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Joan Ruth Bielau Crawford
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Birth: Sep. 14, 1923
Allegheny County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Oct. 5, 2010
Garrett County
Maryland, USA

--SWANTON,MARYLAND -- Joan Ruth (Bielau) Crawford, 87, of Swanton, passed away peacefully on Oct. 5, 2010, at her home on Deep Creek Lake.

Born Sept. 14, 1923, in Pittsburgh, Pa., she was the eldest of four daughters of the late Otto Theodore and Ruth (Sexhauer) Bielau. She was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, William E. "Bill" Crawford Jr., whom she married on Nov. 17, 1945.

Joan was a 1940 graduate of Carrick High School and a January 1944 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. She entered the United States Navy in February 1944 and served for two years as a Navy WAVE Dispersing Officer, attaining the rank of Lieutenant (JG).

Following World War II and her marriage, Joan settled in Pittsburgh where she was an English teacher and chair of the English Department at Keystone Oaks High School in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. She was also a leader of her daughters' Brownie Troop 1145 and Girl Scout Mariner Troop 867.

Joan became a part-time resident of Garrett County in 1954 and a full-time resident in the spring of 1972. She joined the faculty of Garrett Community College in the fall of 1972 where she worked for over 30 years. During that time she served as the head of the Humanities Division and director of Enrollment Management, was named to Who's Who Among American Teachers three times, received the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Garrett Community College in 1999, and was the faculty representative working with students and community members to create the first Garrett County Special Olympics. Upon her retirement from the College, she was named as the first Professor Emeritus of Garrett Community College.

Following her retirement from Garrett College she volunteered her time and expertise teaching creative writing and memoir writing to seniors in nursing homes and at the Mary Browning Senior Center. She also became a frequent contributor to The Republican newspaper with her "Been There" articles. In 2003 she was elected to the Garrett County Women's Hall of Fame.

Joan was a member of numerous community organizations and boards including Garrett County Arts Council, Garrett Lakes Art Festival, Habitat for Humanity and Appalachian Crossroads. She was a member of the Deep Creek Yacht Club at Turkey Neck, Women's Civic Club, American Legion Proctor Kildow Post and Southern Garrett County Republican Women's Club. She served as a VIVA Volunteer at Garrett County Memorial Hospital.

Joan is survived by two daughters, Judge Susan J. Crawford and her husband Roger W. Higgins of Falls Church, Va., and Deep Creek Lake, and Dr. Mikal Crawford and her husband Dr. John Lowe of Winterport, Maine; three granddaughters, Erin Mc-Laughlin, Katie McLaughlin and Kelley Higgins; three sisters, Miriam Smouse and her husband Jack Smouse, Grants-ville, and Jensen Beach, Fla., Arlene Killian and her husband William Killian, Lancaster, Pa., and Barbara Nivus and her husband Jon Nivus, Laconia, N.H.; 12 nieces and nephews; 23 grandnieces and grandnep-hews; and many dear friends and former students. She was followed in death on October 6 by her loyal and much-loved 4-legged companion, Belquest's Midnight Forest "Gump."

At Joan's request her remains were cremated. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010, at 11 a.m. in the auditorium of Garrett College followed by a reception in the Art Gallery of the college.

Inurnment of her ashes will be at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, Joan requested that memorials take the form of a contribution to the Garrett College Foundation, Joan B. and William E. Crawford Scholarship Fund, 687 Mosser Road, McHenry, MD 21541 or to Hospice of Garrett County, PO Box 271, Oakland, MD 21550.

Arrangements are by David A. Burdock Funeral Home, P.A., 21 N. 2nd St., Oakland, MD 21550.

For online condolences and guestbook visit

Published :October 13, 2010
The Cumberland Times-News
Publication Date: Wednesday, January 06, 1999


SWANTON-William E. "Bill"Crawford Jr., 81, of Hazelhurst Lane, Swanton, died Tuesday, Jan. 5, 1999, at his home.

Born on Jan. 13, 1917, in San Jose, Calif., he was the son of the late William E. Crawford Sr. and Genevieve (Stroud) Crawford.

He graduated from the Alabama Polytechnic Institute, now Auburn University, with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. He was a field engineer with the Dorr Company, a purchasing engineer with Koppers Inc., and lastly a purchasing agent with Continental Foundry and Machine Company, now the Blaw Knox Company.

He served during World War II with the U.S. Navy and retired with the rank of lieutenant commander, and was a member of Proctor Kildow Post #71, American Legion, Oakland.

He was a member of the Masonic Lodge and Scottish Rite Consistory in Pittsburgh, Pa., and the Ali Ghan Shrine, Cumberland. He was a member and past president of the Oakland-Mountain Lake Park Lions Club, and a member of Oakland Lodge #2471, B.P.O. Elks.

Mr. Crawford served for 16 years on the Republican State Central Committee of Garrett County and was a member of the American Association of Iron and Steel Engineers, the U.S. Naval Institute, the Navy League, the U.S. Purchasing Agents Association and the Deep Creek Yacht Club, Turkey Neck.

He is survived by his wife, Joan R. (Bielau) Crawford; two daughters, Judge Susan J. Crawford, and husband, Roger W. Higgins, Falls Church, Va., and Dr. Mikal C. Crawford and husband, Dr. John L. Lowe, Frostburg; one brother, James Blair Crawford, Indio, Calif.; and three grandchildren, Erin McLaughlin and Katie McLaughlin, both of Frostburg, and Kelley Higgins, Falls Church.

At Mr. Crawford's request his body will be cremated. A memorial service will be held at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Oakland, on Saturday, Jan. 23, 1999, at 11 a.m. with the Rev. John Grant and the Rev. Roger Harrison officiating.

Inurnment of the cremains will be in the Columbarium at Arlington National Cemetery.

Members of Oakland Lodge #192 A.F. & A.M. will conduct a Masonic Memorial Service at the beginning of the service on Saturday, Jan. 23, 1999.

Military honors will be accorded at the church by members of the various veterans organizations in southern Garrett County.

The family requests that memorials take the form of contributions to the scholarship program of the Garrett Community College Foundation, P.O. Box 151, McHenry, MD 21541, or to the Wilmer Eye Institute, Low Vision Center, Johns Hopkins Medical Institution, P.O. Box 1714, Baltimore, MD 21203-1714.

The Stewart Funeral Home, Oakland, is in charge of the arrangements.
Family links: 
  William Elmer Crawford (1917 - 1999)
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington County
Virginia, USA
Created by: Joe Mckenzie
Record added: Oct 14, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 60066901
Joan Ruth <i>Bielau</i> Crawford
Added by: Joe Mckenzie
Joan Ruth <i>Bielau</i> Crawford
Added by: Anne Cady
Joan Ruth <i>Bielau</i> Crawford
Added by: Anne Cady
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- bob tarte
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Fair winds and following seas.
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