Ms. Hester Mae Crawford Moon Spencer was born on July 20, 1930, to the late Garrett Crawford and the late Lula B. Goggans Crawford. She was born the 8th of 12 children. 2 sisters, Celia Mae Crawford Walker, and Selena Mae Crawford Gaddis, and 8 brothers, Alphonza, Preston, Avan, Esco, S.A., James, J.W., and John Crawford preceded her in death.
She gave her life to Christ at a very early age, and joined Peace and Goodwill Baptist Church in Cottage Grove, Alabama. She later joined Kellyton Chapel United Methodist Church, which was the beginning of many decades of service at the Church, District, and Conference levels. Positions she has held within the United Methodist Church include the following: Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President, and President of the United Methodist Women at various churches she has attended, Vice President of the United Methodist Women for the Northeast District for 4 years, Dean of the School of Mission, Chairperson of the Nominating Committee for the North Alabama Conference, Vice Chairperson on the Council on Ministries for the North Alabama Conference, and Certified Lay Speaker for several churches she has attended. She has had an abiding love and respect for the United Methodist Church, having served faithfully and tirelessly over the years.
In terms of education, Hester attended J.D. Thompson High School, in Cottage Grove, AL, as well as Gadsden State Community College, where her studies focused on Early Childhood Development.
On March 5, 1951, Hester married G.W. Moon, and through this union, four children were born. She was preceded in death by her youngest child, Delphine Moon (Burton).
Throughout Hester’s life, she has had several careers, having entered into the work force at the age of 17. In her early years of working, she held various domestic positions in and around Alexander City. She eventually embarked upon a career with the Community Action Agency, a nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing resources to combat poverty through advocacy, outreach, and empowerment. While starting as an outreach case manager, she eventually moved into the position of an Equal Opportunity Officer. She always said the greatest part of her work with the agency was going into the community, and providing assistance to her elderly clients. She said she learned so much from them during her visits, which she said helped to shape and inform her own journey through the aging process.
In December 1976, Hester married for a second time, joining Rev. Willie B. Spencer in holy matrimony. During this time, she and Rev. Spencer moved to various churches within the North Alabama Conference. More specifically, she served as First Lady, alongside Rev. Spencer at the following locations: Goodsell United Methodist Church (Lanett, AL), Sweet Home United Methodist Church (Gadsden, AL), and Center Grove United Methodist Church (Huntsville, AL).
She was also very active at Lowe’s Chapel United Methodist Church, as well as Highland’s United Methodist Church, both located in Huntsville, AL. While in Huntsville, in her capacity as a certified Lay Speaker, she became the creator of “The Servant’s Outreach,” a monthly publication offering scriptural teachings, reflections, and Sunday School lessons. It was well-received, widely distributed, and thoroughly enjoyed by the many people who received them in the mail. If people didn’t receive their “Servant,” right at the beginning of the month, they would often call to find out when they could expect their copy to arrive in the mail!
While residing in Huntsville, Hester began a new career path in the Huntsville City School System. While starting off as a substitute teacher at different schools in the area. In January 1986, she took a permanent position as a Teacher’s Aide at Davis Hills Middle School. After serving as a Teacher’s Aide for a number of years, she moved from the classroom to the computer lab, serving as a Computer Lab Technician until she retired in 2011 at 80 years young!
After retiring from the Huntsville City School system, she returned to her beloved home in Goodwater, Alabama. There she engaged in several of her hobbies, one of which included buying a multitude of flowers at the local Home Depot, watering them daily, then complaining about the deer eating them once the sun went down! Despite her discontent with the deer, she continued to amass large quantities of plants and flowers over the years. Additionally, she spent much of her time sitting on the porch, enjoying the serenity of her home, surrounded by nature, and also passing time with friends and family members that seemed to always drop by for a visit. At any given moment, you could find Hester sharing her words of wisdom, or asking lots of questions about what was happening in the lives of those who stopped by. When not visiting with friends and family, you could find her making a phone calls throughout the day to check on her loved ones who lived further away. She kept herself very occupied during her retirement years!
Hester thrived on being in relationship with people, and never met a stranger. She was witty, sharp, clever, and enjoyed having a big, hearty laugh with others. She was also strong-willed, tough-as-nails, opinionated, and loved a good debate. She was not easily swayed from her perspective, and her sense of self-assurance was unmatched. She was also fiercely independent, and carried herself with pride, which often showed itself as reluctance to ask for help. In fact, she lived independently until July 2018, when health challenges became more prominent. It was at this point that she relocated to Ft. Mitchell, AL, to live with her daughter and son-in-law.
One year after her relocation to Ft. Mitchell, on July 24, 2019, Hester left this earthly world to claim her Heavenly Home. She leaves behind to cherish her memory two sons, Crawford (Mattie) Smith-Moon, of Montgomery, AL, Graham (Gail) Moon, of Houston, TX, one daughter, Shirrell Moon (Dwight) Brown, of Ft. Mitchell, AL; one sister, Katie Mae Crawford Sims of Meriden, Connecticut; grandchildren Shacunda Burton (Ben) Rodgers, of Elk Grove, CA; Jessica Tucker of Houston, TX, Deon (Rona) Brown of Yigo, Guam; Craleta (Ahdwele) Robinson, of Montgomery, AL, Christopher (Miya) Brown, of Garner, North Carolina, Crawford Smith-Moon Jr., of Hoover, AL, Brandon Brown of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Jessica Wells of Hoover, AL; great-grandchildren, Jesse James III of Houston, TX, Camden Hatch of Houston, TX, Crawford Smith-Moon III, of Hoover, AL, Chasen & Alethea Jeana Robinson, of Montgomery, AL, and Jackson & Winston Rodgers of Elk Grove, CA. She also leaves a beloved sister-in-law, Earline Crawford of Sylacauga, AL; god-daughter, Ms. Tonilyn Moncella Gaddis, of Alexander City, AL, as well as “chosen” children, Rollie Johnson of Huntsville, AL, Debra Moon of Goodwater, AL, and Mollie Core of Alexander City, AL. Hester also leaves a host of nieces and nephews, and a multitude of friends to cherish her memory.