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Russ Crabtree remembered for his port, tribal efforts


Former Port of Brookings Harbor Manager Russ Crabtree died Oct. 18 at OHSU Portland, with his wife, Syndi, and sister-in-law, Stacy Waite at his side, after a three-year battle with cancer.

A graveside service for Crabtree, 63, of North Bend, is scheduled for 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery, on 2nd street SE (Oregon 42S) in Bandon. A reception will follow at 612 Exchange St. in North Bend.

Crabtree began his career on the Oregon Coast as an employee and harbormaster at the Port of Bandon from 1979 to 1982. At the Port of Coos Bay, he was the Charleston Marina complex manager from 1982 to 1987. At the Port of Newport, he was the marina manager and promoted to operation manager from 1987 to 1989. At the Port of Brookings, he was the executive director from 1989 to 2005.

In 2005, he went to work as the CEO for the Tolowa Nation at Smith River Rancheria. His illness forced his retirement at 2016.

According to a memorial page posted by Coos Bay Area Funerals, Crabtree dedicated his life to helping people; he loved family and friends. He enjoyed good books, history, camping, Harley Davidson, music, his collection of guns, and playing board games with his nephews.

He had a boyish charm, which was rarely seen except by close friends and family.

Crabtree is survived by his wife, Syndi; sister, Christine “Kay” and husband, Don Calac; brothers, James and wife, Debbie, Jess and John; aunt, Pattie Parnell Hegele; sisters-in law, Sandy Page, Sheri and husband, Mark Balensifer, Stacy and husband, Milton Waite, Suzanne and husband, Randy Dorosz; loving nieces and nephews, and extended family.

Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at www.coosbayareafunerals.com