Crystle Widdis, a Rudyard area farm wife and homemaker, passed away peacefully at the Liberty County Nursing Home in Chester on Tuesday evening (February 23rd, 2016). She died just two days before her 100th birthday.
Crystle Edythe Wyvonne Sherman was born February 25th, 1916 at Burwell, Nebraska. She was the oldest of nine children born to Edgar & Nina (Butcher) Sherman. Crystle was baptized in a river near Burwell as a teen. She received her formal education at Burwell, where she graduated from high school in 1934. Crystle continued her schooling at a Teacher’s College in Kearny, Nebraska. After earning her certificate, she taught school in Nebraska for three terms.
Crystle married Gary Flint in 1938. They moved to Kansas to work on a farm during the harvest season. The work was hard & hot; many days they shocked grain in temperatures of 114 degrees! Still, they were just happy to have work during those post-depression years. Together they dreamed of someday moving to Montana or Canada.
An elderly neighbor woman in Kansas asked the Flints if they would be willing to take her & her husband to the Sweetgrass Hills in northern Montana to visit a sister, who was very ill. They agreed to make the trip. When they finally reached their destination in the hills, they were pleased to learn there was a job opening at a local refinery. The job entailed manufacturing gas & diesel fuel at the refinery, then delivering the fuel to local farmers. Gary jumped at this opportunity. The Flints took the elderly couple back to Kansas, then packed up all of their belongings. When they arrived back in Montana, they had only 20 cents to their name, 4 gallons of gasoline, a car that had a loan against it, and 2 suitcases of personal effects. Still, they were thankful to have a job and happy that their dream of living in Montana came true.
Sometime later, a Rudyard farmer named George Lambott was doing business in the hills. He mentioned to the Flints that he was looking for a woman to care for his two little boys and that his brother-in-law was looking for a hired man. The doors opened to another exciting opportunity, so the Flints moved to Rudyard. Gary & Crystle worked hard, saved their money, and were fortunate to buy a little land of their own. They moved a house into Rudyard and became area farmers.
Crystle joined the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Rudyard. During the WWII years she taught at a country school south of town and later worked as a clerk at Sanvik Brothers in Rudyard. After trying unsuccessfully for nine years to adopt a baby, Crystle essentially gave up any hope for adoption in 1950 and purchased the “Binnie’s Dry Goods Store” in Rudyard. She renamed the store “Flint’s Dry Goods” and began operating the business. A year later her dream came true: the Flints adopted their daughter, Nyla! Crystle then sold the store and became a fulltime mother & homemaker.
Crystle always had a big heart for children of all ages. In 1959 she started teaching “Weekly Good News” (Bible Clubs) in her home – once a week for many years. After her husband Gary passed away in 1972, she attended the Children’s Ministries Institute in Muskegan, Michigan and became a certified local director for Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). This was a position Crystle thoroughly enjoyed – it was inter-denominational and afforded her the opportunity to teach Good News Clubs from Malta to Browning on a weekly basis. She met so many wonderful people up-&-down the Hi-Line. Many of the younger generation grew up remembering the songs & Bible lessons Crystle taught them at these Good News Clubs. Being around children and teaching Bible stories was one of the highlights of her life, which she continued until her retirement in 1985.
Crystle married Mark Widdis in 1979. They farmed until 1995, when Mark suffered a stroke. Crystle was always thankful that she was physically able, with help, to care for Mark at home in the years that followed. Mark passed away in 2010.
Daughter, Nyla, came from California in 2009 to care for Crystle by honoring her wish to remain at home for as long as she could. In March of 2014 at age 98, Crystle transferred to the rest home in Chester for extended care. She resided there until her death on this past February 23rd, 2016.
Crystle enjoyed many hobbies, including reading, crossword puzzles, cards (mainly, Solitaire & “Kings-in-the-Corners”), board games, and gardening. She was a kind, caring, giving, & generous lady who loved to spoil her grandchildren. She was always taking someone under her wing, accepting them as friends, and treating them in a motherly or grandmotherly fashion. Crystle loved studying & teaching God’s word. She was a good counselor, who had special verses for each individual need. She could be described as a “Prayer Warrior” in the fact that she realized the power of prayer and seemed to have a direct line to that power source. She was a good example of what a Christian should be – a Godly woman who lived a long, full, & dedicated life.
She was preceded in death not only by her parents & husbands, but also by her 8 siblings, including 2 brothers (Dale & Ray Sherman) and 6 sisters (Edna Klug, Twila Schofield, Thelma Brodine, Beth Beitel, Dorothy Converse, and Shirley Jackson).
Crystle is survived by her daughter, Nyla & Mark Moore of Ridgecrest, CA; 4 grandchildren & families, Caleb & Kristin Moore (Elijah, Gabriel, August, & Amalie) of Bakersfield, CA, Colby & Deidre Moore (Landen, Logan, Liam, & Levi) of Ridgecrest, CA, Jennifer & Clint Reed (Cameron, Conner, & Porter Jack) of Tehachapi, CA, and Jocelyn & T.J. Lail (Samantha) of Ridgecrest, CA; 1 brother-in-law, Richard Jackson of Rudyard; 1 sister-in-law, Charlotte Sherman of Nebraska; and many nephews & nieces.
Crystle was buried privately in the family plot at the Rudyard Cemetery on Tuesday (March 1st). Arrangements were handled by Rockman Funeral Chapel in Chester, where public viewing was offered Sunday & Monday (Feb. 28-29th).
A memorial service was held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday (March 5th) at the Calvary Evangelical Church in Rudyard. Pastor Clay Massar officiated. Tammy Duncan served as pianist and the congregation sang “I Love To Tell The Story”. Vocalist, Marcus Jochim, performed “Victory in Jesus” and “All for Jesus”. Joe Lincoln shared the eulogy and Mitch Capalbo served as usher. A reception followed in the Fellowship Hall. Undesignated memorials will be given to the CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship fund).Posted: by OverlieP