Hidden History: The legacy of Elizabeth Adam Crump lives on in Henrico County

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Susan Mills and Joyce Foster thumb through a photo album that contains so many special memories.

“This was our opening ceremony,” says Mills.

On July 21, 1980, long-term care in Central Virginia entered a new era, thanks to Elizabeth Adam Crump.

“She was a lovely little lady,” explains Mills. “And we are truly blessed to have Crump because of her.”

She is referring to E.A. Crump Health and Rehab off Mountain Road in Henrico County. It was founded on land donated by Crump, a woman who lived to serve others.

“She was an amazing woman,” Mills fondly remembers Crump, who is widely recognized as being the first woman in Virginia to obtain her driver’s license.

During World War II, Crump visited soldiers at Ft. Lee almost daily. She went on to volunteer with the American Red Cross, McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center and other groups until her passing at age 101 in 1992.

“She was a very special lady in the county,” says Foster. “We want to carry that legacy on for as long as we can.”

Foster, Mills and about two dozen other women continue to serve through the E. A. Crump Ladies Auxiliary, which Crump helped to start at the facility.

Through an on-site gift shop, they raise money for dinners, socials and extras for the residents to enjoy.

“Sometimes they just need somebody to talk to,” Foster relays. “We provide that also.”

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This month the Virginia Healthcare Association honored the auxiliary with the prestigious Group Volunteer of the Year Award for 2017.

Foster says they are tireless in their work and find inspiration from the small-statured woman who offered big support to others.

“Oh, I think she’s probably jumping up and down and clapping her hands,” Foster imagines Crump’s reaction to the state award. “I think she’d be really excited about it.”

Until E.A. Crump Health and Rehab opened, the facility says patients had to travel to Newport News for long-term care.

Because of Crump’s generosity with the land donation, she was taken care of at the center for the rest of her life.

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