Crain named Franklinton Citzen of the Year Monday

Published 1:11 pm Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Retired educator Linda Smith Crain is the 2013 Citizen of the Year for Franklinton.

The selection was made Monday, June 2, by a group of past Citizen of the Year honorees assembled in the Varnado Store Museum annex.

Once the voting process was complete, the group made some calls and discovered the honoree was at work at Crain Funeral Home, a business that is owned by Crain and her husband, Robert.

Thus, the members of the group jumped in their cars and went there to surprise her with the news.

Looking around at the others who have been named the Citizen of the Year, Crain said it makes her proud to be recognized among that distinguished group.

“I’m very humbled by this honor,” she said.

And as soon as she heard, she called her husband of 44 years to share the news with him. He told her he was so proud of her, she said.

Crain had a 30-year career in the Washington Parish School System, retiring 12 years ago as the principal at Franklinton Junior High. She also spent 15 years as a classroom teacher and is a past Enon Elementary principal.

“I loved every minute of it,” she said. “I was associated with so many hard-working and dedicated professionals.”

After her retirement, Crain got a chance to do a little traveling and has been able to spend lots of time with her grandchildren.

She and her husband have three children and seven grandchildren. She said she thoroughly enjoys being a MeMe and being involved in her grandchildren’s activities.

Her daughter, Susan Crain Bonner, and son-in-law, Chris, live in Mandeville with their children, Caroline and Christopher.

Her son, Rob Crain, and his wife, Kristi, live in Franklinton and have three boys, Wesley, Andrew and Jacob, while her son, Matt, and his wife, Heather, reside in Hernando, Miss., and have two children, Hannah Grace and Wilson.

A lifelong Franklinton resident, Crain said she loves the small-town atmosphere in the Fair City. She said she likes how she knows the people she sees in the grocery store, for instance.

“That’s the good thing about living in a small town — you know so many people,” she said.

Crain is an active member of First Baptist Church of Franklinton. She teaches the Ruth Sunday school class, helps facilitate a women’s Bible studies group at the church and is a member of the hand bell choir, in addition to her service to numerous other committees.

Franklinton High graduate Crain earned bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degrees in education at Southeastern Louisiana University and Louisiana State University.

She is the current vice president of the Washington Parish Retired Teachers’ Association and is presently serving as parliamentarian of Delta Kappa Gamma International Society, Beta Rho Chapter, a professional organization for women educators.

She is also a member of several social/civic clubs: the Waverly Club, of which she is a past president and current treasurer, the Winbury Club and the Magnolia Belles.

Past Citizen of the Year Mike Gill said Crain has made a great contribution to the community through her work in the schools and her church.

Further, he noted that the Citizen of the Year recognition is a way to show good deeds don’t go unnoticed.

“That’s what makes the community — all the good deeds everyone does,” he said.

In her nomination letter, Karen Spears of Franklinton discussed Crain’s dedication to her family and church and her active involvement in various community endeavors.

“Linda goes above and beyond the call to duty,” Spears wrote. “Her unspoken motto must surely be, ‘If a job is worth doing, then it must be done well!’ Close to perfection better suits her.

“I am pleased to nominate Linda Crain for Citizen of the Year. I feel she is most deserving of this honor.”