October 21, 2013
Almeta Crayton, 53, arrived into her eternal home on Monday, October 21, 2013 at Boone Hospital Center. Funeral services will be held Friday November 1, 2013 at 12 pm at Second Missionary Baptist Church in Columbia. Visitation will be held from 10am – 12pm at the church.
Almeta Joy Crayton was born in St. Louis, MO on Saturday, December 12, 1959, to Coleen Crayton and Earnest Herman East. Growing up, she lived with her paternal grandparents, Louis and Almeta East, and their seven children. She received her elementary education in the St. Louis Public Schools. Almeta attended O’Fallon Technical High School, and graduated in 1979 from Northwest High School. She studied health and human services at Florissant Valley Community College in St. Louis, and later attended Northwest Missouri State University. She professed a hope in Christ at an early age and, at the time of her passing, she was a faithful member of the Fairview Road Church of Christ in Columbia, where the Rev. Brian Hajicek is pastor.
Almeta was reported as having once said, “Columbia has been good to me, and I’m going to be good to Columbia.” Therefore, she devoted much of her life to service in Columbia, particularly the First Ward as Columbia’s first black councilwoman, where she set out to create a safer environment for youth, and she wanted to close the economic gap in the city as a representative of the poor. At the time of her 1999 victory, she was thirty-nine years old. Almeta represented the First Ward on the City Council for three terms, but she was perhaps best known for her generosity at Thanksgiving, mustering volunteers to feed anyone who stepped through the door of her “Everyone Eats! Community Dinner.” Last year was the 15th meal, and she had already started to plan the one for this year.
At the time of her passing, Almeta had been a member of the Order of Eastern Star for a number of years. She also led annual collections for Christmas baskets and school supplies, and she campaigned to give computers and jobs to local teens. Much of her motivation for civic service was prompted by her son, Tyrone, who was born prematurely in 1989 and required consistent medical care. The two moved to Columbia in 1991 from St. Louis to be closer to treatment for him.
Throughout her years in Columbia, she often worked in public schools, including West Boulevard Elementary School and Gentry Middle School. She believed that some of her goodwill returned in July of this year when the Fairview Road Church of Christ chose her house for a home improvement project.
Following an acute illness, Almeta passed quietly into eternity on Monday, October 21, 2013, while she was a patient at the Boone Hospital Center. She leaves to cherish her memory her beloved son, Tyrone Lander Crayton, Columbia, MO; her mother, Coleen Crayton, St. Louis, MO; one brother, Anthony Crayton, St. Louis, MO; two paternal aunts, Betty McClelland, St. Louis, MO and Jeanette Dunn, Tulsa, OK; four maternal aunts, Blondell Wade, St. Louis, MO, Dorothy Fuller, St. Louis, MO, Annie Crayton, Oakland, CA and Jodie Brown, St. Louis, MO; one maternal uncle, Willie Crayton, Florissant, MO; many cousins and other relatives; and an entire community of friends. Her grandparents, her father and two brothers, Landers and Tyrone, preceded her in death.
The family has established an “Almeta Crayton Donation Fund.” Contributions may be made at any branch of the Boone County National Bank.