Another member of the Greatest Generation has left us. Norman E. Crawford of Bastrop, Texas, passed away just before midnight on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at the age of 95. He was born near Thrall, Texas in 1925, the seventh of eight children of William Rufus (Rufe) and Stella Crawford. They were a farming family and farmed land around Thrall, Thorndale, New Sweden, and Manor before and during the Great Depression. Norman graduated from Manor High School and joined the U. S. Army during World War II where he served in combat as a forward scout in the European theater. After the war, he was a Staff Sergeant in charge of a large motor pool in occupied Germany. Although he never owned one, this is where he gained a lifelong appreciation of Mercedes automobiles.
Following the end of his military service, he moved to Bastrop in 1947 where his sister Nina lived. He worked as a mechanic and then service manager at J. V. Ash Ford, and later co-owned C&F Auto Service with Ernest Frerich, which was located on the site of the present Bastrop fire station. He went on to manage Bastrop Hardware for several years for his good friend Lloyd Ketha. From the 1950s through the mid-1960s he and his brother Bill owned a farm near New Sweden where they grew cotton, corn, and maize and raised registered Polled Hereford cattle, and for many years Norman co-sponsored with Hubert Linenberger the Best Hereford award at the annual Bastrop Livestock Show. During these years he raised foxhounds and enjoyed spending time with his friends listening to the dogs run and tree foxes in rural areas around Bastrop.
Norman spent the majority of his career with the U. S. Postal Service, going from clerk to Assistant to the Postmaster in the Bastrop office and finally ending as a rural carrier in the Lake Bastrop/Piney woods area. He thoroughly enjoyed serving and interacting with his customers in the office and on the route. In retirement he spent his time keeping an immaculate lawn and growing beautiful roses and delicious tomatoes and enjoying the company of his family and many friends and neighbors. He particularly loved the neighborhood kids and they all knew where they could always find a smile and a cookie or two.
Soon after moving to Bastrop, he was set up on a date with Elsie Peterson; Elsie’s dear friend Evohn Rosanky was responsible for this date. They married in 1948, and he always said that Elsie was the love of his life and the only girl he ever loved. Their union lasted for 64 years until Elsie’s passing in 2013.
Norman is preceded in death by his wife, Elsie; his parents; his wonderful mother-in-law Elin Peterson; and his seven siblings and their spouses: Gertrude Crawford, Bill Crawford, Dorris Moncallo, Nina Wallin, Georgia Oden (Charlie), Melvin Crawford (Jeanne), and Wanda Ragland (Glenn). Also passing before him were in-laws and their spouses Ruth Peterson, Esther Wright (Fred), and Mary Carlson (Glen), nieces Kay Pacheco, Patricia Wallin, and Susan Ragland, and dear nephew Fred Wright, Jr. He is survived by his son John Crawford of Austin and Bastrop, nieces Brenda Morgan and Paula Sartain, and nephews Larry Crawford, Alan Crawford, and Darrell Ragland. Special thanks go to the staff and management of Brookdale Spicewood Springs and Brookdale Hospice who cared for him in his final years and days.
A visitation will be held Monday, July 20 from 1 until 4 PM at Marrs-Jones-Newby Funeral Home, 505 Old Austin Highway, Bastrop, Texas. Masks and social distancing will be required at this visitation. For those who do not feel safe at public gatherings, the family totally understands and welcomes your virtual good wishes. We want everyone to be safe, and if that means staying home, then it’s the proper and supported decision. A funeral will not be conducted; a private burial service will be held on Tuesday, July 21 at Fairview Cemetery in Bastrop.
Contributions may be made in Norman’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association, any memory care-related organization, or a charity or cause of your choice.
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