Crawford, 53, of Houston, Texas passed away on January 18, 2014 after a long illness. Esther was born to Dorothy Lee Sloss Crawford and Robert A. Crawford on March 30, 1960 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Esther graduated from T. F. Riggs High School in Pierre, South Dakota in 1978. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of South Dakota in 1981. She earned a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Southern California Law School in 1984, and was admitted to the State Bar of Colorado in 1986.
For several years Esther worked as an in-house attorney for title insurance companies, ran a solo law practice, and served as a law librarian for the University of Denver. She moved to Texas in 1993, and received a Master's Degree in Library and Information Sciences from the University of Texas in 1996. The remainder of her working career was spent as a librarian for Rice University, where she was designated as Head of the Kelley Center for Government Information and Microforms. Esther was active in many professional associations, including the American Library Association Government Documents Roundtable, the Patent and Trademark Depository Library Association, the Patent and Trademark Resource Center Association, the Houston Area Network of Documents Information, the Greater Western Library Alliance Technical Report Archive and Image Library Project and the Association of College and Research Libraries.
Esther was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her loving husband of 22 years, Benjamin D. Knittel; her brother Lawrence D. Crawford of Lusk WY, his wife Laurie Lee and his two children, Robert and Lori Lee; her sister Connie Lee Crawford Barringer and husband, Bob Barringer of Rapid City SD; and nephew Chad J. Larson and wife Jennifer Graham and their daughter, Lilliana, of Lawrence, KS.
Esther was an insatiable lifelong reader, and enjoyed music, travel and hiking. She also loved to knit and gifted many loved ones with treasured items into which she had poured much time and love. Her favorites were the gifts that she made for the children she loved so much. Esther's warmth, intelligence, compassion and indomitable spirit will be missed by her family, friends and many colleagues.
The family plans a memorial service later in the year in the Black Hills that Esther loved. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in support of breast cancer research be sent to: The Methodist Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 4384 Houston, TX 77210-4384.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Jan. 24, 2014