Muriel Haskins Crownover, a longtime bookkeeper for the former White House department store in downtown Santa Rosa, died March 10 in Santee, where she has lived the past three years with her daughter.
Born July 30, 1923, in Eagle City, Okla., Crownover was one of four children born to Mable and Ray Diamond. After graduation from Eagle City High School, Crownover attended business school in Nebraska and embarked on a career in bookkeeping she would sustain well into her 80s.
She met and married J.R. Haskins, and when he returned home from serving in World War II, the extended family packed up and headed west, albeit taking a circuitous route.
"That whole family clan, they had heard about the redwoods in Northern California," said Crownover's daughter Vicky Flores of Santa Rosa. But the crew had to travel to Arkansas to pick up a piece of sawmill equipment before heading west, she said.
"It was kind of like 'The Grapes of Wrath,'" she said.
<CS8.8>After a short stay in Fort Bragg, three generations of Haskinses headed to Santa Rosa where they set up homes on Fulton Road.
</CS>"The whole family would get together and lay the foundation because that was the hardest part," she said.
Bucking the norm of the time, Crownover went to work. She worked for the White House as a bookkeeper before starting her own business.
"Everyone had a conniption because she didn't stay home," Flores said. "Money was scarce, but she was a really independent woman."
<CS8.8>Crownover eventually became a member of the Santa Rosa chapter of Professional Business Women.