Almeta Crayton

October 21, 2013

imageAlmeta 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.



21 Responses to “Almeta Crayton”

  1. Rev. Rhonda Matthews(Fifth Street Christian Church) on October 22nd, 2013 3:33 pm

    Ms. Almeta was a great woman. I loved the conversations we had about our Lord and Savior. She loved everyone and worked hard in and for her community. She will truly be missed. May God bless her family and give them peace and comfort. Let us know if there is anything we can do for you.

  2. Robin Sherrod on October 22nd, 2013 11:21 pm

    I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.” ~ Maya Angelou –

    Almeta Crayton December 12, 1959 – October 21, 2013

    Mid Missouri has lost a great leader. She was someone I admired and respected. We fought battles for impoverished people. You could not ask for a better person to have your back. I ran into many that had a different agenda, such as making their obituary look good or their portfolio. In other words motivated self-interest. I heard many complain, but when it was time to make a stand or to fight, they became ghosts, but would be the first in line when benefits were available.
    Almeta Crayton had no problem being only one in number. She is truly the person Maya described in her poem.

    “What we have once enjoyed, we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes part of us.” Helen Keller

  3. Ann Hamlin on October 22nd, 2013 11:57 pm

    Ms. Almeta, I remember when Gov. Carnahan honored you in Jefferson City for your many dinners for folks who might not otherwise have one, and a number of other things you did for the community, such as computers and working at the schools. May God richly reward you and bless your family.

  4. Dorothy & Robert Mitchell on October 23rd, 2013 12:31 am

    To Tyrone and all the family of our friend and former church friend, we would like to say how much we loved and enjoyed Almeta and Tyrone.
    Almeta would always come by to visit us when we lived there in Columbia.
    Almeta back in the 90′s was a very interesting person to be around, but then no one would have thought she’d be the first black woman to head the first ward council, and yet she always pressed forwards to help people.
    We shall miss her, although it’s been years since we last saw her. Now, she is resting with the Lord and she’s in great hands.
    Our prayers for Tyrone & all the family.
    May the Lord bless and comfort you all always, and just know all is well in the Lord.
    So long our friend for now!
    The Mitchell’s
    Kingsport Tennessee.

  5. Carrie Sims Brown on October 23rd, 2013 5:50 pm

    May you rest in peace Almeta Crayton. Thank you for allowing God to use you to improve the lives of others. Thank God for all the love and kindness that you bestowed on those that felt unworthy. Your work is done here now but your memory will live forever in Columbia Missouri.

  6. DEBRA A. HICKEM on October 23rd, 2013 7:57 pm



  7. arnita jordan on October 23rd, 2013 8:09 pm

    Almeta Crayton was a remarkable woman. She seemed genuinely concerned about the First Ward community. You will be truly missed!
    Now it’s time for the community to show the love and support to her one and only son, Tyrone. God bless the Crayton Family.

  8. William Buckner and the Buckner family on October 23rd, 2013 11:37 pm

    What a sad time for are town, she gave her all to better this place for her people and there for, for everyone.we all know the work she was doing and all the help she gave to all. But for me, she was a great lady
    A great person outside of her cummunity work..she always had some kind words and advise about what ever you ask her about, she had told me over and over to get myself involved..and I know its to late to tell her but Mrs wonderful. I will be missed by all.RIP..

  9. Susan Poff on October 25th, 2013 2:31 am

    From the early days of serving as council woman, I have followed Ms. Almeta. Though I did not have the honor of knowing her personally, I found her to be a godsend to the residents and city of Columbia. I have supported her many efforts to improve the lives of Columbia’s 1st ward residents. I have watched her work tirelessly to collect money and food for the Everybody Eats and collect school supplies for needy children. I have supported those efforts for many years and oh how I will miss this sweet angel’s face when I go to Moser’s to make my donation this year! When I learned that her church was taking up donations for work on her home, I was thrilled that she had been chosen, for I knew no one more deserving and because I had visited her home to make donations, I knew also of her need! I just wish she could have enjoyed her new renovations to her home longer.

    I pray for her son. who I know she loved with all her might. Her departure from this Earth will leave a big hole and some mighty big shoes are going to have to be filled by a mighty big person… I’m not sure any of us are worthy of those shoes. God bless you and keep you under his wing and shelter your son from any coming storms. Peace be with you.

  10. Cynthia Anderson on October 25th, 2013 3:30 pm

    To the Family, I express my deepest sympathy. Almeta will be missed tremendously!! She has touched many hearts and souls in our community. Be assured that her good will, will be remembered every year during a time when family and friends come together. Columbia will feel the impact for years to come.During this time when words don’t seem to be enough, may God be your strength and give you comfort. God Bless You, Cynthia.

  11. Loretta M. on October 25th, 2013 4:01 pm

    Almeta was a kind and beautiful lady and will be missed. May God continue to give her son and family members the strength to carry on. God Bless!

  12. kcross on October 25th, 2013 6:40 pm

    To the Family Almeta will be missed by all I’m so sorry for yoyr loss may God Bless and Keep you in his care.

    With Deepest Sympathy,
    Katherine Cross, Elmer Jean Cross, Barbara Linzie

  13. Debra E. Thrower on October 26th, 2013 1:41 am

    To The Family of Ms. Almeta Crayton,
    My late mother, Mary K. Thrower, spoke very highly of Almeta.
    In fact, her work was made known in Tampa Florida.

    Almeta touched the heart of many and change the face of
    Columbia’s city officials (smile).

    Imagine that… Columbia’s first Black City Councilwoman. She will now be in the history books!!

    God is good all of the time, and all of the time God is good!

  14. Lander L. Blockton Jr. on October 26th, 2013 3:55 pm

    Colleen, I was so sorry to hear about Almeta passing away. You, Tony and Tyrone are in my prayers and may God continue to bless and keep you. “Earth Has No Sorrow That Heaven Cannot Heal”. With heartfelt sympathy and my deepest condolences,

    Your Cousin,
    Lander Lee Blockton Jr

  15. Octavia Hayes-Scott on October 26th, 2013 6:21 pm

    My prayers go out to the family at this time of loss, because Almeta’s passing was a true loss, not only to the family, but to ALL of Columbia. I meet Almeta when she first moved to Columbia, and I liked her and Tyrone right away. She always had that smile on her face and so much wisdom and giving in her heart. She became my Sister in Christ at church and we will all miss her. I will not say good-bye Almeta, but save me a seat up there in heaven, I miss you.

  16. debbie greene on October 27th, 2013 2:27 pm

    almeta had a major impact on my life and she will be misssed i am sorry for your loss. your family are in my prayers

  17. Chris Harrison on October 28th, 2013 7:04 pm

    May God rest Almeta. She did more for people than they did for themselves. I didnt know her personally, but i remember her tireless efforts on the Columbia City Council and her dediation to the community. She helped all races of people. As far as i know, she was a good person. May God deliver her to her home in heaven. I wish more afro-americans in the community could have the same dedication she did. I will miss her. Mr Chris Harrison Columbia and Kansas City, Missouri

  18. Lib Couper on October 28th, 2013 9:22 pm

    To Tyrone and All of Almeta’s family,

    I am saddened by the passing of your Mother, Daughter, Sister and Friend to all of us here in Columbia. Almeta and I both struggled with health issues. We had great talks about how life should be handled and what choices we should make. I love her so much.
    Almeta taught me so, so many things about life and the way you should live it no matter who you are, where you live or what circumstances from which you have come. Surely she is in heaven with Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and relieved of the confines of her earthly body. May God give all of you the peace that will be of benefit to you during this time of loss.

  19. Mable Jones Grimes on October 31st, 2013 7:29 pm

    To Tyrone and the rest of Almeta’s family:
    Ms. Almeta was truly a wonderful person full of wisdom and knowledge that she readily shared. I loved talking to her and sharing stories about life. She was one of the smartest persons I have known–had a manner of speaking that was plain and to the point, no long words and such!! She always made her point and it was such that you could not miss it!! She was truly one of my favorite people.
    May she rest in peace. I will miss the voice of reason and wisdom.
    May God help you in your time of need and grief.

  20. Nikolette on November 1st, 2013 7:33 pm

    Ms. Almeta you have done more for me then you will ever know. You helped me meet the love of my life. I had convinced my employer to give to your Everyone Eat’s Dinner and they have a giftcard. You were unable to come pick it up so you sent Tyree. Little did I know you sent someone to be in my life forever! I thank you for that blessing. I thank you for all that you meant to him and all that you meant to “us” meaning Columbia. We all thank you and know that you have a huge smile on your face seeing how the sun was shining while you was honored :)

  21. Thrower Family on November 7th, 2013 4:26 am

    Praise God for the opportunity I and others had in meeting a “vessel used” by God to remind of us what we can do with the help and strength we receive from Jesus Christ. When no one else would, Almeta did. May our Lord and Savior bless her son with better health and comfort in this time of his life.

    Diahann Thrower and Family

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