaumont, TX, 77703,

Comments (9)

    Sarah Atwood-Bardwell says:

    Charlie and family. My sister Mary Ward notified us of your loss. Our prayers are with your family as you grieve the physical separation from your brother. We know that he lives with our Redeemer, now.

    Camille La Rocca Mahan says:

    I was looking up a friend’s services and there was Jamie’s (as we called him). Gene and I r so sorry for his passing and wd have bn there for all the Crabbe family hd we known. My family lived right across the street from his family and Sharon was my best friend. So many wonderful memories! Please know all of u r in our prayers! Love, Cammie and Gene Mahan

    Margie Allen says:

    My prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.
    Love, Margie

    Dwayne Fontenot says:

    We are truly fortunate and blessed to have a relative of such quality and distinction. Our prayers are with James, and his wife, Lynda, and all of their family. We are truly fortunate to be a part of this family.

    Dorothy Silvernail Overstreet says:

    My thoughts are with the Crabbe family ❤️

    Charlie Crabbe says:

    James was indeed a special person excelling in everything he attempted. There were many memories growing up together. After growing up together we parted company to pursue a family and career and visited on holidays. After our retirements we visited much more and I was amazed at his work and accomplishments. We made that great horseback trip. We were dropped off and camped six nights at 10,000 feet on a mountain lake. So many memories with James, rest in peace James until we meet again. Love Charlie

    Virginia Hurley says:

    James is now with God in his heavenly home, a place prepared for him many years ago. May Linda and his children and other loved ones find peace in knowing that. God bless you all in the days ahead.

    Joe Bonura says:

    A good and decent man and a good old French High School Buffalo. Once again, he is now in the company of his best friend, John Gayle Bruce. RIP Jamie!

    Martha Dreinhofer says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Jammie’s home going. It is certainly our loss and heavens gain. Praying for peace and comfort only Jesus can give
    Martha Dreinhofer

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