David Lee Crawford (age 79) a resident of Spencer, Iowa, formerly Golden Valley, Minnesota, passed away peacefully July 1, 2018, at the Spencer Municipal Hospital after a long battle with cancer. David was surrounded by friends and family.
David was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi, on November 22, 1938.
David was preceded in death by his parents, George and Sarah Crawford, two sisters, two brothers, and five brothers-in-law.
David is survived by his wife of 46 years, Marion Helland (Feb. 19, 1972), two daughters Davorse (Jeff) Kimbrel and Virginia Webbs (Michael Woods) of Grand Rapids, Michigan, a special nephew, Gary Crawford of Minneapolis, Minnesota, six grandchildren, and a host of great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. David is also survived by three sisters, Virgie DeBerry, Malinda Thomas, and Maxine Thomas (all of Grand Rapids, Michigan), and one sister-in-law, Augustine Crawford of Richfield, Minnesota.
Remembrances may be sent to Warner Funeral Home, Spencer, Iowa.
A Perfect Union
A question white persons often asked David and I when they had a chance: How did you two meet? Easy answer: A mutual friend introduced us. However, not a satisfactory answer to many because these questions were not asked: How did you meet this mutual friend? Was the friend a male or female? Black or white? These glaring omissions open a way to discuss segregation, expectations, and how David and I got where we are today.
Another question we often encountered had an advisory tone: You two have nothing in common. Which led to: Do you know what you are doing? You are of different races, religions, educational experiences.
Because people failed to look beyond the color of our skin, they also failed to see the many similarities that cemented our union. Isom Chapel accepted David into God’s grace at age 11. I was confirmed in Lutheran Faith at age 16. Our educational experiences were quite similar as well, yet the outcomes quite different due to societal impact. We both attended one-room schools with several grades for one teacher. David attended a Catholic school in Holly Springs, Mississippi. David remained self-motivated even though the expectations of success were not there. The choice of those around him was to stay and pick cotton. Even though he was a leader and helped teach his classmates and aspired to be a professor, he had the disappointment of having to drop out of school, which led to his leaving Mississippi. Due to the lack of support, David’s journey had been and continued to be difficult, yet he used his many talents to make his way even when no way seemed obvious.
On the other hand, I attended a series of one room schools until 6th grade. Seventh grade was in a small town in Cylinder, Iowa. Support and help was plentiful with college a possibility. Similar to David’s hope to be a professor, I wanted to be a teacher. We both liked school and learning and were successful.
We did not meet until years later. I loved teaching, and David loved his construction work, his limousine company, cooking the fish he caught, gardening, and making head cheese. David was proud of his degree in masonry and was a member of the CATO Masonic Temple and Elks Ames Lodge 106, and I was proud of him.
Most importantly, we both loved spending time together. We were a team, and our differences complemented and completed our union. I am heartbroken to lose him and struggle to find a way in a world without David in it.
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