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James William ‘Jimmie’ Crawford

Staff Reports • Mar 29, 2018 at 12:42 PM

A celebration of life service for Mr. Crawford will be held Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 1 p.m. in the Partlow Funeral Chapel in Lebanon. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until the service time at 1 p.m. Burial will follow in Cedar Grove Cemetery in Lebanon. Dr. John Cheetham will officiate, and Ray Hodges will eulogize. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Lebanon Noon Rotary Club.

Mr. Crawford, age 86, passed away Sunday, March 25, 2018, surrounded by his loving family at the Pavilion Senior Living Center in Lebanon, following a brave battle with cancer.

A native of Lebanon, he was born Feb. 7, 1932 on Wilson Avenue. 

Jimmie was preceded in death by his parents, Byron B. and Velna Leona Speck Crawford; his wife of 56 years, Maclynn Rose Austin Crawford; and his eldest daughter, Debi Lynn Crawford Harston.

He is survived by his son, James Cary (June) Crawford, of Lebanon; daughter, Dana Leigh (Jeff) Stroop, of Murfreesboro; son-in-law, Tommy Harston, of Antioch; grandchildren, James Bradley Crawford, of Wilmington, North Carolina; Christopher Cody (Michelle) Crawford, of Hermitage; Kelsey Leigh Stroop, of Los Angeles, California; Kaley Lynn Stroop, of Hermitage; and great-grandchildren, Presley Ray, Stevie Rose and Alston James Crawford, of Hermitage.

Jimmie graduated from Lebanon High School in 1949 and went on to graduate from Tennessee Polytechnical Institute in 1953 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He proudly served his country as a member of the U.S. Army Signal Corps and was honorably discharged, receiving the rank of captain. For 40 years, Jimmie spent his working career as a devoted employee of the Lebanon Woolen Mill. He was proud that three generations of Crawfords were represented at the Mill.

That career took he and his family to Westfield, New Jersey, where he worked in the New York City office of the Woolen Mill, serving as vice president of sales for 25 years. One of the highlights of his life was serving as president of the NYC Rotary Club in 1973. He was the third president from the Lebanon Woolen Mill to be elected to the high office. The first was Elmer Hahn, and the second was Henry Counts. The prestigious organization held men such as Mr. James Cash Penny, owner and CEO of JC Penny's, and Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, both of whom were close acquaintances and mentors. Jimmie remained a faithful member of the Rotary Club for 51 years.

Prior to returning to Lebanon in 1982, he and his family attended the First Baptist Church in Westfield and Terrill Road Baptist Church in Scotchplains, New Jersey.

Jimmie was a longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church of Lebanon, where he served as a collector, elder and deacon. He was instrumental in founding and leading the newly formed early morning chapel service.

An avid golfer, Jimmie held a lifetime membership to the Lebanon Golf and Country Club. He passed along the love of the game to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Jimmie never met a stranger and possessed a smile and positive attitude that was infectious. His kindness and generosity were limitless. All who were lucky enough to have known him knew Pop-Pop preferred hugs to handshakes and being a giver rather than a receiver. He will surely be missed by all who loved him. He was a rare jewel and true Southern gentleman.

A sincere thanks goes to the extraordinary, compassionate and loving staff of the Pavilion and Alive Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church.

Partlow Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements, 615-444-7007, obit line 615-444-7700, partlowchapel.com.

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