Dr. Larry Clarke Crawford, 68, of Burlington, N.C., died peacefully at home on Feb. 7, 2013, with his wife Glenda and family at his side.
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He is survived by his wife, Glenda Ward Crawford, of 518 Fountain Place, Burlington. He is also survived by a daughter, Elizabeth Kate Crawford, her husband, Dow Tom Yeh, and their son, Neil Clarke Yeh-Crawford, of Corvallis, Ore.; a son, Kenneth Clarke Crawford and his son, Austin Lee Crawford of Reidsville, N.C.; a step-son, William Michael Beamon Jr., his wife Dodi Mann Beamon and their daughters, Piper Grayson Beamon and Quinn Harper Beamon of Gibsonville, N.C.; and a step-son, Patrick Brent Beamon of New York City. He is further survived by a sister, Mildred Bowlin of Sparks, Nev.; a brother, Donald Crawford and his wife, Judy of Rutherfordton, N.C.; a brother, Jim Crawford and his wife Bunny of China Grove, N.C. and a sister, Jolene Guffey and her husband Hal of Rutherfordton, N.C.
He was predeceased by his parents, the Rev. R.L. and Maude Jane Buckner Crawford of Rutherfordton, N.C.; two infant sisters who died in the 1920s; an older sister, Irene Gordon of Forest City, N.C.; and an older brother, Ray Crawford of Rutherfordton, N.C.
Dr. Crawford was born October 22, 1944, and grew up on a farm in Rutherford County. He was educated in the public schools there, graduating from Chase High School in 1963. While at Chase, he was a member and President of several student organizations. He was also a National Merit Scholarship finalist, as well as finalist for the Morehead Scholarship at UNC and the Angier Duke Scholarship at Duke University. He applied for the John Foster Hankins Scholarship at Wake Forest University and was awarded a General Motors Scholarship, which paid for his entire four years at Wake Forest, where he graduated in 1967. He remained devoted to Wake Forest. He was a member of the Deacon Club and attended almost all home basketball and football games for more than 40 years.
After Wake Forest, Dr. Crawford attended the Bowman Gray School of Medicine, now the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, graduating in 1971. From 1971 to 1976, he completed an internship and residency in General Surgery at the North Carolina Baptist Hospital, serving as the Chief Resident in General Surgery during the 1970-71 academic year. While completing his training at Baptist Hospital, he served in the United States Army Reserve Medical Corps, stationed at the 312th Evacuation Hospital in Winston-Salem. He resigned his commission to devote full time to his civilian career and was honorably discharged Feb. 14, 1980.
As a General Surgeon, Dr. Crawford was a diplomat of the American Board of Surgery, completing the certification examination in 1977 and examinations for recertification in 1987 and 1997. He was a member of numerous professional societies including the Piedmont Oncology Association, the American College of Surgeons, the Southeastern Surgical Congress, the North Carolina Medical Society, serving as Chair of the Cancer Committee for several years beginning in 1994, the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, was a charter member of American Society of General Surgeons, and member of the Bowman Gray Surgical Society and the American Society of Breast Surgeons.
Locally, Dr. Crawford served on the staffs of Alamance County Hospital, Memorial Hospital of Alamance and Alamance Regional Medical Center. He served on numerous committees at these institutions. He served as Chair of the Cancer Committee for almost 20 years and Chair of the Pastoral Care Committee from 1987 to 1993. He was Field Liaison Fellow for the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer from 1986 to 2003.
Dr. Crawford's major surgical interest was cancer, particularly breast cancer. He treated several hundred patients with breast cancer during his career.
He was a member of a small group of physicians that led the effort to gain accreditation for the local Cancer Center. It was accredited as a Comprehensive Community Cancer Center and passed the reaccreditation surveys each time it was surveyed. Beginning with one medical oncologist and one radiation oncologist, the Alamance Regional Medical Center Comprehensive Cancer Center has grown into a truly comprehensive center recognized throughout North Carolina and beyond.
Dr. Crawford was also a member of a small group that worked to bring Pastoral Care to the local hospital. It now not only provides care for patients and staff, but is a training center for health care chaplains.
Outside the hospitals, Dr. Crawford served as a member of the American Cancer Society Board of Directors and President from 1981-1983, the North Carolina Chapter of the American Cancer Society, the Christian Counseling Center, Hospice of Alamance County, the Community Council, Home Health of Alamance County. He was a trustee at Gardner Webb University and, for several terms, a trustee of the North Carolina Baptist Hospital.
Dr. Crawford has always been active in his church. He was a Sunday School teacher and Deacon at First Baptist Church, Burlington and was a messenger to the Southern Baptist Convention for five years from 1981 to 1985. By 2004 he became convinced that the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention, who he felt had abandoned basic Baptist Principles many years before, would never return to the denomination in which he grew up.
Dr. Crawford left the Baptist Church and found a haven for his faith in the United Church of Christ, joining the Elon Community Church United Church of Christ. He again became a Deacon and Sunday School teacher and more recently served as Chair of the Pastoral Search that brought the current pastor, the Rev. Randy Orwig, to the church for consideration.
Dr. Crawford's major non-professional pastimes were cooking, reading, particularly theology, and travel.
Dr. Crawford wishes to thank his nurse, Margie Turner, who for almost 20 years made him more efficient than he would have been without her. He also thanks his neighbors on Fountain Place who helped in so many ways these last few years, especially Grant Range and Dick Simpson.
Dr. Crawford dies with no regrets, except that he is unable to be with Glenda longer and see his grandchildren grow to maturity.
Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at Rich & Thompson Funeral & Cremation Service at 306 Glenwood Ave., Burlington, N.C. The funeral will be at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 at Elon Community Church United Church of Christ at 271 N. Williamson Ave., Elon, NC 27244.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Dr. Larry C. Crawford Fund, Alamance Regional Charitable Foundation, P.O. Box 202, Burlington, NC 27216 or Hospice and Palliative Care of Alamance-Caswell, 918 Chapel Hill Road, Burlington, NC 27215.
Condolences may be offered at www.richandthompson.com
Published in TheTimesNews.com from Feb. 9 to Feb. 10, 2013