Former longtime Westerville City School District school board member and education advocate Cindy Crowe lost her battle against ALS Saturday. She was 50 years old.
In March 2013, Crowe was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the spinal cord and the brain. As the disease progresses, the motor neurons that travel from the brain to the spinal cord begin to fail, slowly causing the body to fail.
But the community knows Crowe for her sharp mind and for her dedication to education.
Crowe remained passionate about education during her tenure on the board of education and beyond. As a board member, she advocated for reasonable teacher-student ratios in the classroom and early intervention in reading and math.
She also served on the board when Westerville Central High School and Fouse Elementary School opened.
Despite her diagnosis in 2013, Crowe served on the board of education for as long as she could. In May 2014, she stepped down after 14 years of service due to her declining physical health.
With the help of a computer voice modulator, she thanked the community for the support for her and her family at the board of education meeting on May 5.
“I would love to take the time to thank everyone who has joined me and my family in fighting this disease, but we would be here all night,” Crowe said. “I would like to sincerely thank every body for what you have done for me and my family, my husband Alan, and my two handsome sons Brandon and Tyler. I really appreciate it.”
At the same meeting, Crowe also expressed how she loves celebrating spring commencements and how proud she was of all of Westerville’s graduates.
“It has been an extreme pleasure for me to serve on the Westerville Board of Education for over 14 years. I am most proud of the privilege to share in the family celebration of educational achievement and shake the hands of over 18,000 graduates,” she said.
Crowe was born in Greensburg, Ind. and attended Indiana State University prior to relocating to Westerville. Upon receiving a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, Crowe remained a passionate advocate for public education.
She was frequently involved in the Westerville community: she served as a member of the Westerville Board of Education, Westerville Education Foundation, Rotary Club of Westerville, Education Committee for the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce and numerous other community organizations.
Crowe is survived by her husband, Alan; her two sons, Brandon and Tyler; her parents Robert and Evelyn Wentzel; brothers Dan Wentzel (Molly), Sam Wentzel (Vickie), Mark Wentzel (Mary); sister Linda Jones; father-in-law Leon Crowe; mother-in-law Becky Crowe; brothers-in-law Tome Crowe (Carol) and Dennis Crowe; sisters-in-law Susan Kranz (Greg) and Karen Crowe; 17 nieces and nephews and 24 great nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be at 10 a.m, on July 19 at Heritage Christian Church, 7413 Maxtown Road. A reception will follow the service.