Katharine Elizabeth Crowder

December 23, 2012 

Katharine Elizabeth Crowder of Raleigh, died peacefully at her home, December 20, 2012. She was born in Ridgeway, NC in Warren County, June 28, 1915. Ms Crowder was the daughter of Sallie Bet Watkins and Joseph Jones Crowder. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brothers, Stephen L. Crowder (Estelle) and J. Jeff Crowder (Hildreth Parker) of Raleigh.

Known in the Raleigh community as a pioneer in fashion merchandising, Katharine Crowder was the owner of “Katharine Crowder’s Intimate Shop”. The shop, one of the first of its kind in the southeast, opened in Brittan’s downtown Raleigh location in 1956. The shop moved in 1967 to Cameron Village. She operated that store until her retirement in 1997. Prior to owning her own store, Ms Crowder was a Divisional Merchandising manager for “Taylor’s” which became Ivey-Taylor’s and then Dillard’s. During her years in merchandising she gave many young people their first career opportunity, encouraged them to get a college degree, and lectured at local colleges on careers in fashion. She was an advocate of women owned businesses and frequently lectured on the subject.

Throughout her life, Katharine Crowder was known as a friend by many. She loved entertaining in her home where she was noted for her entertaining style, good food and lovely fresh flower arrangements from her garden. Each summer one of her joys was gathering figs from her ancient fig tree and making fig preserves and fig pickles which she distributed among friends and family. In her early years, swimming, reading and basketball were among her hobbies.

Ms Crowder was an active member of Christ Episcopal Church, the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, Raleigh Merchant’s Association, and Cameron Village Merchant’s Association.

The family would like to express their sincere gratitude and appreciation to the caregivers who cared for Katharine in recent years including Brenda Lyons, Pennie Currie, Donnia Melvin, Shakeema Amerson and in former years, Binelle Whitaker and Lizzie Anderson. Countless friends, who were like extended family, provided spiritual support, humor, joy and nourishment throughout Katharine’s life and never wavered in their love. To all those individuals, we extend our deepest thanks.

Survivors include her niece, Jo Crowder Dermid (Joel A. Dermid, Jr.), two great nieces, Elizabeth Dermid Harmon (Daniel Thomas Harmon) and Amanda Dermid Robinson (Jimmy Ray Robinson), all of Nashville, TN. ; four great-great nephews, Joel Thomas Harmon, William Alexander Harmon, Darian Patrick Robinson and Langston Brooks Robinson all of Nashville, TN.; Cousins Carolyn C. Riddick of Raleigh, and Susan Sundberg (Dr. Richard Sundberg) of Tiberon CA., as well as many other cousins and close friends who were her extended family.

Funeral services will be held at 11am on Thursday, December 27th, 2012 at Christ Episcopal Church, 120 East Edenton St., Raleigh, N.C. The Family will receive friends immediately following the service in the parlor of the church. Katharine Crowder will be buried in Ridgeway, North Carolina. The graveside service will be at 2:30pm on Thursday December 27th, 2012 at the cemetery beside The Chapel of the Good Shepherd.

Memorial donations may be sent to “The Chapel of the Good Shepherd”, PO BOX 70, Ridgeway NC 27570 or to Christ Episcopal Church, PO Box 25778, Raleigh NC 27611.

Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, Saint Mary's Street Raleigh. Condolences may made through www.brownwynne.com.

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