It is with mixed emotion and heartbreak that the family of Roy Edmund Crawford announce his passing on January 18th 2024. Anyone who knew Roy was privileged to know a man of great courage, tenacity and adventure. Roy leaves behind a legacy of love and inspiration to his wife of 63 years Gail; his children Beth, Wendy, Michael (Gina), Jim (Anke), Patti (Dan) and son-in-law Walt, as well as his 13 grandchildren Jesse (Ashley), Lucas (Kaitlyn), Geneva (Paul), Brandon, Natalie, Abigail, Alec, Matthew, Benjamin, Carl, Sarah, Kai, and Maya, and great grandchildren Darion, Hayden, and Halsey. Roy is survived by his brother Jim in Winnipeg and sister Reta of Langley, along with many cousins, nieces, and nephews. Roy is predeceased by his parents Eddie and Mae Crawford and brother Ken.
Roy was born in the town of Crystal City Manitoba on January 8th 1937 to Mae and Eddie Crawford. In 1952 at the age of 15 he contracted polio and was told that he would never walk again; a diagnosis he would not accept. In the Winnipeg hospital he regained his ability to walk with the assistance of aluminum crutches and full leg braces. He finished high school graduating grade 12 from Morden Collegiate in 1956 where he met his wife Gail, who was introduced to this amazing young man on her first day of teaching. Roy’s further education at St Paul’s College in Winnipeg gained him his teaching degree.
Roy and Gail were married in June of 1960. The following year they welcomed daughter Elizabeth, daughter Wendy followed and son Michael. In 1966 the family moved from Brandon Manitoba to Duncan BC where son James and daughter Patti were born.
Roy was an amazing and loving father and husband. Always up for an adventure he moved his family from snowy Manitoba to the warmer climes of Vancouver Island where he continued his teaching career at Mt Prevost Junior Secondary, and at Koksilah Elementary. In 1976 Roy packed up the family and moved to Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia – where he taught at Riverview Rural High for one year. Upon his return to Mt Prevost School he was given a standing ovation on awards day. He later taught at Cowichan Senior Secondary followed by the opportunity to close out his career teaching ESL. When he reflected on his career, he would say that those final years of teaching were his most rewarding. Anyone in the Cowichan Valley who remembers Mr. Crawford does so with fondness. He left an impression on all who were fortunate enough to know him. He often felt as much as he taught his students, he also learned from them.
Despite his physical limitations – Roy never limited himself – he had a scuba diving ticket, owned a sailboat, participated in the Disabled Sailing Association, and was an avid stick curler. As Roy’s children we can attest that he was a constant inspiration and example of tenacity. He never felt sorry for the hand that life had dealt him and always felt blessed that he had been given a beautiful family to love – and love us he did! Summers were spent adventuring near and far – camping, road trips to Manitoba; Roy did not miss a moment to spend quality time with his family, and later in life with his grandchildren – he was an especially important influence in the life of his grandson Jesse. Roy’s life was the epitome of determination and inspiration – the world made better by having him in it.
After a stroke 2009 he became more reliant on others, however even this setback did not mute his spirit. He had a number of caregivers that adored him, and he shared a special bond with each of them. Most recently Roy lived with his son Michael and his family in Richmond where he passed peacefully. The family gratefully acknowledges all those who cared for Roy including Dr Allan Horii.
Rest well Dad. You are loved and so dearly missed.
A celebration of life will be held at a later time. In Roy’s memory please consider a donation – Roy especially liked to assist children’s charities. Fittingly, Operation Smile was one of his favorites.