Devoted Family Man. Retired Senior Vice-President of Pulaski Furniture Corporation. Faithful member of First United Methodist Church in Pulaski. Dedicated Community Servant. Passionate Virginia Tech Fan. Dignified. Intelligent. Respected. Generous. Tender-hearted.
On March 19, Ira Shelton “Pete” Crawford’s kind and generous soul transitioned from this earthly world to begin a new life with his God and with his loved ones who passed on before him. Just three days before his 83rd birthday and five days before his 59th wedding anniversary, Pete’s body finally surrendered, and he peacefully died with his loving wife, Betty Lou, holding his hand.
Pete was born in Roanoke on March 22, 1937, to A.L. Crawford, Sr., and Courean Crawford. He built an incredible life in Pulaski County, Va., through dedicated hard work, devotion to his family and friends, and faithful service to his community.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his fellow western movie-loving brother, A.L. Crawford, Jr., his beloved sister Candace Brogdan, his nephew Scott Crawford, his brother-in-law and faithful friend Phil Rife, and his nephew, Neil Rife.
He is survived by his faithful wife of 59 years, Betty Lou Crawford; a daughter, Paige Crawford, and a granddaughter, Emily, from Chicago; a son Shannon Crawford (Corinna) and granddaughter Megan and grandson Sam of Highpoint, N.C.; brother Gary Crawford (Betty) and nephews Chance Crawford (Danielle) and Chris Crawford (Paula Quesenberry) from Salem and Pulaski County; brother Tom Crawford (Chris) and nephew Craig Crawford (Nicole) and niece Michelle Robach (Eric) of Georgia; adopted brother Jim Brogdan of Roanoke; niece Tammy Rucker (Susan) of Chicago; sister-in-law Sandy Rife (Phil, deceased); sister-in-law Kathy Cox (Toby) of Vinton, Va.,; nephew Alex Kirkland of Springfield, Va.,; and many special friends and neighbors who loved him beyond measure.
Pete was a man of few words, but when he spoke, people listened. He saved most of his passionate yelling words for Virginia Tech football games. He very rarely had bad words to say about anyone. He never forced words of advice, but he generously offered his words of wisdom to anyone who asked for his assistance or help. He showered his family and friends with words of pride, love, and gratitude, especially in his later years.
Pete was a planner and a protector. He took care of the people he loved, and if we were to try and list the number of people who received help from him when in need, the list would be endless. He served on town council, bank and hospital boards, and many other committees devoted to helping his community thrive.
In addition to being a devoted family man, invaluable community leader, and faithful friend, here are a few of his favorite things: anything regarding his alma mater Virginia Tech; tending his rose garden; being surrounded by his children and grandchildren (including the furry-four footed ones); traveling, which included a year-long boat trip (The Great Loop); explorations around the world, and a month-long adventure with his brothers out west; being on Claytor Lake; golfing and fishing with his friends; reading on the back porch and watching the golfers; going to gun and coin shows; filling the fridge with everyone’s favorite drinks; walking the family dog; eating peanuts; watching westerns, good movies, and just about any sport on TV; buying cars; having a special stash of cookies in his own car; and making sure that he was always responsibly “on time” for everything (which meant a minimum of 30 minutes early).
Due to the current health crisis in our world, a celebration of Pete’s life will take place once it is safe for everyone to gather together. In lieu of flowers, the Crawford family would ask that you make a donation to St. Jude Research hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
The Crawford family is in the care of Mullins Funeral Home & Crematory in Radford.