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Inez Pettijohn Crookston

Inez Pettijohn Crookston

Inez Pettijohn Crookston, age 93, passed away on March 18, 2016.

Inez was born on February 2, 1923 to Everett and Joy Pettijohn in Seattle, Washington where they lived until Inez was 9 years old. The family had strong ties with both of their families there, but when in 1932 Mr. Pettijohn accepted the challenge of running a newspaper in Cordova Alaska, a small fishing town on Prince William Sound their lives were forever changed.

Inez found great happiness in the beauty of the Alaska Mountains and Coastline and discovered an appreciation of indigenous peoples and cultures and has always emphasized the importance of openness and acceptance of all people. She was academically challenged by adventurous teachers and has had a life-long love of learning; from her parents she gained a deep appreciation of literature, dance and music; blessed with a beautiful soprano voice she sang from the time ‘she was born’ until the day before she died.

At the age of 17, Inez left Cordova to study voice in San Francisco. This time of emancipation and musical study sadly was short-lived due to fears related to World War II and she ‘took the last boat back to Cordova’ in 1942. The move was fortuitous as she soon met Captain Wayne G. Crookston, a young surgeon stationed near Cordova to establish a new MASH UNIT and they married within a year. After discharge from the Army, the young couple subsequently lived in Tacoma, Washington; Hailey, Idaho and San Francisco, California while Dr. Crookston completed his medical training, finally settling in Boise in 1951 where he was a surgeon with the V.A. Hospital. They arrived in Boise with two young children; their third child was born in 1953.

Over the next forty years, Inez’s energies were primarily focused on family and “MOTHERING” her children and grandchildren as well as a number of her children’s friends who also found strength and wisdom in her acceptance and emotional support. She and her husband belonged to a number of social, medical and philanthropic organizations, but always found time for their much loved ballroom dancing evenings! Inez continued to sing and was a soprano with the Boise Choristers, Operatic and Boise Music Week Productions and in her seventies joined the choir of the Unitarian Church. She assisted in the publication of the Woman’s Medical Auxiliary Newsletter and the St. Michael’s Cathedral and Unitarian Church Newsletters. During her seventies, she also spent much time caring for her mother and her husband, who had significant health problems after his retirement. After his death in 2002, she established a close friendship with one of husband’s friends who had recently lost his wife and Inez and Jack Maxwell were lucky in being able to share the next 13 years together, primarily on Whidbey Island, where they continued to enjoy both of their families, extensive travel and one another. Inez returned to live in Boise after his death and has enjoyed more time here with family and friends. She is known for her open and optimistic approach to just about everything; it has sustained her throughout her life and has definitely supported her beliefs as she transitions to the afterlife ... ‘her next glorious adventure.’ We know she will be singing!

Inez is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her son, Wayne G. Crookston Jr., who died in 2008 secondary to complications of Multiple Sclerosis and Jack Maxwell, her loving Companion of later years.

She is survived by her sister, Marjorie Doucette of Washington D.C. and her brother, Dr. David Pettijohn (Eileen) of Denver Colorado and their families; her two daughters, Pamela Gilbert Crookston and Laurie Crookston (Bill Brown) both of Boise, Idaho; four grandchildren, Trey Crookston (Amy) , Martin Beck (Robyn), Ashlee Crookston Johnson (Justin) and Kevin Beck; four great-grandchildren, Samuel Crookston, Harper Beck, Brooklyn Johnson and Cameron Wayne Johnson.

The family is greatly appreciative of all the loving concern and care extended by friends and care-takers (in particular Louise George who provided in-home assistance for the past two years); the kindness and professionalism of the staff of St. Alphonsus Medical Systems, in particular Dr. Lisa Kern, her nurses and the wonderful professionals in the Home Health Program. Many thanks to Home Watch professionals. A special thanks to the kind and encouraging staff at the Apex Rehabilitation Center who took excellent care of Inez during her three admissions there. Kudos to all paramedics and fire-department staff who responded to emergency situations with speed and thoughtfulness.

Memorial Services will be held on April 2, 2016 at St. Stephens Episcopal Church, located at 206 N. Cole Road at 1:00 p.m.

Memorials are suggested to the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America or the Boise Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra.

February 2, 1923 ~ March 18, 2016
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