The matriarch of our family, Shirley Joyce Crawford, 86, of Rapid City, passed from this world after a short illness on Saturday, July 11, 2015 at Rapid City Regional Hospital.
Shirley, the second of four children, was born July 23, 1928 on the family homestead north of Wall, SD, to Osborne and Carrie (Moler) Kitterman.
She grew up on the family farm enduring the hardships of the time, but making fond memories from the simplest activities with her family. Growing up, and throughout her life, Shirley was especially close with her beloved sister, Dorothy. Shirley graduated from Wall High School in 1946 and went on to attend Black Hills Teachers College in Spearfish. She taught at the Cedar Butte School, a one room school house, for two years. Shirley married Charles (Chuck) Crawford in Vermillion, SD on March 9, 1948. While Chuck and Shirley ran their business in Wall, they raised their three children, Greg, Tim, and Judi. During their time in Wall, Greg and Tim were active in Boy Scouts and Shirley helped guide them as a Den Leader. In 1962 the family moved to Deadwood where Chuck took over the Conoco Bulk Plant for the Black Hills area. Shirley found joy in participating in the Methodist Church and remained focused on supporting her family. In 1968 the family moved to Rapid City and Chuck continued his work with Conoco until his retirement in 1978. Following a short retirement period, Chuck and Shirley purchased a jewelry store in Wall which gave her the opportunity to interact with a wide range of interesting people, something she greatly enjoyed. As the years passed, especially in the summers she spent with her three oldest granddaughters, she showed an enormous capacity for turning ordinary moments into joyous memories. After Chuck passed away in 1986, Shirley went through a challenging time but courageously picked up the pieces to carry on the life they had created together. Shirley’s devotion to her family shined most brightly during their difficult times. She was the true lodestar to her family.
In her later years, Shirley especially enjoyed going to Deadwood with her friends from the Pioneer Bank Elite Club and the other senior citizens groups. She was a committed member of the Canyon Lake United Methodist Church and was active in its fundraising efforts. Shirley took pleasure in maintaining her garden, particularly her roses, which are blooming today.
Blessed to have been a part of Shirley’s life are her brother, Butch (Ann) Kitterman, Wall; three children, Greg (Rita) Crawford, Highlands, North Carolina, Tim (Ace) Crawford, Rapid City, Judi Crawford, Rapid City; grandchildren, Melissa (Pete) Kestner, St. Paul, MN, Nicole (Devin) Hartnell, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Jessica (Daniel) Francis, Milwaukee, WI, Anthony Crawford, Austin, TX, Carrie Crawford, Muskegon, MI, Carson Crawford, Seattle, WA; Great-Grandchildren, Dylan, Ellie, Jack, Madelynne, William, Timothy, Jessica, Braydon, Rachel, Liam, Nora, Mary, and Olivia.
We take solace that Shirley and Chuck are reunited heaven, along with her brother David, her sister Dorothy, and her parents Osborne and Carrie.
A Visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 15th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Osheim Schmidt Funeral Home in Rapid City. The Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, July 16th at 10:30 a.m. at the Canyon Lake United Methodist Church in Rapid City, with the Rev. Eric Grinager. A luncheon will follow and burial will be at the Black Hills National Cemetery at 1:30 p.m.
Shirley’s family appreciates the outpouring of support as we grieve the loss of our beloved mother, grandmother and sister. We are deeply blessed to have shared her life and to carry on her legacy of love and commitment to family. To us, Shirley’s heart and home were shelter from the storm.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Story Book Island or Canyon Lake United Methodist Church, 3500 Canyon Lake Dr, Rapid City, SD 57702.