Raymond Crawford passed on to heaven on July 16, 2020, at the age of 90. Ray was born on May 22, 1930, to Leslie Brayn Crawford and Grace Edwards Crawford in Bazile Mills, Nebraska, the youngest of six children.
During high school, Ray met the love of his life, Margaret Buchler, after seeing her riding a bike on South Prairie Road while he worked on the Zweifel and Buchler farms. Later they married and together brought seven children into the world, making South Prairie their home. Raymond had various jobs in his lifetime ranging from milking cows, making cheese at the Tillamook Cheese Factory, Mill Worker at Publisher’s Paper Company, and Supervisor for Smurfit Corporation. After Smurfit dissolved Ray created a new career for himself as a licensed construction contractor/builder until his retirement. Over the course of his life Ray built the family home and three other homes on South Prairie Road along with helping loved ones build and repair their homes.
Ray was a “jack of all trades” who could fix anything on a shoestring budget and spent hours tinkering around with lawnmowers. Ray loved to refurbish discarded lawn mowers and get them running again. He was a hard worker, practical, and a creative thinker. He tried to make something out of whatever he had.
Ray was a United States Veteran serving in 1948-1949 and 1952-1954, on the USS Talladega, as Navy Cook and Commissaryman 3rd Class Petty Officer during the Korean War.
At home Ray used his cooking skills from the Navy to make homemade blackberry jam, fudge, bread, and his famous Navy style “sh** on a shingle”. He was a history buff who loved to watch war movies and westerns with a bowl of popcorn.
Ray is survived by his seven children Deborah (Richard Smith) Crawford, Suzanna (Art) Mack, Monica (Jon) Pyle, Michael Crawford, Gretchen (Nicholas) Warila, Judith Hoffart, and Nancy (Rick) Bernard. He also is survived by 16 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. His grandchildren will remember Ray reading stories to them, playing cards and board games with them, and initiating riding lawn mower races for them. At one time he had up to 10 riding lawn mowers ready for his grandchildren to race! …and they did!
Ray was a ‘real’ dad who taught his children how to work hard for what you want in life, swim, shoot a gun, hunt, ride bicycles and motorcycles, and how to find treasures in unlikely places. Ray loved to hunt deer and elk with his son, Michael Crawford. Together the two supplied the family with venison for many years. Ray shared his skill of treasure hunting with his children and the treasures he discovered while “hunting” through the rubble at the city dump. Up until Ray was 70 years old, he and his dog Stormy made several trips to North Dakota to pheasant hunt with his nephew, Bob Crawford, stopping to visit family in Idaho. He also traveled several times to Hawaii to visit family there and once to Scotland to search his genealogy. Later he discovered his ancestors were from Ireland, not Scotland.
His children will remember Ray’s great listening ear, unconditional love, sense of humor, integrity, sensitivity, strong sense of work ethic, and quiet wisdom. No matter how far his children strayed, their Daddy always welcomed them home...…they couldn’t have had any better.
Ray’s ashes will be buried beside Margaret’s remains in the Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery in Tillamook. His family will honor Ray with an intimate graveside gathering in lieu of a public funeral at Ray’s request.