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William J. Crawford Sr.


1920 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
William J. Crawford Sr. Obituary
April 30, 1920 - January 14, 2015 William J. Crawford Sr., beloved family man, Savings and Loan executive, business owner and California's retired Savings and Loan Commissioner passed away on Wednesday January 14, 2015 at his home in Newport Beach. Crawford graduated from Ohio State University, married Caroline Hentrich and moved to California. Bill helped found Belmont Savings and Loan in Belmont Shore in 1957 and served as President. In 1973, he founded Saddleback Savings and Loan in Orange County where he served as president . Crawford was appointed California's top S & L regulator from 1985 -1990, a position he held during the savings and loan crisis where he was a steadfast opponent of laisse faire financial supervision and spurious S & L activities. Politicians on both sides of the aisle thanked Bill as commissioner for saying "no" to all but one of 232 new S&L applications and working to close over 100 insolvent institutions. The straight talking Crawford told a congressional committee investigation on the thrift crisis that "the best way to rob a bank was to own one". Bill was active in numerous community organizations including: Director Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, Director and Treasurer at Saddleback Memorial Hospital, Knight of Malta in the Roman Catholic Church, Director California Saving and Loan League and Federal Home Loan Bank Advisor Board, and Member of UCLA Graduate School of Real Estate and Urban Economics Advisor Board. Bill Crawford was an expert on roses. Today his hotel, the Laguna Hills Lodge has 350 variety of roses featured in its gardens. He was a man who possessed the gifts of creativity, innovation, common sense and wisdom. His work ethic was legendary. We all will especially miss his smile, great sense of humor and his optimism. Bill is survived by his sons Bill Jr., Richard and John, six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Bill's funeral mass will be held at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church, 2046 Mar Vista Drive, Newport Beach at 10:00 AM on January 20th. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bill's name to Hoag Hospital Foundation, 949-764-7217.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Jan. 16 to Jan. 18, 2015
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