Ollie Mae Reynolds was born July 31, 1928, at 7:40 a.m. in Isola, Miss., to the union of the late O.C. and Bessie Reynolds and departed this life on Friday, Aug. 24, 2007, at Harborside Healthcare of Owensboro.
She was united in marriage to the late Leslie Lee Crowe Sr. in 1944. She was a member of Utica Bethlehem Baptist Church before moving her letter of membership to Smithfield Baptist Church of Rockport, Ind.
She worked as a domestic housekeeper for William S. Stone and Joe Bowen and family. She cleaned offices for Cap Gardner Insurance. She worked at the Strand Theater popping corn while working as a janitress at Franklin Elementary School for 18 years. She completed her high school education through the G.E.D. program and she received her teaching certificate and Bachelor of Arts degree at Kentucky Wesleyan College in 1978. She taught as a teacher's aide at Lincoln Elementary School and as a classroom instructor at Seven Hills Elementary School and worked as a career systems development academic instructor at the Earle C. Clements Job Corps in Morganfield, where she retired.
In 1985, she married Harvey Purcell Sr., who preceded her in death.
Survivors include her stepsister, Irmavene Freeman of Milwaukee, Wis., her 10 children, Leslie Crowe Jr. (wife Lourendy), Dorothy Flowers, Bobbie Crowe, Anna Ophelia Haire (husband Darrell), Sharon Owens and Kenneth Crowe (wife Niramonwan), all of Owensboro, James Crowe of Evansville, Karen Lyles of Houston, Jacqueline Board of Dallas and Alesia Morgan (husband Henry) of Memphis, Tenn.; and eight stepchildren, Barbara Purcell and Thomas Purcell (wife Bertha) of Rockport, Ind., Neil Winstead (husband Sam) and Eloise Woods (husband Louis) of Owensboro, Walter Purcell of Darien, Ill., Harvey Purcell Jr. (wife Shirley), Malinda Compton and Gloria Bryant (husband Fred) of Evansville; 57 grandchildren; 72 great-grandchildren; 25 great-great-grandchildren; a first cousin, Edna Crowe of Louisville; and other relatives and friends.
Visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at McFarland Funeral Home in Owensboro. Funeral services are at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Fourth Street Baptist Church in Owensboro, with the Rev. Donald L. Owens, pastor of Smithfield Baptist Church in Rockport, Ind., officiating. Interment will be in Rosehill-Elmwood Cemetery. Arrangements are entrusted to McFarland Funeral Home, 1001 W. Fifth St. Condolences may be sent online to www.mcfarlandfh.com. The family requests expressions of sympathy take the form of donations to the Bethlehem Baptist Church Cemetery Restoration and Maintenance Fund, c/o Wesley Action, 1001 W. Fifth Street, Owensboro, KY.