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      Mourners Remember Almeta Crayton

      Mourners remembered how Crayton devoted her life to helping others.

      Former Columbia Councilwoman Almeta Crayton was laid to rest today.

      Crayton died last week after suffering from heart and kidney problems.

      It was a sad day in Columbia as hundreds of mourners said goodbye to Crayton at the Second Missionary Baptist Church. The crowd remembered how Crayton devoted her life to helping others. People from all walks of life paid their final respects.

      Craytonâ??s friend Fred Parry said, â??Sheâ??s in a better place now. She certainly left our community a better place as well.â??

      Jeffrey Johnson served by Craytonâ??s side when she helped the poor.

      Johnson said, â??Iâ??d like to see somebody pick up her legacy. If they need help, Iâ??d be willing to help.â??

      Former Columbia Mayor Darwin Hindman served with Crayton and remembers when she became Columbiaâ??s first black councilwoman.

      Hindman said, â??In her short life, she has done so much. Itâ??s a sad day, but we can be thankful thatâ??s sheâ??s been here.â??

      A police escort led Craytonâ??s funeral procession. Lorenzo Lawson spoke during the funeral and said Crayton was his inspiration to help others.

      Lawson said, â??She was such a short woman but full of knowledge and wisdom. Iâ??m going to miss my mentor.â??

      This is the time of year when Crayton would have been getting ready for her Thanksgiving meal for the poor called Everyone Eats. Not one turkey has been collected yet, but a family spokesman said collections will likely start next week when others try to fill a huge void left by Crayton.

      Crayton served as a Columbia City Councilwoman from 1999-2008.

      She was 53 years old.