Lanny Joe Crawford
Lanny Joe Crawford, 72, Mount Pleasant, died March 13, 2014, at the University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City surrounded by his family.
Friends called after 12 p.m. Sunday, March 16, at Elliott Chapel in New London where the family welcomed friends from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. Funeral services were Monday, March 17, at 2:00 PM at the Swedesburg Evangelical Lutheran Church in Swedesburg, with Pastor Phillip Borleske officiating. Burial followed at the Swedesburg Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery. Following the interment friends were invited to join the family at the Swedesburg Parish Hall to celebrate Lanny’s life together. Memorials may be designated to the Easter Seals Iowa, New London School (with the intention of creating the annual LJC Promise Award to be given to a promising Industrial Arts student) or the Swedesburg Evangelical Lutheran Church. Online condolences may be left at www.elliotfuneralchapel.com.
Born October 6, 1941, in Birmingham, he was the only child of Lyle John and Pauline E (Edwards) Crawford. On December 26, 1966, he married Johanna Ruth Larson at Swedesburg Evangelical Lutheran Church where he became a member. He graduated from Birmingham High School in 1959. He earned his B.S. from Northeast Missouri State Teachers College in Agriculture and Industrial Arts in 1963, while he was teaching at Kirksville High School. While officially still student teaching in Missouri he was named Honorary Chapter Farmer by the FFA Chapter. He taught in Clarence, Iowa, from 1963-1964 and then in Moravia, Iowa, from 1964-1966. He taught at New London Community Schools from 1966-1997. He also taught adult welding courses for Southeastern Community College. He enjoyed hunting and fishing for most of his life – especially a trip to Canada to fish with his New London friends. He continued his schooling and earned his Master of Arts Degree with major in Industrial Education from Northeast Missouri State (now Truman State University) in 1969. He served on the Geode Education Association Board. He coached girls basketball in Moravia and JV boys basketball in New London. He established the former Industrial Arts New London Facility and taught hundreds of students carpentry, drafting, wood working and welding to grades 7-12. He also initiated a computer aided drafting program. He built his own styled “pre-fabricated” home, with plans designed by himself and his wife, with his talented students. They built much of the home in the New London shop and then finished construction on site. He was a standout athlete in baseball and basketball. He had been promised to play baseball in college but the baseball program was delayed and began after he graduated from Northeast Missouri State. He was active in 4H and went on to mentor many youth in 4-H programs - and young and old in open class exhibitions.
His 4-H and farming experience began with his father Lyle Crawford on their “Fertile Acres” farm. Lyle and Lanny began their venture of Crawfords’ Corriedales (registered sheep) well over 60 years ago. The duo went on to win top honors from Minnesota to Texas and Florida, and from California to the Big E on the East Coast. He had a number of champions over the years at the National Corriedale Show & Sales and the National Livestock Exposition in Louisville, plus the American Royal in Kansas City and earned 25 straight champions at the Iowa State Fair. Lanny received the 2011 Lifetime Corriedale Breeder – the Guy Green Trophy at the National Show banquet in Eaton, Ohio. He sold his top breed stock nationally and internationally, including Lima, Peru, and the famous Allen Sheep Farm of Martha’s Vineyard Island. He played a key role in the establishment of the Singleton Traveling Trophy in Chicago and later Louisville in the name of the former Corriedale secretary Rollo Singleton. Lanny served on the Corriedale Board of directors.
He was able to continue his flock with the help of Steve Blow Jr. and Steve Blow Sr. of New London, Gary Bonar of Keosauqua, Richard Woline of Mount Pleasant, Craig Grothe of Swedesburg, the support of the Darrell Mullin (Derek and Jason) family of Mount Pleasant, the late Mark Fitzpatrick, New London, the Adam family of Fairfield and many others including Corriedale breeder Rich Myers of Norris, IL. Showing sheep afforded him with the opportunity to travel the country and Lanny loved taking his family to zoos, circuses, museums and many parks.
Lanny was a loving husband, father, grandfather and son. He was proud to have been named Father of the Year by KILJ when his children were in grade school. He was also proud of his many students and their accomplishments. He was pleased whenever someone would acknowledge the technical and life skills he had shared. He never quit fighting and in spite of many health challenges maintained a great sense of humor and inspirational attitude and was always supportive and a source of tremendous strength. He always made caring for his mother-in-law Mrs. Betty Larson, Swedesburg, who survives, a priority.
He continued to be young at heart. In his later years he delighted in entertaining family and friends with his mechanical & musical toys, and collections of seashells and gems. He also enjoyed several years of ceramic painting and always welcomed nature drives – including a trip to the mountains and then a wild animal safari vacation just last summer.
He was preceded in death by his parents and father-in-law Ferdinand H. Larson.
He will always live on in the hearts of his devoted wife, two daughters, Karla Crawford Kerr (Michael D. Kerr Jr.) of Mount Pleasant and Katherine R. Crawford of Woodridge, Il and his beloved grandchildren Maverick D. Kerr and Annika Isobelle Kerr.