East Lyme - William Thomas Crawford, 72, known to his family and friends as Tom, passed away in his home on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, after a struggle with lung cancer.
Tom leaves behind his loving wife of over 52 years, Patricia (Cole) Crawford. They were high school sweethearts and married on Aug. 20, 1960 in New London.
Born on Jan. 1, 1941, in Tarentum, Pa., Tom was the son of the late John Portsmith Crawford II and Sara Mari Crawford, and brother of the late John Portsmith Crawford III. The Crawford family moved to Niantic in the 1950s. Tom attended New London High School and then joined the U.S. Navy
in 1960. After his tenure with the Navy, Tom was employed at Electric Boat in Groton, where he worked as a rigger for 36 years until his retirement. After retiring, Tom got together regularly with his EB buddies at meetings of the Old Bastard's Club at the Groton Motor Inn. Tom enjoyed working on his house, which he had lived in for over 50 years, going to the beach with his wife, and spending time with his children and grandchildren. He had an interest in Naval history and genealogy. Tom will always be remembered fondly as "Smiley" by his buddies and "Grumpa" by his grandchildren.
In addition to the love of his life, Patricia, Tom is survived by the pride of his life, his children, Kim (Crawford) Brackett and her husband, Paul, Todd Crawford and his wife, Rosemary, Keith Crawford and his wife, Michelle. He is also survived by his grandchildren, to whom he was an incredible role model of what a good, hard-working, loving person is, Sara, Paige, and Jorge Brackett, Rachel, Cole, Caroline, Callum, and Lauren Crawford.
Visiting hours will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28, with a memorial service immediately following at The Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home, 48 Grand St., Niantic.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice Southeastern Connecticut and the Visiting Nurse Association.
To send the family an online condolence, please visit Tom's memorial page at www.neilanfuneralhome.com