Grace Lewis Wooderson Crozier, 93, of Plano, Texas, died on July 2.
Born Aug. 9, 1915, in Gentry County, one of the eight children of Frank and Iva (Lewis) Wooderson, she married Rufus Crozier, who preceded her in death on July 15, 1995.
Each served Baptists in Missouri and beyond in various ways.
Mrs. Crozier graduated from Chillicothe Business College and Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, where she completed all the requirements for a master’s degree in religious education except for the required course taught by her husband and two preaching courses because she did not think women should be preachers.
While at Central, she served as secretary to the president, H.E. Dana, and as registrar. Years later, when the couple moved to St. Louis, Mrs. Crozier became the assistant to the dean of the faculty of the Arts and Science Department at Washington University. She retired in 1977.
After completing a doctor of theology degree from Central in 1940, Rufus Crozier was named chairman of the Church History Department there and served until 1957. Then, along with two other former Central Seminary professors, he went to St. Louis to open a seminary extension center. Very soon, demand grew for a Baptist college in St. Louis, and the school that was to become Missouri Baptist University was founded.
St. Louis Baptist College became the Hannibal LaGrange Junior College Extension Center and finally, Missouri Baptist College.
Crozier was the founding dean and director, as well as a professor of history and of religon, fund-raiser and whatever else was needed to help the school. He donated his personal library to establish the first library for the school.
Crozier retired from Missouri Baptist College in 1979, and was honored for having been affiliated with all of the Baptist colleges in Missouri.
At retirement, the Croziers became part of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Bold Mission Thrust and went to Northborough, Mass., to restore the home of early missionary Luther Rice. He also remodeled the barn, creating a library and seminary extension classrooms.
He preached in churches throughout New England and researched his family's roots in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Canada.
The couple retired to Bolivar and he taught classes at Southwest Baptist.
The Croziers are survived by four children, Lucille McBride and husband, Michael, of Florida, Margaret Goss and husband, Curtis, of Bolivar, Barbara Berry and husband, John, of Indiana, and Ralph Crozier and wife, Davida, of Plano, Texas; 13 grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and two step-great-grandchildren; a sister, Twila Hopkins of Overland Park, Kan.; two sisters-in-law, Louise Dunham of Adrian and Bonnie Crozier of Butler; and nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held on July 11 at Murray Funeral Home in Bolivar. Burial was in Barren Creek Cemetery. The family requests memorials to Missouri Baptist University, 1 College Park Drive, St. Louis, MO 63141.