James Edgar Crowder, Jr. died peacefully at home on Sept. 5, 2020, at the age of 92. He was born Dec. 23, 1927, in Oklahoma City to J.E. and Fay Sparks Crowder. He attended Gatewood Elementary, Taft Junior High and Classen High School before moving to Edmond and graduating from Central State High School. James began his business career as a boy operating his own soda pop stand next to his home at the corner of N.W. 21st St. and Penn Ave. In his teens, after earning the respect of his boss at Martin Tire and Equipment, he was promoted to bookkeeper. Thus began his lifelong accounting career. While attending Central State College (now UCO), James was drafted into the U.S. Army. After serving two years of active duty during the Korean War, he completed his accounting degree from Oklahoma City University while working full-time at Universal CIT Credit Corp. In 1962, James married Thelma Lee and they resided in Del City. He worked in the private sector for 13 years before taking a federal government position at Tinker AFB, retiring as an accounting supervisor and section chief in 1988, the same year that Thelma died. During this period, James felt a calling to serve others, and he began to explore ways he might help seniors and retirees. His interest in history, government and economics led him to join the National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE), AARP, the State Council on Aging, the Silver-Haired Legislature, the Alliance on Aging, and the Oklahoma Aging Partnership. He served in leadership positions in each organization, advocating tirelessly during the next 30 years for the causes of seniors in Oklahoma. James spent hours tracking legislation at the Oklahoma State Capitol and advising community groups how they might act to improve the lives of seniors and retirees. He received many awards for his service over the years, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. In 2002, James married Evelyn Gengler Novotny, and together they continued the advocacy he began years before. Until a few months before his death, they edited and published a monthly NARFE newsletter to inform members about issues affecting retirees. James was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Thelma; half-sister Susan Burks; and stepsons Steve Novotny and Tom Novotny. He is survived by his wife, Evelyn; sister, Stella Fay Malone; stepdaughters, Carolyn Novotny-Anderson and Jane Novotny Moon; and many step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren who loved him and will miss his warm chuckle. James had a special place in his heart for his grandnieces, Dona Canterbury and Sue Krauss. He attended Highland Missionary Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. James was a true gentleman who entered every moment with a genuine smile and a good story to tell. He recognized the dignity in all people and had the rare gift of being able to discuss complicated public policy with people of every political persuasion in a civil and respectful way.The family will be available to greet friends during visitation at the funeral home, Saturday morning from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Funeral service will be 1:30 p.m. Saturday, September 12, 2020 at Smith & Kernke N.W. 23rd Chapel with interment following at Resurrection Memorial Cemetery. Those unable to attend the service are invited to share condolences at smithandkernke.com Memorial donations may be made to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at aspca.org or to the charity of your choice.