Lawrence “ Bud” Crawford, Jr., 1933-2018 |

Lawrence “ Bud” Crawford, Jr., 1933-2018

Lawrence “ Bud” Crawford, Jr., 1933-2018

Bud Crawford, longtime resident of Fraser died on Oct. 16 from complications due to bladder cancer in the home of his daughter Susan in Niwot surrounded by his immediate family. He was 85.

Two events would have a significant impact and shape the arc of his life.

The defining moment that cemented his love of Colorado and a lifelong passion for the mountains was attending the Trails End Ranch Camp near Glen Haven as a 15-year-old in the summer of 1948. As a working camp, days were spent bussing tables and cleaning out horse stalls, but adequate time was found for hiking and climbing the nearby peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park. As the last event of the camp, Bud made his first ascent of Long’s Peak. It would be the first of over a dozen ascents Bud made to the top of Long’s, along with many other summits of Colorado “14ers” during his lifetime.

Five years later, including two at the University of Illinois, Bud was inducted into the U.S. Army in May 1953. Following basic training in Fort Bliss, Texas, and 10 months stationed at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island, Bud requested assignment in Europe. Soon after arriving in Regensburg, Germany in May 1954, Bud joined fellow soldiers on a Saturday afternoon trip to the old town center along the banks of the Danube. It was behind the counter of F. X. Miller, a venerable and historic business, that Bud would first see (and comment on) the cute clerk, Gertraud “Traudl” Rohrl. Through the summer and fall, chance encounters would provide ample opportunity to foster his budding interest. Although strictly forbidden by her parents, the two would secretly meet. In time and with persistence, he won over the family. Married on September 17, 1955, they would spend the next 46 years and 22 days together.

Born on July 15, 1933 in Chicago, Lawrence W. “Bud” Crawford, Jr. was the son of Lawrence W. Crawford, Sr. and Carolyn Hart Crawford of Jacksonville, Illinois. He was the oldest of three children in a family that ran a lumber business through several stores in Morgan, Scott and Cass Counties.

Growing up in Jacksonville, independence and adventure were nurtured along with responsibilities to work in the family business. A love of nature was fostered, which lead to extensive camping, hiking, and canoeing and travel to remote and scenic destinations.

Following graduation from Michigan State University in June 1958 with a BS in Lumber and Building Material Merchandise, Bud returned to Jacksonville as the 4th generation involved with the Crawford Lumber Company: first as an employee, then partner with his father and, ultimately, sole proprietor with his wife Trudy. In addition to running the business, Bud designed many homes, additions and remodels, and utilizing a design/build model, oversaw construction of these projects throughout west central Illinois. A longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church, Bud fulfilled multiple leadership roles and served the Jacksonville community through committees and service organizations. Beginning in 1978, Bud was involved in the organization and charter of the Morgan County Community Bank and acted as its first Chairman of the Board.

Bud and Trudy relocated to Fraser in August 1989. It was the fulfillment of a long-held desire for a life shared among Grand County’s towering peaks and quiet valleys. Hiking was followed by skiing, as every season was savored. Bud continued with his business of “pounding nails” through High Mountain Builders, where clients became lifelong friends. Involvement in the community and the church, travel and the joy of time spent with family and friends reflected an informal and unpretentious life.

In October 2001, Gertraud “Trudy” Crawford would succumb to cancer after a five-year struggle. A deep loss for the family, Bud would exemplify resilience and embrace life under new circumstances. Construction and landscape projects would continue, but now in service to his children, Church of the Eternal Hills, and Habitat for Humanity. His passion for the outdoors, of projects to be done, friends to be visited and places to be seen enriched his being. To the family, he led by example – to embrace life fully, to live humbly and with kindness and generosity.

Bud was blessed to find companionship with Marian Barry after Trudy’s death. With her, he continued his love of the outdoors, all the activities it provided and many trips around the world. Bud was very fond of his time spent with Marian’s family and projects at the cabin by the lake in Minnesota.

Bud is survived by his children Steven and Terri Crawford of Ridgecrest, California, Stuart and Patricia Crawford of Lakewood, Colorado, Stanley Crawford and Ping Feng of Federal Heights, Colorado and Susan and Daniel Jones of Niwot, Colorado. Also known as “Opa”, he is dearly beloved by seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren. He is survived by sisters Carol Eikelmann (Ken) of Sacramento, California and Cathy Green (Jim) of Jacksonville, Illinois. Marian Barry, Bud’s companion, resided in Grand County, Colorado until 2017, when she returned to Minnesota to be near family.

A celebration of his life will be held at Church of the Eternal Hills in Tabernash, Colorado at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 3, 2018. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Church of the Eternal Hills, Habitat for Humanity, or the Grand Foundation.

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