John Crawford Sr.
John Milton Crawford Sr., 69, of died on , Wednesday, June 25, 2014, surrounded and embraced by his beloved family. He was preceded in death by grandparents, Nathaniel Macon and Antoinette Crawford, Robert Lee and Georgia Susan Robertson; parents, Benjamin Sheram "Ben" Crawford and Jimmie Inez "Mama Jim" Crawford; brother, Robert Benjamin "Bob" Crawford; and sister, Betty "Jane" Collett. He graduated from the McCallie School in 1963 and continued his education at the University of Georgia in Athens where he graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration (BBA). Following college he joined the United States Army, where he served his country with honor, achieving the rank of Sergeant during his service in the Vietnam War. He was a direct descendent of William Harris Crawford (1772-1834), a prominent Georgia politician and historical figure, U.S. minister to France and two-time U.S. presidential nominee. He was a leader who served his community in many roles over the years, including president of the LaFayette Lions Club, Grand Exalted Ruler of the LaFayette Elks Lodge, member of the LaFayette Planning Committee, and president of the LaFayette Chamber of Commerce. He was a lifelong member of the LaFayette First United Methodist Church where he served God, his family, and the congregation. He was an active and adventurous hobbyist and athlete who loved flying, sailing, traveling, cycling, and golf. During his cycling days he rode multiple times in the annual Bicycle Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) tour, pedaling over 400 miles across the state in seven days. He logged countless hours in the clouds as a private pilot and he loved building and flying model planes. He shared these gifts with his wife and three sons and treasured each memory of their time spent together. He was the owner and operator of Crawford Pontiac, Buick, GMC in LaFayette for over three decades. He later sold the franchise to Jackson Chevrolet in 2001, where he remained employed until his death. Surviving sisters and brother-in-law include Evelyn Lipham of Gainesville, Fla., and Sara and Dr. Robert Jones of LaFayette. Surviving nieces, nephews, and their children include Teresa Stephenson; Steve, Rosalind, Zeb, Tiffany, and Emma Chapman; Eric, Sandra, Ross, Wade, and Amanda Stephenson; Mark Stephenson; Dewey, Becky, Daniel, Liz, Lauren and Virginia Hammond; Matt, Lori, Grayson, Maria and Elliana Hammond; Kim, Kenny, Dustin, Raven, and Sandy Tommey; Rick, Amy, Crawford, and Holland Collett. His dearest survivors are his wife of 43 years, Donna Bigham Crawford; son and daughter-in-law Dr. John Milton Jr. and Michelle Crawford of Knoxville, Tenn., and grandchildren Courtney Paige Floyd of Greenville, N.C., and Madison Lauren and Sabrina Nicole Crawford of Durham, N.C.; son and daughter-in-law Benjamin Sheram II "Ben" and Laura Crawford, and grandchildren Benjamin Sheram III and Ella Grace Crawford of Signal Mountain, Tenn.; son and daughter-in-law Robert Bigham Crawford and Jennifer "Jen" Spencer, and granddaughter Nora Lee Crawford of Castle Rock, Colo. "The greatest legacy one can pass on to one's children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one's life, but rather a legacy of character and faith." Billy Graham His greatest joys and legacy reside in the cherished nickname of "Pop." He loved and adored his six grandchildren beyond measure. He will be greatly missed by his family, many close friends, colleagues, former employees, and the co-workers and clients of Jackson Chevrolet that made every workday a pleasure and filled him with happiness and contentment. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4 The family will receive friends Saturday, June 28, from 10-11 a.m. preceding the memorial service. Services will be held on Saturday, June 28, at 11 a.m. at LaFayette First United Methodist Church with Rev. Queon Smith and Rev. John Hagen officiating. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to LaFayette First United Methodist Church. The arrangements are by Wallis-Wilbanks Funeral Home, LaFayette.