February 20, 1923 - February 15, 2016
Donald Carlyle Crawford was born February 20, 1923 to a cattle ranching family in Ferron, Emery County, Utah. Despite impaired vision which progressed to blindness, he grew up riding horses and milking cows on the ranch.
He attended the Utah School for the Blind in Ogden until 8th grade, but after pulling one prank too many, he transferred back home to South Emery High School. He participated in debate, theater, and Future Farmers of America, with whom he travelled to the 1939 World's Fair in San Francisco to show livestock. He graduated as salutatorian.
Don attended Snow College in Ephraim, then studied sociology at the University of Utah while working nights at Eitell McCullough radio tube factory. He graduated in 1946 and began his career as a social worker for the blind in Twin Falls, Idaho. There he met Margaret Ellen McClain, a social work supervisor, his future wife and the love of his life. They married in 1947.
Job opportunities took the family to Boise, where his daughter, Eileen, was born in 1950, and to Spokane, Olympia and finally Seattle, Washington. Kiska, a German Shepherd guide dog, was his companion during travels around Washington as a field supervisor. In 1961 he completed his MSW degree at the U. He retired in 1983 as Director of Rehabilitation for the Blind for the State of Washington.
Don never allowed his lack of sight to deter him from accomplishing his goals. One of his Mormon ancestors walked from Iowa to Utah pulling a handcart, and Don showed that strength in his fearless pursuit of life. He was an avid chess player, home gardener, ham radio operator, and potter. He loved to read, especially books on Utah history. He studied Spanish, baked bread, and learned to use a computer.
Margaret died in 1986, and in 1990 he moved to Salt Lake City with Jean Draper, a childhood friend. They researched their family histories, and Don wrote four volumes of genealogy. After her death in 2009 he returned to Seattle to be close to family. Don was healthy and lived independently until the last week of his life.
Don was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret Ellen (McClain) Crawford, Seattle; his parents Zenna (Olsen) and Carlyle Crawford, Ferron, UT; sisters, Faye Curtis, Richfield, UT, and Evanel Nelson Rexroad, Boise, ID; brother, Paul Crawford, Ferron, UT; companion Jean Draper, Salt Lake City, UT; and many cherished sisters- and brothers-in-law.
He is survived by his daughter, Eileen Crawford, and son-in-law, Alan Jones, Seattle; granddaughter, Camila Gomez Crawford, Seattle; and numerous beloved nieces, nephews, and extended family members.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, May 28, 2016 at Fausett Mortuary, 720 North Center St., Castle Dale, Utah at 11:00 a.m. A Graveside Service at Ferron City Cemetery will follow. Services are entrusted to Fausett Mortuary of Emery County. Family and friends may sign the online guestbook and share memories of Don at www.fausettmortuary.com