We Remember: Alvin (Al) Dwayne Crudup

Regina Crudup was married to Alvin (Al) Dwayne Crudup for 40 years.

She says she has good days and bad days since he passed away.

Courtesy photo

LANSING, MI — Alvin (Al) Dwayne Crudup, 71, of Lansing, MI, transitioned from labor to reward on March 1, 2021, in Lansing, MI, and is already being greatly missed by those who knew and loved him. Especially his beloved wife, Regina, of 40 years.

Alvin Dwayne Crudup, known as “Wayne” to his siblings, “Big Al” to his friends and “Coffeeman” to Regina, (aka Coffeeman’s woman), was born, March 3, 1949, in North Little Rock Arkansas, to the proud union of Arvie Lee, Sr. and Susie Velma Crudup. Who could have known, at the time, what an amazing man their first born son would turn out to be as he would prove to be a natural born leader and a person who would be willing to make major sacrifices for the good of others.

Sadly, when he was only six years old, his father passed away. And though it would be years before he could actually step into the role, Al immediately became his mother’s protector, determined to take care of her as his father had. Those who knew Al, loved to hear the stories of how he became the man of the house, assisting his mother with his siblings and even postponing the sixth grade because he took on additional responsibilities. He found odd jobs, when he could, and worked beside his mother in the cotton fields to bring in additional income. That sacrifice, and many others, would shape his character, mature him and fuel his ambitions to become the first of his family to attend college; a major university—an historically Black university, Arkansas, AM&N (currently, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff). However, shortly thereafter, another tragedy struck. His dear mother—the center of his world—passed away unexpectedly. After obtaining custody of his seven siblings, with the assistance of his two brothers under him, Tommy and Elehue, Al sought to keep the promise he’d made to his mother, that if anything ever happened to her, that he would take care of the children. Al was determined to do so.

Al also loved God, and the things of God at an early age. He often shared stories of his talks with God while in the Arkansas cotton fields. He once asked God, “Is this all that you have for me?” Though it’s obvious that God had other plans for him to have a better life. Holding on to the promises of God, he later had a major encounter that took place while visiting his brother, Elehue, in Saginaw, for the fourth of July holiday in 1975–a visit that placed him on the spiritual journey that would forever change his life. Elehue shared his faith and love for Jesus Christ, with Al, and this spiritual encounter impacted him, so much so, that he went back to his home in Toledo, packed up his belongings, and he and the two brothers he was raising, Bruce (Poncho) and Anthony (Tiger) moved to Saginaw. Al and Elehue spent hour upon hour studying the Bible and attending church services, with their Uncle Prenethis, and his proudest moment was giving his life to Jesus Christ and getting baptized.

Al believed the remainder of his life had been blessed and orchestrated by God as he would soon find gainful employment with the U.S. Postal Service, in Saginaw,MI, rising to the ranks of Manager, of Distribution Operations, working special assignments in the Grand Rapids District Offices and Acting Postmaster at several satellite offices after his promotion to the Lansing, Collins Road Plant. CeCe Jean—his right arm and administrative assistant, called him the best boss ever, saying he was kind and sweet when he had to be, and tough enough to make sure you got your job done. Al was highly respected by many, and those who knew him, said he cared deeply about his staff, who would sometimes come to his office for prayer; Al was quite vocal about the fact that he was taking care of God’s Post Office. He saw his time there as more of a calling or spiritual assignment, instead of a job. He retired from the Postal Service in 2011, after an illustrious 35 year career.

Al would also say that his biggest blessing of getting his postal job was the fact that, it was there that he met the love of his life, Regina. He always boasted that he had described his desires for a wife to God—physically, spiritually, and oh, she had to have smarts—and from the moment he saw her walking into the post office that mid-summer day in August, 1976, Al said he knew that she was the one. Al and Regina were joined in marriage in November of 1980 and celebrated 40 years of marriage this last year.

Al was a wonderful husband, father, provider, and protector of his family and he loved his girls Ebony and Chenika, dearly. He was known for checking that the doors were locked, every night, without fail—and boy were there funny stories about that over the years. In fact, his youngest daughter, Chenika, quickly instructed her husband, Danny, about how he had to continue that practice after they were in their home as she’d always gone to bed feeling safe, because of her dad. Everyone knew that, Al Crudup did not play when it came to security— or anything to do with his family, for that matter. He possessed a fierce and loyal love for all of his family members and reserved the right to correct, reprove and rebuke them—in no particular order. He was going to give it to you straight, possibly with a lecture, and when he was done, it was over; at least for him. You may have been in the corner pouting, but he’d already moved on waiting for your next positive encounter. That was Al—he didn’t hold grudges.

Al would want you to know that he was diagnosed with Diabetes at age 35, and he had a long and uphill battle that took him through kidney failure, hemodialysis and the miracle of a life-saving kidney transplant in 2012. He’d implore you to check with your doctor for early signs and treatment if you are in that category and to do everything you can to control the impact it could have on your body. Because of his decades-long struggles with the disease, the family has asked that in lieu of flowers, consideration be given to make a donation to the American Diabetes Association in Al’s name.

In addition to being an amazing family man, Al enjoyed playing golf, working in his yard, bragging on his 6 grandchildren and attending their sports activities when he could, as his health challenges precluded him from getting out, at times. But oh, how he loved his grandchildren—Dre’Von, Danny II, Temple, Joseph, Joshua and Jacob.

He leaves to cherish and will be greatly missed by his wife, Regina; daughters Ebony Williams, Las Vegas, NV, and Chenika Martinez, East Lansing, MI ; son-in-love Danny Martinez, Sr., East Lansing; 6 grandchildren, DreVon Reed, Las Vegas, NV, Danny Martinez II, Elkhart, IN, Temple, Joseph, Joshua and Jacob Martinez, all of Lansing, MI; siblings, Arvie Lee Crudup, Jr., Tommy Donnell Crudup, and Anthony (Brandi) Williams, all of North Little Rock Arkansas; Diane Whitehead, Ricky (Kizzie) Peterson, Elaine (James) Moore and Penny Crudup of Saginaw, MI; and Bruce Crudup, Frankenmuth, MI; Sisters-in-Love, Yvonne Jones, Harker Heights,TX; Renita Hendricks and Janita Bond, both of Saginaw, MI; Brother-in-love, Billy (Darlene) Hendricks, Shelbyville, TN; two aunts, a host of cousins, 25 nieces and nephews; several great-nieces and great-nephews; goddaughters, Alana Hosey, Dalla, TX, Patricia Brown, Las Vegas, NV; godson, Adam Moore, Lansing, MI; special Uncle and spiritual father, Prenethis Crudup; life-long friends and postal colleagues, Alton Smith of Lawrenceville GA and Larry Morrisette, of Grand Ledge, MI—the two that made up their 3-Amigos camaraderie; and his friend and confidante, Derrick Moore of Lansing, MI.

Al was preceded in death by his parents, Arvie Lee, Sr. and Susie Velma Crudup, his sister, Doris Peterson Weston, brother, Elehue Crudup, niece, Taylor Whitehead, nephew Jerry Morgan, Jr. and grandson, baby John Martinez.

Due to the current COVID restrictions, there will not be an official service at this time. However, there will be a private celebration of life memorial later this summer.

(Services provided by Riley Funeral Home)