Chesterton Tribune

Naomi Jean 'Granny' Crawford dies at 75

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Naomi Jean “Granny” Crawford, longtime Chesterton resident and grandmother to many, died Sunday surrounded by her family. She was 75.

Jean was born September 9, 1933 the daughter of Dilver and Bessie Ford of Switzerland County, Ind.

On April 17, 1971 Jean married Alfred Crawford, who preceded her in death.

She is survived by two sisters, Cleta (Wilbur) Markland and Thelma (Howard) Robinson; one brother, Paul Eddy (Barbara) Ford; three daughters, Vicki (Dennis) Schweller, Angie (Bruce) Macrander/Schaller, and Trena (Neal) Mortensen; three stepchildren, Roger (Linda) Crawford, Pam Mack, and Tom (Helen) Crawford; 12 grandchildren, Dennis and Scott Schweller, Kevin and Kyle Schaller, Tristan and Tianna Mortensen, Jacob and Jamie Crawford, Candice Jones, Amber Lawson, Tracy Beasley and Holly Crawford; 18 great-grandchildren, and many beloved nieces and nephews.

She was also preceded in death by two sisters, Alfreda Ford and Alberta (Jim) Read, and one brother, Harold Ford.

Jeannie grew up on a farm outside Vevay, Ind. with her six brothers and sisters. She was active in cheerleading while she studied at Patriot High School.

In 1957 she moved to Chesterton. She waited tables for many years at what is now the North Side Diner. She supported her family as a waitress, crediting her success to the business created by the construction of Bethlehem Steel’s Burns Harbor Plant. Throughout the 1970s she sold Avon products, earning various national sales awards and recognitions.

Jeannie was always known for her compassionate nature. She was a favorite mom among local youth while her children attended Chesterton High School. Later in life, she cared for her husband and a number of close friends as they faced terminal illness. She loved people unconditionally - so much so that even casual acquaintances were subject to her fervent praise and encouragement.

As she grew older, Jean found new joy in her grandchildren. Being retired, she delighted in the opportunity to raise children without having to devote the bulk of her time to work. It was her role as “Granny” that Jeannie enjoyed above all else. That role extended beyond her own grandchildren as she befriended many local youth. She was Granny to countless children and followed them as they moved from elementary school into high school and even throughout college.

She passed lessons of hard work to younger generations with stories of growing up on the farm and working in hectic restaurants. Her stories of Chesterton “in the old days” served as living history lessons.

A treasured memory of Jean’s was her trip to Europe with her husband. Her favorite stop was Austria where she thought everything was beautiful and everyone was friendly. Baseball was also a topic she brought up often. She cherished the Cincinnati Reds and recounted stories of the high-powered teams of the 1970s and her youth.

Jean was a member of St. Johns United Church in Chesterton.

Funeral service officiated by Pastor Katie Lindberg will at 10 a.m. Friday, July 17 at St. Johns United Church at 225 Lincoln in Chesterton.

Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m., Thursday, July 16 at Edmonds & Evans Funeral Home, 517 Broadway, Chesterton.

Memorials may be given to the VNA Horton Hospice in Valparaiso, Indiana or St. Johns United Church.




Posted 7/14/2009