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Allan Carl Crowson

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ALLAN CARL CROWSON

July 12, 1925 - December 17, 2008

Al was born on July 12, 1925 in Dierks, Arkansas, the 5th of 7 children of Will and Ollie Crowson. He graduated from Dierks High School in 1943. After graduation he moved to the Long Beach area and worked in a produce market until he turned 18 and began working in a naval shipyard. Four months after his 18th birthday he enlisted in the Marine Corps.

While in the Marines he was accepted to the elite Marine Paratroopers, where he earned his wings. He had additional training in Hawaii before being deployed to the war in the Pacific. Al was one of the Marines who stormed the beachfront at Iwo Jima and survived the initial attack, however, in an attempt to recapture the airfield he was severely injured. He spent 18 months in military hospitals, the last of which was Oak Knoll in Oakland. He was honorably discharged with a Purple Heart in 1945.

In 1949 he relocated to San Francisco, met the love of his life, Velma Watson, and was married November 22, 1950. He began his studies at San Francisco State College and earned his B.A. in 1953 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In 1954 the young family moved to Chico. Al began teaching English at CJHS and then moved to BJHS when it opened, where he continued to teach English and also became a councilor. During this time he also studied at Chico State and SFSC, eventually earning his MA in School Administration in 1960. He went on to become Vice Principal and Athletic Director of BJHS until he retired in 1985.

In 1957 he and his great friend, Dwayne Gaylord, began building cabins side by side in Jonesville. Most of Al's cabin was built of reclaimed wood, including pieces salvaged from the demolition of the original Chico High School. Jonesville was Al's favorite place to be and he spent many days enjoying the mountains and his cabin.

While he maintained his career in education he also opened a business with two dear friends, Ken Piercy and Cliff (Blackie) Gilbert in 1970. They purchased car washes on Cohasset Rd and Park Ave and continue to operate the business on Park Ave.

Al was a life member of Elks, NEA, CTA, and First Christian Church.

Al loved hunting, fishing, his carwash buddies, traveling to visit friends and relatives, his grandchildren, and any time spent at his cabin in Jonesville.

Al is survived by his wife of 58 years, Velma; a sister, Elsie Clifton of Visalia; a favored nephew, Tom (Tina) Jayquish; two sons, Bruce (Barbara) and Steve (Nancy), both of Chico; two daughters, Sue (Mike) Petersen and Jill (Terry) Woolley, both of Chico. His beloved grandchildren are Scott, Emily, Casey, and Kyle Crowson, Daniel, Kearsta; and Chelsea Petersen, Zack and Alyssa Woolley.

A memorial service will be held at the First Christian Church of Chico on Saturday, Jan 3, 2009 at 1:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please send any memorial contributions to First Christian Church, or Jonesville Hotel Preservation Foundation in care of Newton-Bracewell Funeral Home. You may share your thoughts and memories of Al online at nbcfh.com.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record from Dec. 20 to Dec. 29, 2008
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