Cover photo for Mary Jane Crews's Obituary
1924 Mary Jane Crews 2023

Mary Jane Crews

February 11, 1924 — October 16, 2023

Ocean Springs

Mary Jane McFarlan was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1924, to Grace Spence and William McFarlan. She was welcomed by her 5-year-old brother John.

 The day before Mama’s 5th birthday, her mother died from infection.

In school Mama was in the choir and played softball. She graduated from Tulsa Central High in the spring of 1941. In December of that year, Pearl Harbor was attacked and the United States entered the war. Mama aspired to join the WASP (Women’s Air Force Service Pilots). These women were trained pilots who tested and ferried aircraft. By the time Mama learned to fly a Piper J3 Cub, the WASP were no longer taking applicants. However, she became our “Rosie the Riveter”, employed at Douglas Aircraft, working in the tail wing assembly of small light bombers, the A-26.

Mama met Sam Crews, a Mississippi native, who was stationed at Camp Gruber in Tulsa. They married in July of 1943, before he went overseas with the 932nd Field Artillery Battalion.

 When Daddy returned from the war, they started a family, having six children: three boys and three girls. Their family grew even more with 20 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren. Their children: Mary Lee Jones (Johnnie) of Biloxi, David Crews (Gerri) of Jackson, John Crews (Rhonda) of Brandon, Grace Davis (Andy) of Decatur, Alabama, Melanie Rhodes Murray (Bob) of St. Martin, and Bill Crews (Karen) of Gulfport. Mama was preceded in death by her grandson David W Crews, Jr., son-in-law James M Rhodes, and her husband of 55 years, Sam E Crews, who died in 1998 at the age of 82.

 Mama lived a full life. When her children were grown, she sold Fuller Brush and went to work at Howard Brothers and later became an active member of Faith Baptist Church. She was ever fearless and fancied roller coasters and thrill rides. In her 70’s she was white water rafting in Montana and motor cycling in Canada.

Fiercely independent, Mama refused to use a wheelchair. Up until her death, she walked with a rollator, albeit stooped over and moving at a snail’s pace. In 2022 she moved to Brookdale Assisted Living Facility. There she found a wonderful home where she was loved by both residents and staff. Her family is extremely grateful that Mama was so very happy and blessed her last year of life.

 A Memorial Service was held at Brookdale on October 20. A graveside service will be held on Saturday, November 18, at Lakewood Funeral Home, 6011 Clinton Blvd, Jackson, Mississippi.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Popps Ferry Baptist Church, 2000 Popps Ferry Road, Biloxi, MS 39532.

 The Riemann Family Funeral Home, 13872 Lemoyne Blvd., West Jackson County is serving the Crews Family.  Share memories, condolences and photos at
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Jane Crews, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Graveside Service on November 18, 2023, at Lakewood Funeral Home, 6011 Clinton Blvd., Jackson, MS

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