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James Crawford

James Crawford

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August 22, 2014
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August 22, 2014
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October 18, 2013
My family and I are very sorry that we cannot attend on Saturday as we are awaiting the birth of our second girl. While we are deeply saddened at Jim's passing, and we will miss him dearly, we prepare to celebrate our new daughter's arrival and share with her the memories of Jim that we cherish so much. Memories of a man's man, who loved his country, its tradition, the beauty and art in the cars and motorcycles built by its strong men, and the individual farmer caring for and living off the land. Jim never wavered in his vision and his dream of what was important, that in this throw away world, you honor and strive for something strong and true like the red, white and blue. Jim, to me, was a man defined by his love for the beauty and tradition of America, and all the things that made it special. He was kind, intelligent, talented and respected. One of the special things to me that made Jim so unique was his ability to identify and appreciate what truly made things special and convey it in an eloquent way. And while that ability no doubt helped him succeed in his professional career, it unquestionably made Jim one of the all-time great campfire companions (which he was all too happy to light!). Whether it was stories of his grandparents' farm, clearly one of Jim's most cherished memories, funny stories of himself as a young boy marching on the neighborhood bar countertop entertaining the patrons with patriotic songs and chants, or reciting a remarkable poem that he had written about Farmer Phil, Jim had a way to paint for you the beautiful picture he saw in his head. I always admired Jim for his ability to compete and flourish in corporate America, to achieve success in his chosen profession among the skyscrapers of New York and Detroit, but, at the same time, choosing to pursue and find great happiness in his desire to live more simply, to care for and live off the land, and to stay true to tradition - a tradition of self-reliance, family, being able to create works of art and skill, whether it be a remodeled classic car or my daughter's beloved sandbox, and always remembering and cherishing where you came from and striving for what is strong and true like the red, white and blue. Jim was very special to my family and we will long honor and remember the example that he set with his love of country and tradition. And for me, I take with me a picture of him surrounded by farm animals and pets, a beautiful old barn, rolling hay fields and hardwoods, a well-maintained tractor, a trusty motorcycle and a smile on his face that unmistakably evidences that he once again found the peace and contentment he must have felt as a young boy on his grandparents' farm.
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From 1977, Tawas Beach, Michigan, Jim was normally not on the other side of the lens.
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