Harold Homer Creekmur, 93, of Battle Creek died peacefully at Bronson Methodist Hospital on Wednesday, August 23, 2023.
Harold was born May 17, 1930, in Princeton, Kentucky, the son of Travis Homer and Gladys Rain (Jones) Creekmur. He was a graduate of Butler High School, class of 1948. Harold earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Western Kentucky University in 1954, and his M.A. from WKU in 1959, via Graduate study classes at Western Michigan University, Michigan State University and one class at Northern Michigan University. He spent his college summers traveling to Mendota, Wisconsin to work in a cannery and relished sharing the stories of that special time in his life where he was able to venture outside of Kentucky. He completed his student teaching at Sumner County High School in Portland, Tennessee. While attending an English class, he met the love of his life, Joan Robbins. Harold Homer Creekmur and Asa Joan Robbins were united in marriage on December 27, 1954, at the First United Methodist Church in Harlan, Kentucky, spending the next 68 joyful years at each other’s side. While waiting for Joan to complete her degree, Harold taught in a two-room schoolhouse near the top of the mountain in Cranks Creek, Kentucky. In 1956, he and Joan “headed north” to Battle Creek to teach at Pennfield Schools. As Harold often said, if he and Joan were not blessed enough to meet Mike and Ev Kelley upon arrival and rent a room in their home on Garfield Street, they probably would not have stayed in Michigan. “Auntie Ev and Uncle Mike” soon became their surrogate parents in their new state, and then loving family to Harold and Joan’s children later in life. Harold began as a Junior High (there was no High School at that time) Social Science teacher. After 3 years, he taught 4th grade and simultaneously was the Principal at Purdy Elementary. He then took the role of Principal of all three elementary schools, Purdy, Poulsen, and North Pennfield. He was appointed Assistant Superintendent in 1966 and then to the Superintendent (2nd in school history) in 1971, where he would spend the next 22 years. He truly cared about the people in the community and was fond of talking about how much he loved the people with whom he worked. Prior to his administrative roles, Harold would spend his summers working to provide for his new and growing family. He worked maintenance at Pennfield Schools, delivered Coca-Cola for a local distributor, was a laborer at Barker Industries, and worked one summer at Kellogg. He was also very fond of sharing the story of driving the school bus for a year, including driving the basketball team to a game (where he subsequently got lost on the way home).
Harold was preceded in death by his wife, Joan on August 21, 2022. Surviving are their children, Laura Cable of Battle Creek, Lisa Clair of Tampa, FL, Layne (William) Ticknor of Battle Creek, Brent Creekmur of Battle Creek; grandchildren, Linley (Ryan) Combs, Travis (Kaitlyn) Cable, Morgyn (Eric) Tucker, McKenzie Clair; Renee (Trent) Larm; and great-grandchildren, Ryley Combs, Leighton Combs, Bennett Cable, Brooks Cable, Avery Tucker, Lena Larm, and Keira Larm. In addition to his wife, Harold was preceded in death by his parents.
Harold was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Battle Creek since 1958, where he spent time as a Treasurer, and many hours painting and ushering. Harold served on the Board of Directors at Willard Public Library for 20 years. He was a Board member and member of the selection committee for the Battle Creek Community Foundation, and a member of the Kellogg Foundation Board. He was a past member of the Teacher’s Credit Union Board of Directors; Chairman of the Superintendent’s Task Force in Battle Creek, past Treasurer of the Pennfield Lions Club, and past head of the Education Division at the United Way. Upon retirement, he was an auditor for the Calhoun Intermediate School District and spent a year as Substitute-Superintendent for the Olivet School District. Harold enjoyed doing yard work, and just being out in the sunshine. In his ‘younger years’, he was an avid runner and bicycler. He loved baking and was always creating special birthday cakes for his kids and grandkids. He loved watching the Detroit Tigers with Joan and family, was a fan of all things Michigan State, WKU, and University of Kentucky. He always remained true to his roots in Kentucky and cherished his many road trips “down south”. He never missed a sporting event, recital, or any other occasion which his children and grandchildren participated. He devoted his life to providing for and spending time with family. Above all else, he was endlessly devoted to his wife, Joan, as her caregiver and loving companion. Harold will be remembered as an incredibly kind, caring, and selfless man. He spent his time Giving over Taking, only asking of others to do the same. He will be loved and missed tremendously every day.
A private family committal service to celebrate Harold’s life has been held at Hicks Cemetery in Pennfield Township.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to First United Methodist Church, 111 E. Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI 49014. Arrangements by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Battle Creek. Personal messages for the family and favorite memories of Harold may be placed here at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.