Services set Aug. 4 for Garnette Belle Crawford

Garnette Crawford, center, in 2015 with Col. Bob Cook, left, and Dr. Norman Crawford.

Garnette Bell Crawford, 88, of Ocean Pines, wife of the late Salisbury University President Dr. Norman C. Crawford, Jr., died Friday, July 19, 2019.

Born in Newport, R.I., she was the daughter of the late Robert Bell and Margaret White Bell.

Her husband of 60 years, who in the 1970s headed the then-Salisbury State College, died in May 2016.

In 1948, she graduated from Rogers High School in Newport and attended the University of Rhode Island, where she was a member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority.

She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia in 1953. Upon graduation, she returned to Rhode Island where she worked for the Newport Housing Authority.

Her husband was Salisbury University’s fifth president, whom she met and married in Newport in 1955, while he was stationed in the U.S. Navy and taught at the Officer Candidate School.

The Crawfords arrived at then Salisbury State College in 1970.

During his career, the couple cultivated many lifelong friendships, having lived in Rhode Island, New Jersey, Illinois, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, Maine and Pennsylvania.

The Crawfords returned to the Eastern Shore in retirement, and were dedicated athletics fans. They often were seen at campus events, including alumni socials, reunions, cultural events, and continued to take pride in the university.

“Since they moved back to the area, they were frequent supporters of our games,” said Dr. Gerry DiBartolo, SU’s Athletics Director. “Football and men’s lacrosse were their favorite sports, and they’d come to others as well.”

“She liked being with the crowd in the stands,” he added. “I would ask if she’d like to sit in the box and she’d say, ‘No, no, I’m fine here.’ She was a wonderful, kind woman.”

Others remember her as being a great story teller about campus life during Dr. Crawford’s presidency. She fondly remembered and talked about the students she knew.

For a long time, she personally contacted the Alumni Office with updates on graduates — marriages, moves, children — as her relationships with them carried on throughout the years. She never forgot students’ names.

She is survived by her two daughters, Sally Jean Crawford of West Ocean City and Ellen Crawford Price of Charlotte, N.C.; and a grandson, Chris.

She was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Berlin. Services are scheduled at the church on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, at 2 p.m. with Father Michael Moyer officiating.

Contributions may be made to the Crawford Memorial Fund, in care of the Salisbury University Foundation, PO Box 2655, Salisbury, MD 21802 or St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 3 Church St., Berlin, MD 21811.

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