WESTFIELD – William Donaldson Crawford, Jr. (64) ended his battle with Benson’s Syndrome on Sunday, February 26, 2023, surrounded by family in Blackshear, GA. Bill was born in Ludlow, the son of William and Nancy Crawford, and grew up primarily in the Monson-Palmer area. He attended Pathfinder Regional High School and obtained his Associate’s Degree in Fire Science from STCC. Throughout his life, he worked at several places, including Columbia Bicycle, Avery-Dennison, the Westfield Fire Department until 1989, and then at the West Springfield Fire Department, where he retired at the rank of Lieutenant. While he was a welder at Columbia Bicycle Mfg., he met the love of his life, Chris O’Rourke of Westfield. They were married in 1980 in Westfield and, two years later, purchased their home in Westfield. Bill had several pastimes, including snowboarding, riding his bicycle and motorcycle, and playing music. In fact, Bill was a very talented 4th generation Banjo player and spent much of his spare time playing bluegrass music and was a member of the bluegrass band The East Mountain Ramblers earlier in life. After retiring, Bill and Chris were blessed with grandchildren and began snowbirding to Venice, Florida. Bill was an active family man and was heavily involved in the interests of his two children, William and Chelsey. He will long be remembered for the special bonds and activities he shared with them. Besides being a pack master in cub scouting at Papermill School, beekeeping and fishing with his son Bill, and teaching snowboarding with Chelsey. Bill and his wife faithfully attended their children’s numerous activities and sporting events. Also known as “Big Big,” he was loved and respected by his children’s friends. Together, Bill and his wife, Chris, enjoyed making memories on their many trips to the national parks out West on his Harley, attending music festivals, and summering on Martha’s Vineyard. “Big Bill” took great passion in his sobriety and home, actively participating in what was jokingly called the neighborhood’s greenest lawn contest. Bill always seemed to have a joke up his sleeve and was a pleasure to be around. Bill and Chris had a special marriage relationship which serves as an example of the definition of what the vows “for better and for worse, for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and cherish, until death do us part” really means.
He is predeceased by his father, William D. Crawford Sr, his infant brother Robert Crawford, and a beloved niece, Teá Branché.
He is survived by his wife, Christine Crawford of Westfield, his mother, Nancy Barry, of Palm Bay, FL., his son, William D. Crawford III, and his wife Elaine, both of Southwick, MA and Bristol, GA, and a daughter, Chelsey Welch and her husband Evan, of Chicopee, MA. He also leaves four grandchildren, William (IV), Yolana, Donald, and Urias Crawford. In addition, he leaves his four sisters, Tamara Gemme-Crawford and her wife Susan of Springfield, Holly Crawford and her partner Rich Kolodziej of Monson, Rebecca Barry of Indian Orchard, and Darcy Barry of Monson. Bill also leaves a stepfather Donald Barry of Monson, one uncle, Thomas James of Palmer, and several nieces and nephews: Joshua McCarthy, Lacey Roy, Brittany Crawford, Jordan Blanchard, and Helaynah Barry. The family would like to extend a special thanks to Bill’s extraordinarily kind and loving caregivers at the Satilla Bluffs Senior Care in Blackshear, GA.
A Funeral Home Service will be held on Monday, March 6, 2023, at 10AM in Firtion Adams Funeral Service, 76 Broad St., Westfield, MA followed by burial in Oak Grove Cemetery, Bay St., Springfield, MA. Visiting hours will be held on Sunday from 2-5 PM in the funeral home. www.firtionadams.com