Gunnery Sergeant William Edward “Bill” Crawford was born on March 19, 1931 in Cranford, New Jersey. He died on January 7, 2019 in Panama City, FL.
He is predeceased in death by his parents Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Francis Crawford, his loving wife of 32 years, Catherine Rowan Power Crawford; his brother Thomas Crawford; his daughter Marilyn Maroon; his son, John Power; and his grandson, John Maroon. He is survived by his daughter Carol Baratta and her husband, Jack of Pompton Plains, New Jersey; several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and dear Friend Stacey Helms.
He believed in and embodied the following qualities: Service to others, Integrity, love, kindness, wisdom, a sense of humor, and a quick wit. He will be missed, but these values are instilled in his family and friends as his legacy.
Bill’s story begins in Cranford, New Jersey where as a 7-year-old child he secured employment with a local bowling alley cleaning and setting pins. He remained in the New Jersey area moving from time to time. In 1948 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. During his military career he was associated with the Marine Corps Supply system at all levels, from the operating unit to the inventory control point. After his discharge in 1968, from the Marine Corps, he entered the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve. Never being the type to do nothing, Bill also obtained employment as a Logistics Planner with ITT Federal Electric Corporation. While employed he met his wife Catherine and they relocated to Port St. Joe to embark on another Career.
With very little cash and a car borrowed from a Marine friend, Bill and Catherine purchased the Gulf Sands Motel in Port St. Joe Beach, Florida. They successfully operated the motel until the sale and transfer in 1995. While in Port St. Joe, Bill joined Rotary International. He thoroughly enjoyed his affiliation with Rotary and through training and global networking opportunities, Bill became District Governor in 2000-2001. He attributed Rotary International with the ability it gave him to do GOOD in the world. And Good he did, traveling to India for National Immunization Day for Polio and traveling to Costa Rica to build specialized matrix wheelchairs for severely handicapped children. He also excelled and received the “Service Above Self” and the Paul Harris Fellow Award. Traveling became his passion and he and Catherine attended over 16 International Conventions all over the world. He took the Rotary Motto to heart “A stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet.” He met and made friends worldwide.
Rotary wasn’t Bill’s only passion, Bill loved his Church. He was a member of the Equestrian Order and Knights of Columbus. Taking very seriously his duties while participating.
He was a Life Time Member and Commandant of the Marine Corp “Pops” Sumner Detachment here in Panama City. Bill was also a Lifetime Member of the AMVETS and the VFW club. He also was a member of the American Legion. He supported the various clubs with donation of his time and efforts.
Along with military involvement after his discharge, he also was a volunteer and served on the Board of Directors for Family Services Agency. He was happiest when giving!
A Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 11 a.m. CT at St. Dominic Catholic Church in Panama City. A Celebration of Life will immediately follow at the AMVETS Club 2298, 5510 East Highway 22, Panama City, FL. An additional service will follow on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at the Church of the Annunciation in Paramus, NJ. Interment will follow at George Washington Memorial Park, Paramus, NJ.
Those wishing to extend condolences may do so at www.heritagefhllc.com.