Wife: Union Co. school board member cared for students

by: Eric Philips Updated:

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UNION COUNTY, N.C. —

The wife of a longtime Union County School Board member who suddenly died said she is struggling with her loss and questions what may have caused his death.
 
John Crowder, 77, died Sunday from a stroke, and his death came while Union County schools are in the middle of a heated redistricting battle where a lawsuit is looming over the controversy.

One of the attorneys said they should be ready to file an injunction to try to stop the redistricting plan by Wednesday but it may be delayed because of Crowder’s death.
 
“I really don't know what I'm going to do,” his wife, Minnie Crowder, said.

He suffered a stroke Saturday while in bed and died the next day, on their 52nd anniversary.
 
She said Crowder only took medication for arthritis and he was healthy.
 
Doctors said he had one of the healthiest bodies at his age that they'd ever seen, she said.
 
“It has really bothers me so much,” Crowder said. “What could have happened?”
 
Just last week, Crowder made the surprise motion to approve the controversial redistricting of thousands of students in Union County, upsetting many parents.

Some even sent harsh emails to board members. 

“If he was upset, he was keeping it on the inside,” Crowder said of her husband. “He was the kind that did not let you know how he felt, never.”
 
But she said he was vocal about how much he cared about the students. He served a combined 31 years on two different school boards.
 
“He was just such a jewel, such a jewel,” Crowder said.

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