Robert W. Crawford

1924 - 2017

Robert W. Crawford died peacefully on September 19 in Santa Barbara, Ca. He was 93 years old and was predeceased by Mary Louise, his beloved wife of 67 years. Formerly a resident of Hastings on the Hudson, NY and Mt. Holly and Dorset, Vermont, Bob was born in Chicago and attended the Putney School.

He served in the American Field Service where he drove an ambulance in North Africa and subsequently enlisted in the Marines. With the end of World War II he took up residency in Hollywood as an aspiring actor but that career was cut short by a recurrence of the tuberculosis he had originally contacted while serving with AFS.

While recovering in a military hospital in Kentucky, Bob met a nurse, Mary Louise Cordes and so began their seven decade romance. They married in 1949 and moved to New Haven, Connecticut where Bob enrolled at Yale University. After his graduation from Yale, Bob attended Princeton University and completed a doctorate in Islamic Studies.

Following his graduate studies Bob joined the United States Information Service and was posted to Tangier and Rabat Morocco. Subsequent jobs led him to the Rockefeller Foundation where he oversaw the awarding of grants throughout East Africa as well in support of aspiring Off, Off Broadway theater productions. After completing a stint as a Vice President of the American University of Beirut, he served as the Executive Director of the Spring Hill Conference Center in Minneapolis and was appointed to the National Endowment of the Arts. Striking out on his own, Bob began a new career as a consultant for not-for-profit arts groups and authored In Art We Trust.

Retiring to Santa Barbara, Bob taught and frequently took classes at the community college with a particular relish for wood carving. He was recognized for his contributions as a volunteer book reader for recordings that served people with visual impairments.

Bob is survived and will live on in his five children Bob (Maria) Ted (Susan ) Scott, Mark and Jan (David), his eleven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Services will be private.

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