COLUMBIA - Former Columbia City Councilwoman Almeta Crayton died Monday morning. Neighbor Reed Jones and friend Scott Cristal both confirmed the news Monday afternoon. Cristal said her sense of humor and dedication to the city of Columbia will be deeply missed.
"Her spirit, it was very large, it was really very caring about the community and other people. Like I said there were people that she was no nonsense about,"Cristal said. "But overall, she would come up with ways to see what she could do to make this a better place."
Crayton battled several medical conditions and was in the hospital following heart issues. She has been in a coma for the couple week.
Crayton was a Councilwoman for the First Ward, and is renowned for her community outreach programs. After winning the election in 1999, Crayton opened a Neighborhood Resource Center where a popular event, Everyone Eats, began. At the event, volunteers serve anyone in need of a hot thanksgiving meal. Last year's event was the 15th thanksgiving meal.
She served on the city council from 1999-2008.
Crayton's home was renovated this past summer by the Fairview Road Church of Christ, Cristal said his favorite memory of Crayton was how happy she was after her home renovation.
"The one that really brings the biggest smile to my face is when they were remodeling her house, she was just so happy, the smile never left her face. She was just so happy that something was getting done," Cristal said.
A neighbor of Crayton said she was devoted to helping others above herself.
"There's some things that I got to Almeta for as far as, you know I have been in some problems, I've had some problems, but I know she's helped me out with everybody else," friend and neighbor Anthony Ray Brown said. "I've been a part of that every body else. I've been a recipient and it's been a blessing."
The family has not announced a time or date for the funeral yet.
(KOMU 8 Digital Reporter Devon Fasbinder contributed to this story)