For more than four decades, the outlet John Crumley chose for his love of music was as director of Hilliard High School's marching band.
In addition to the students he taught at Hilliard High School from 1958 to 1995, the Hilliard resident's legacy of mentoring musicians includes countless alumni and many others whom he directed in the Hilliard Community Band after his retirement from Hilliard City Schools.
This weekend, family, friends and former students will celebrate the life of Crumley, who died April 6 at age 87.
Visitors will be received from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 14, at Tidd Funeral Home, 5265 Norwich St. in Hilliard, and a celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 15, at Hilliard United Methodist Church, 5445 Scioto Darby Road.
Crumley's love for music began in the early 1940s, when his parents took him to see live performances of "big bands," at a theater in Akron where he saw Count Basie, Duke Ellington and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, whose vocalist was a young Frank Sinatra.
"I guess it's in my blood," Crumley told ThisWeek in 2016 for a feature story on the Hilliard Community Band that Crumley founded in 1998 in response to alumni who asked for the opportunity to continue performing, especially under his direction.
Crumley played a trumpet in a community band in Orville; his high school had no marching band. After graduating in 1948, he was a member of the 36th Army Band.
He earned a bachelor's degree from Kent State University and a master's degree from the Ohio State University before he and his wife, Beverly, arrived in Hilliard in 1958.
Crumley is survived by "Beve," his wife of 61 years, four children and several grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Hilliard Alumni Association, John Crumley Music Scholarship, 3644 Whitworth Way, Columbus, OH 43228.