Leonard Eugene (Gene) Crabtreee D.D.S.

March 16, 1934January 4, 2011

LEONARD EUGENE (GENE) CRABTREE, D.D.S. left this world unexpectedly, and much too soon, on Tuesday, the 4th of January 2011, at Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. He was 76.

He was one of a kind! Gene started his journey to discover the joys that defined his life on the 16th of March 1934 at Flower Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was preceded in death by his parents, H. L. Crabtree and Addie Pinegar Crabtree Teter, his sister, Mary Lou Crabtree Moore, and nephew, Mark Christian Moore.

Dr. Crabtree was a man surrounded by women who delighted him. His wife of 37 years, Janis, cherishes the love showered upon her and is so very happy that she and Gene renewed their wedding vows in 2008 and danced all night.

Blessed with three wonderful daughters, Deborah Lea Plattsmier, Marcia Gail Ripkowski and Anne Elizabeth Flores, from his first marriage to Winifred Simkins Crabtree McNabb, Gene surprised even himself when he and Janis expanded his trio of beautiful daughters to a quartet with the addition of Candace Gene in 2000.

Deborah and her husband Paul are parents to grandchildren William Scott and Aimee Catherine. Marcia is mother to grandsons Timothy James, Michael Eugene, Christopher Douglas and Sean Hendree. The boys’ father is Gerald Ripkowski, Jr. Anne and Rick Flores are parents to grandchildren Jaime Aricka, Madison Rianne, Dorian Nathaniel, and Sage Elisabeth. Gene delighted in his role as “Papa Doc” to his grandchildren.

Uncle Gene is survived by beloved nieces Kelly Moore Anderson and Melissa Moore Olson. A multitude of cousins throughout Texas join us in tears and tales of Gene. Always ready to head north to Tulsa for any celebratory event with Central High School’s Class of 1952, Gene never forgot the rolling hills of northern Oklahoma.

Dr. Crabtree served proudly in the United States Navy from 1952-1960 as a Dentalman and was attached to the Second Marine Division, Second Medical Battalion, Camp LeJeune, North Carolina.

Gene pushed forward with college while stationed in Kingsville and claimed the distinction of being both an Aggie and a Longhorn. He completed his pre-dental studies at Texas A&I University in Kingsville, Texas (now part of the Texas A&M University System).

And with gratitude to all who contributed to getting him there, he graduated in 1963 from the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston, Texas.

Later, for the sheer joy of studying theology, Gene attended St. Mary’s Seminary earning a Masters Degree in Pastoral Studies in 2004 from the University of St. Thomas. A general dentist for 47 years, Gene loved practicing his profession, visiting with his patients, and teaching anatomy to dental students and graduate dentists.

Commencing in 1985 as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Anatomical Sciences at the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston, his alma mater, he taught anatomy for 25 years completing his teaching career as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, the University of Texas Health Science Center – Medical School, Houston.

A member of the Psi Omega Dental Fraternity since 1959, Dr. Crabtree continued his support as an alumni and mentor to dental students with a role as Deputy Counselor with Psi O from 1995 through the present.

An active member of the American Dental Association from the outset of his practice in 1963, Dr. Crabtree was a Life Member of both the Greater Houston Dental Society and the Texas Dental Association. Two terms of service on the Judicial Committee as well as two terms of service on the Peer Review Committee were ways he valued participating in the efforts of these professional societies to preserve the caliber of dentistry practiced in Texas. How he valued the exchange of knowledge and career long companionship of his colleagues.

In 1994, Dr. Crabtree was made a Fellow in the American College of Dentists, the oldest national honorary organization for dentists. As a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry, he actively participated in continuing studies from 1974 to the present.

Doc loved his years playing hockey, coaching hockey, refereeing hockey and sharing a beer after games with any and all who loved the game. With a 31-year career officiating games, he was a founding member of the Houston Ice Hockey Officials Association and served as HIHOA’s first president from 1995-1999. With an office full of hockey memorabilia, Doc was particularly fond of his memories as Team Dentist for the Houston Apollos and the original Houston Aeros.

A long time member of Houston Yacht Club, Gene believed that anything that floats had the potential for fun. Sailboats, power boats, sunfish and dinghies revived his soul and convinced him he’d had a mini-vacation any day he was on the water.

A member of the Bellaire Lions Club since 1989, Dr. Crabtree served as President from 1992-1993.

A parishioner at Holy Family Catholic Church, Dr. Crabtree joyfully served his church as an Acolyte and coordinated the training of the Altar Servers. He was a long time member of the Knights of Columbus Holy Family Council and a Fourth Degree Knight of the Bishop Morkovsky Assembly.

Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from four o'clock in the afternoon until seven o'clock in the evening on Sunday, the 9th of January, in the Library of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.

There is to be a second evening of visitation with the family from five o’clock in the afternoon until seven o’clock in the evening on Monday, the 10th of January, at Holy Family Catholic Church, 1510 5th Street in Missouri City, where a vigil service, led by Deacon William Seifert, Godfather to Candace Gene Crabtree, is to commence at seven o’clock.

A Mass of Christian Burial is to be offered at half past ten o’clock in the morning on Tuesday, the 11th of January, also at Holy Family Catholic Church, where Fathers Sunny Joseph, O.S.H., and Roy Oggero, C.S.B., are to serve as concelebrants.

The Rite of Committal is to follow, via an escorted cortege, at Glenwood Cemetery in Houston, where seamen from the U.S. Navy Honor Guard are to render military honors.

Immediately following the service, all are invited to greet the family during a reception in the Parish Hall of Holy Family Catholic Church.

In lieu of customary remembrances, and for those desiring, the family requests with gratitude that memorial contributions in Dr. Crabtree’s name be directed to The Texas Lions Camp, 4100 Memorial Boulevard, Kerrville, Texas 78028 or to the charity of one’s choice.


Leonard Eugene (Gene) Crabtreee D.D.S.

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Linda Montoya

October 28, 2011

I will miss Dr. Crabtree. Can you believe he made going to see the Dentist FUN!!!!!!!! He was kind, wonderful, upbeat, joyous, and a GREAT dentist. He will be missed but never forgotten. Prayers for him and all who miss him. Knowing that he is in the arms of our Lord now is a comfort. I must continue to see the Dentist and keep my teeth clean so that when I do see Dr. Crabtree again I can say:" It was hard without you, but my teeth are clean!"
Thank you for touching my life.

Linda Montoya

June 29, 2011

I am so sadden, I went in for a cleaning and found he had pass months ago, He was my friend and Doc for over 45 years, I am an Old Texaco fellow.May he Rest in Peace.
Bob McAughan

Rachel H

June 21, 2011

I went in for a cleaning this month and just found out - my heart and prayers go out to the family. What a great man - I look forward to thanking him in Heaven.

Sonny Adams

April 6, 2011

I just found out about Dr Crabtree. My heart is so sad for the loss of a GREAT MAN! He was my dentist for over 20 years. I'll miss him very very much. My deepest condolences to his family. I am so sorry I did not know sooner.
Sonny Adams
Dignity Memorial
Community Service Manager

Douglas Shivers

March 22, 2011

I was justed informed of Dr. Crabree's passing. At this point I'm speechless. As a patient there in his office for many years, you always and I mean always expect them to be there. It's like family you don't see or talk t often but, it's always nice to see them and talk too. Well, I'd like to say to the family "feeelings are rushing through you and you don't know who to blame or where to put them...I would say give all those unanswered feelings and questions to God he will take care of the." Douglas Shivers(Richmond, TX)

March 3, 2011

Dr. Crabtree was our teacher at UTDB. We all remember him as a friendy and knowledgable teacher. God bless his soul and may he rest in peace.

Kevin Sameti D.D.S.
Class of 2007

Wayne Howell

February 10, 2011

I found out just about an hour ago that dr. Crabtree passed away. I had the terrible duty of telling my wife who was her dentist. He was such a great man, full of life and so very kind and fair. Both my wife and I will miss him dear. Rest in peace Dr. Crabtree.

Cindy Rudasill

January 31, 2011

I am so saddened by the loss of Dr. Crabtree. Being an older student many years ago, he supported me and guided me through difficult times while there. He brought smiles and laughs everywhere he went and touched many hearts, including mine. I would want his family to know I will remember him always as a man who cared.
God Bess to all his family.

Brittany Humphrey

January 27, 2011

Dr. Crabtree has been my dentist since the late 90's and I loved going to see him and that great smile and curly mustache no matter what procedure I was having done - really, who loves to go dentist? But he made it fun all the time. My condolences to his family and his office staff as I am sure the world is a little less brighter without him.


January 23, 2011