Robert "Wayne" Crawford
{ "" }
Share
Share Robert's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Robert "Wayne" Crawford, age 64, died at his home in Las Cruces on Saturday, March 12, following a long illness. He was born to Kenneth Eugene Crawford and Mary Mead Crawford October 19, 1946, in Oakwood, IL a small town in east-central Illinois, where he grew up. He attended Columbia College in Chicago and, while studying, worked as a pop music critic for the Chicago Daily News, and personal assistant to Harry Bouras, an internationally noted artist, critic and teacher and host of a weekly Chicago radio program on art criticism. After receiving his Bachelor's degree, he returned to his home town and taught high school journalism for 15 years, sponsoring the school newspaper, which won 10 first place awards, including the prestigious George H. Gallup Award. Wayne developed friendships with several of these students that lasted until his death. Many of his students contacted him to say how his direction was pivotal in their lives who are now heads of major companies and a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist. He married Barbara Rae Feldman_ in ___ with whom he had two children. He received a PhD in English Studies from Illinois State University, Normal, IL and was hired as Director of English Education at Western Illinois University, later serving as Director of Graduate Studies until he took a sabbatical leave in Las Cruces and decided to retire. Although he had earlier written criticism, journalism, and two novels, he now focused with great energy and enthusiasm on poetry, publishing poems in many journals, two books (Corner of Clark and Kent, 2004, and Sugar Trail, 2007), and a performance poetry/music CD, Oasis Bound, 2009, in conjunction with musician Randy Granger. In addition to writing his own poems and playing an active role in the literary open-mics, he promoted other poets' work through his on-line journal, Lunarosity, his co-editorship of Sin Fronteras Journal, and his membership on the Executive Board of the Dona Ana Arts Council. He founded new open-mics at The Bean Café and the Rio Grande Theater and organized many literary readings, including "Love of Lit," Poetry Day, and readings to complement Abraham Lincoln and Andy Warhol exhibits at the Las Cruces Museum of Art. Shortly before his cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy treatments he had completed a true crime, mystery novel and assembled volumes of his poems to publish. Mysteries were a favorite genre of writing especially the Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes series. He penned lyrics for the "Murder She Wrote" theme song which he intended to send to Angela Lansbury in appreciation. Wayne was an enthusiastic and generous supporter of poetry and poets and of all the arts. He particularly encouraged younger poets to write, read, and perform their poetry and enjoyed taking part in the student "poetry slams" at NMSU as much as the regular poetry readings at the various open-mics. Wayne loved all genres of music enthusiastically and collected hundreds of albums, tapes and CD's before discovering iTunes. He would sing enthusiastically while getting dressed considering it his daily affirmation. His philosophy was to always expect the best from people and situations and act as if something good was going to happen every day. Throughout his years in Las Cruces, Wayne battled health setbacks bouncing back each time with new energy and new poems. In the end, despite his partner Randy's tireless, loving care help from Mesilla Valley Hospice and friends, he could not overcome pancreatic cancer though his fight was extraordinary attesting to his spirit. His ex-wife Barbara followed him in death by ten days in Illinois. Wayne was a generous and witty person with many passions and limitless energy which made his poems moving, powerful and, many times humorous. Many of his poems referred to the dual identity of Superman and Clark Kent. He saw himself as being both, especially when he taught full-time, defended his PhD. Thesis while being diagnosed with painful Fibromyalgia. He enjoyed gardening, painting and hosting the Las Cruces Poetry Workshop at their home for several years. Wayne was also a loving father and grandfather and will be greatly missed by many. He is survived by his partner of ten years Randy Granger, his daughter Kimberly McCormick, of Bloomington, IL her husband, Mark McCormick, his son John Crawford, of El Paso, TX, partner, Melissa Mata, grandchildren Damon, Autumn and Alyssa, many cousins, former students, fellow artists, and friends. He was preceded in death by his Father and Mother and was an only child. His friends want to dedicate the First Friday open-mic at the Rio Grande Theater in April to Wayne. Anyone who wants to read a poem for Wayne, a poem of Wayne's, perform a song, reminisce about him, or, simply, listen is invited to attend, April 1 at 5:30. A full-length, multi-media celebration of Wayne's life and work is scheduled for 6:30 PM, Wednesday, April 27 at the Rio Grande Theater downtown Las Cruces. Email mail@randygranger.net or call 575-541-8073 to be included in this affirming celebration. In lieu of flowers it is requested donations be made to the Humane Society of Southern New Mexico at www.hssnm.org or by calling 575-523-8020 as Wayne was a compassionate animal person despite allergies to many pets.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Mar. 26, 2011.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
22 entries
March 20, 2019
Too long still gone
Hole in my soul
A daily knit like the spider

~ haiku, Bill J Webb

Thinking of you and Wayne, Randy. Peace my friend.
William Webb
Friend
March 31, 2011
Randy, through your writings of Wayne -I wish I could have met him. From your description, he seemed to be a truly intelligent and very interesting person from which I could have learned a lot from. You both shared something so wonderful together - something most people search their entire lives for. Always carry those memories with you for strength. Remember I am always here for you, mijo.
Debbie Evans
March 31, 2011
I truly wish I had the chance to meet Wayne in person. I knew him through my friend Randy, but because of Randy, feel that Wayne was a friend I surely missed knowing. He spent his days enveloped in the kind of beauty and love most of us only dream of...Thank you Randy, and thank you Wayne for your beautiful words and the laughter and love you shared with friends. You are a person who makes the world a sweeter place by your presence in it.
Dawn Leith
March 31, 2011
I only met Wayne through Randy and I am sure it is my loss to have not met him in person. I have read some of his works as posted by Randy and enjoyed them all. The world is surely missing you Wayne..
Beth P
March 31, 2011
Wayne at Pride Fest 2010
April 1st, 5:30pm
Lit Night Open-Mic at Rio Grande Theater
Downtown Las Cruces
This is one of the open mics started around town and Friday night it will be dedicated to Wayne accordingly with an open-mic, sign-up format. (Randy has a performing gig and won't be at this event)

April 27th, 6:30PM
Celebration of Wayne's Life and Work
Rio Grande Theater, Downtown Las Cruces
email mail@randygranger.net for more info
This is a multi-media celebration with poetry, readings, slideshows, video and music. Wayne loved music and it was an integral part of his daily life. He was always on the cutting edge of technology, art and music and this will reflect those parts of his rich life.
Randy Granger
March 31, 2011
Wayne at Thanksgiving with friends 2010
Randy Granger
March 29, 2011
Shaffer Hotel Garden, Poets & Writers Picnic
Wayne was to have have been a featured readers at the 2010 Poets & Writers Picnic, hoping to be able to make it right up to the last minute but had to cancel. I had been looking forward to meeting him as we had been corresponding lightly for a while (Picnic, Wayne's list & plog stuff).

I didn't know Wayne, wish I had, but have the poems and videos. Today I was going through them and the Picnic introduction I wrote, with an eye to assembling something for Poets & Writers Picnic. Perhaps best to him have the last word: let the last video uploaded to YouTube speak for him.

As a small memorial gesture I'll try to keep up with posting Las Cruces poetry events as best I can ~ commemorating if not quite a continuation of Wayne's List (usually blogged as 'Wayne's Excellent List')
Vanessa Vaile
March 29, 2011
I wish that I had been closer to Wayne. I had the wonderful opportunity to hear him read and his wit and sensitivity will be missed. He meant a great deal to my family and will be missed dearly. He was a talented and caring soul that could make you laugh in the darkest of times. Valle con Dios my friend.
March 29, 2011
Randy, All I know of Wayne is the reflection of him that I saw in you. Seeing that I can say with confidence that he was a beautiful person. Cherish always the memories of how you enriched each other lives.
Ed Dougherty
March 29, 2011
Randy , Your endless love is such a endearment as You keep the goodness alive of Wayne ... His new journey has surly been blessed with Grace and Honor . May your days ahead of You be filled with wonderful memories of Waynes life . You bring the sunshine out on a cloudy day ...
Kamama Usti
March 28, 2011
Randy, I just learned of Wayne's passing today. I'd known he was ill but had been hoping that somehow he would, again, overcome this.

As others have commented, we have been truly blessed by having known Wayne - one of the most generous, yet brilliant people I have been privileged to know. What a wonderful life the two of you have had together - something that cannot be measured in 'human' years!

You are in my thoughts, Randy. My deepest sympathies.
Scott Weaver
March 28, 2011
I barely remember him from my childhood. But I do remember hearing Aunt Mary talk about how proud of him she was. I know that my mom remembers him fondly as well. I am Kenny's sister, Meredith's granddaughter. Sorry for your loss.
Jessika Jenkins
March 28, 2011
Bless you Randy for your continued faithfulness. The blog post and the obit are both lovely tributes to Wayne and to love. You both gave everything you could and were not diminished in your spirits. That is a victory of sorts over the evil of cancer. Thank you for sharing.
Cherry P. Jamison
March 27, 2011
He was very Blessed to have you in his Life!! Sorry for your loss.
Mona RAMIREZ
March 27, 2011
so many...me included.I will never forget our first meeting at the Black Cat in T or C-thank you all for coming up there-you were all a ray of light and a breath of dustless air!!!! and I will never forget coming down to read at the Rio for one of the early art rambles-filling up my car with people from T or C (including my son, who was visiting and played his guitar that night)...that was a special event for me, for many reasons...Wayne was so encouraging and supportive. Wayne, I am sending you love throughout the cosmos...and thankful for ALL that you shared... you touched my life profoundly-mild mannered clark kent by day..and superman for eternity!!!!!!
Kelly Kelsey-Davis
March 27, 2011
What a beautiful footprint this man left on the earth, he touched so many and they had to have been better for it. My heart goes out to you Randy and to his family for the loss
Dixie Garcia
March 27, 2011
I CAN HEAR HIM READING HIS KWIRKY POEMS AND MOVING HIS BODY TO THE FUNKY RHYTHM THAT WAS CREATED WHILE HE WAS READING. GOD BLESS YOU WAYNE CRAWFORD, REST IN PEACE.
Georjeanna Feltha
March 27, 2011
Randy, My dear friend My heart aches with the passage of Your Wayne. The great gulf of Man is however blessed by his loss.For, from the beauty and depth of His life and His relationship with you through the Love and committment youv'e both shown for one another we are all enriched. I'm so very deeply sorry. Your friend Richard
richard ralston
March 27, 2011
Randy, I never met you nor wayne in person. Only over the internet, I listened to your songs, heard the poems read that wayne wrote. My prayers go out to you for strength and peace. You are truely one of a kind and I know wayne appreciated all you have done. He will never be forgotten as his words will live on for eternity. Peace to you randy, The Moore family.
Greg Moore
March 27, 2011
My heartfelt sympathy Randy. I'm certainly not much at writing poetry but here's one I wrote many years ago that I'm putting here for you and in Wayne's honor. Peace my friend.

YOUR EYES

Their loving gaze talks
low to me, whispering
such care

The untold depth I slowly
search, savoring your
stare

When we turn and walk
away the last thing that
I feel

Is the beauty of your eyes
following softly on my
heels
- W.J.W. 1990
Bill Webb
March 27, 2011
Sweet Sweet Wayne. You touched us all in so many ways
Carrie Hamblen
March 27, 2011
Randy Granger
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences