Warren Crews
Warren Crews
  • December 6, 1918 - April 11, 2017
  • Normal, Illinois

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NORMAL- Warren S. Crews, 98, of Normal, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday,
April 11, 2017, at his residence.

Warren was born December 6, 1918, in Hallidayboro, IL, the son of Henry and Maggie Manus Crews. He married Roberta H. Mechling on April 24, 1947, in
St. Louis. She preceded him in death on July 16, 1998.

Surviving are their children, Susan (Ron) Pridgeon of Bloomington;
Jim (Kim) Crews of Carmel, IN; Tom Crews of Louisville, KY;
Amy (Lance) Conklin of Normal; six grandchildren, Rachael Pridgeon of
Nashville, TN; Sam Pridgeon of Sacramento, CA; Abby Crews of Brooklyn, NY;
Todd (Nicole) Crews of Brooklyn, NY; Amanda Conklin, McLean Conklin and MacCallan Conklin of Normal; two great-grandchildren, Canaan and Zoe Crews; a brother, Jerry (Janice) Crews of Marion; and a sister, Nancy (Dan) Petry of
Ellisville, MO. He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings; Lester, Robert, Frank, Jean, Charles, Don and Margaret.

Warren was an All-State quarterback at Elkville High School in southern Illinois. He played college football at Southeast Missouri State University as a four-year starter. After graduation, he was in the pre-flight Navy Air Corps and was recruited by the Iowa Seahawks to play with other college and professional football players.
He began his coaching career at Lovington High School where he met Roberta. Warren coached football, baseball, basketball and track. His football teams won four straight years of their conference and had a 23 game winning streak before he moved on to Illinois State Normal University in 1951. He began as a graduate assistant coaching football, basketball and baseball. Warren was the Junior Varsity Basketball Coach for 11 seasons compiling a 119-25 record. The 1959 team made the NAIA College Division final four. He was also an Assistant for baseball, 8 seasons, and Assistant for football, 11 seasons. While coaching, he received his Master's degree from University of Illinois.
Between 1962- 1975, he was an Assistant Basketball Coach along the side of
James Collie, Will Robinson, and Gene Smithson. He coached the 1968 team, which was one of the best and he also coached Doug Collins from 1969-1973. Warren also designed ISU's famous candy-striped basketball shorts.

As he coached, he was able to watch all the games possible of son, Jim, playing at
University High School, and Tom, at Normal Community. While Jim went on to play basketball at Indiana University, 1972-1976, Warren continued to coach until 1975, teach until 1985 and became an Assistant Athletic Director in 1975- 1982. As ISU was the host to the IHSA all class Football State Championship, he organized the event for several years. During the summer, he managed the Municipal Baseball League in the Twin Cities. In 1983, he was inducted into the Illinois State University Athletic Hall of Fame as a Coach. In 2001, he was inducted with the 1967-68 basketball team.

He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Normal where in sang in the choir and played the piano for his Yokefellow's Sunday School class for several years. He also enjoyed playing Bridge, golf, and watching the St. Louis Cardinals.
Most of all, he loved talking about the game with his two basketball coaching sons and watching every game possible of his grandchildren's.

A celebration of life service will be held at noon, Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at
East Lawn Funeral Home. A committal service will be held after the celebration at the mausoleum chapel at East Lawn Memorial Gardens. There will be an informal Gathering with h'orderves, following the services, approximately 1:45, back at the Funeral Home for those who would like to attend.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church of Normal or Illinois State University Athletics. Online condolences may be shared with the family at eastlawn-bloomington.com.