Former Columbia City Council woman Almeta Crayton passed away at Boone Hospital Monday morning after being admitted Oct. 8 with heart trouble.
“[Drill noises] what you’re hearing in the background, I’m putting up a veteran’s flag: 'Veteran’s Don’t forget to vote.'”
Almeta Crayton’s longtime friend Curtis Soul is drilling flags into the side of a bus. Soul and Crayton were supposed to ride this bus together at the Homecoming Parade Oct. 26.
Soul said veteran’s welfare was important to Crayton.
“Almeta’s pride and joy to make sure she would feed the veterans on Veteran’s day, same thing on Thanksgiving,” Soul said.
Thanksgiving meant Crayton would be out on the street serving food as part of the “Everybody Eats” program. She started it about 15 years ago.
Former Columbia Mayor Darwin Hindman served on the City Council with Crayton and contributed to the program even after both of them left office.
“She, with her heart of gold, was bound and determined to do everything she could to see to it that people at least got a decent Thanksgiving dinner," Hindman said.
In addition to Crayton’s charity, Hindman said he remembers how they would laugh when he would sometimes pick her up and drive the unlicensed Crayton to and from council meetings.
“She could laugh and she was always fun to be around. I remember some of the things," Hindman said. "I used to try to tease her about getting out and walking. ‘Well Almeta, you need to get out and walk’ and she would laugh and laugh and carry on, but she rarely did.”
Soul also remembers the joyful side of Crayton. He said he uses those memories to keep going with the parade.
“She wouldn’t tell me to walk around with tears in my eye, which is hard to hold back, and mourn her and be dead," Soul said. "She say ‘C’mon boy, fire this thing up’ That’s what she would say to me. “C’mon now, let’s get ‘em dancing.”
Crayton was 53 years old. Services have not been scheduled yet.