Battling Cancer the Crownover Way – Faith, Family and Friends

Image: Dale and Julie Crownover with their son, Dan.

Dale and Julie Crownover with their son, Dan. (submitted photo)

Dale Crownover has been thankful all his life for the relationship he had with his parents. Roy and Bernyce Crownover were wonderful parents. They taught him to work hard, be honest and rely on his faith during adverse times. The Crownovers also taught him to give back, be humble and never take anything for granted.

“When my dad was diagnosed with leukemia, he never let it change who he was,” said Dale Crownover. “He continued to work and enjoy the things that made him happy. He never complained or questioned God.”

Roy passed away on April 27, 2008 from leukemia. This was one of the hardest things Dale had ever had to deal with. He worked with his dad at their company, Texas Nameplate, in Dallas. His dad had always been his hero. Losing him to cancer was difficult. Dale relied on his faith and the support of his wife, Julie, to get through this difficult time.

Crownover had no idea that this would not be the only time one of his family members would battle cancer. History repeated itself two years later when his mom, Bernyce, was diagnosed with cancer.

Dale called his mom on Father’s Day in 2010. She did not sound like herself. He wanted to take his mom to the hospital, but she refused. He called two of her friends, Peggy Atwell and Beverly Worthington and asked them to check on her. They talked her into going. He took her to Methodist Hospital in Dallas. After performing several tests, she was diagnosed with lung and bone cancer. Because of the progression of the disease, she received no treatment for the cancer.

Everyone that knew Bernyce Crownover would tell you she was larger than life. In addition to running her company, Identification Plates, Inc. in Dallas, she was involved in many activities in Waxahachie. Because of her giving spirit and outgoing personality, Bernyce made friends wherever she went. She was named one of the First Ladies of Waxahachie, served on the Executive Board of the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce and the Executive Board of the Gingerbread House.

One of Bernyce’s favorite things to do was to make jelly. She won many ribbons at the State Fair of Texas for her home made jelly. She also loved to share it. Several times she took it to the fire stations here in Waxahachie and shared it with the fire fighters to show her appreciation for the job they did. She loved to give back – it made her happy.

“Even though she never said so, I knew she was missing my dad a lot. They had been married over 60 years and were best friends,” Dale said. “She never complained but I knew she was very ill. All I wanted to do was spend time with her and comfort her.”

On September 23, 2010 Bernyce Crownover passed away from cancer at her home surrounded by her family. The Waxahachie community is a better place because she shared herself with the people here.

Losing his mother to cancer was extremely difficult for Dale. He again relied on his faith and Julie’s support to get through this time of grief. Losing both of his parents to cancer was tough. He hoped that no one in his family would ever have to hear “you have cancer” ever again.

Crownover continued to work at Texas Nameplate and enjoy working on his farm outside of Italy. Life was good for he and his family. He tried to live the way his parents had taught him to do and not take anything for granted.

“I am proud to be their son,” Dale said. “I want to be like them. I hope people can remember me for half of what they were. They were honest people of integrity and faith. They were respectable and respectful.”

Just as he thought the fight with cancer was over, he received a call from his wife, Julie, that would turn his world upside down.

Julie saw her doctor for a yearly physical and routine mammogram on October 10, 2011. The next day she received a phone call from the doctor telling her she had cancer in one of her breasts. Julie immediately called Dale.

“We weighed all our options,” Julie explained. “The doctor told me that the type of breast cancer I had would come back in 5 years. After much prayer and lots of discussion with Dale, we made the decision together for me to have a double mastectomy. We put it in God’s hands. I chose not to have any reconstruction surgery – the most important thing to me was to be cancer free. I have never regretted that decision.”

Julie said she had an amazing support system that included God, Dale, her family and friends. A positive attitude was also important. She wants everyone to know that early detection is one of the most important things. She knows that getting routine physicals, listening to her doctor and taking care of her body is a must.

The Crownovers will be at the Relay For Life of Central Ellis County on May 30, 2015 at the Waxahachie Sports Complex. Their company, Texas Nameplate is one of this year’s sponsors. Julie will be walking the Survivors’ Lap this year, thankful she was told she was cancer free on August 20, 2013. She takes it one day at a time now.

There will be a meal for survivors and caregivers at 5:00 p.m. on May 30, 2015. The Relay will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the survivor lap at 6:30.

The community is invited and encouraged to attend. For more information contact Donna Daniell at 469-337-0438 or Jessica Gentry at 214-949-9918.