Lanny Joe Crawford
Lanny Joe Crawford, 72, of Mt. Pleasant, died Thursday, March 13, 2014, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.
A funeral was at 2 p.m. today at the Swedesburg Evangelical Lutheran Church in Swedesburg, with the Rev. Phillip Borleske officiating. Burial followed at Swedesburg Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery. Following interment, friends could join the family at Swedesburg Parish Hall to celebrate Mr. Crawford’s life.
Visitation was Sunday.
Memorials may be designated to 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 Swedesburg Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Mr. Crawford was born Oct. 6, 1941, in Birmingham, the son of Lyle John and Pauline E. Edwards Crawford. He married Johanna Ruth Larson Dec. 26, 1966, at Swedesburg Evangelical Lutheran Church.
He graduated from Birmingham High School in 1959.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture and industrial arts at Northeast Missouri State Teachers College in 1963, while he was teaching at Kirksville High School.
He was named Honorary Chapter Farmer by the FFA Chapter while student teaching in Missouri.
He taught in Clarence from 1963-1964, and in Moravia from 1964-1966. He taught at New London Community Schools from 1966-1997.
In 1969, he earned a Master of Arts degree with major in industrial education at Northeast Missouri State, now Truman State University.
He served on the Geode Education Association Board.
He established the former Industrial Arts New London Facility and taught hundreds of students carpentry, drafting, wood working and welding in grades 7-12. He initiated a computer aided drafting program. He built his own styled “pre-fabricated” home, with plans designed by himself and his wife, with his students. The class 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 4-H and went on to mentor many youth in 4-H programs, as well as young and old in open class exhibitions.
His 4-H and farming experience began with his father on their “Fertile Acres” farm.
Father and son began a venture of Crawfords’ Corriedales — registered sheep — more than 60 years ago. They won top honors from Minnesota to Texas and Florida, and from California to the East Coast.
He had a number of champion sheep throughout the years at the National Corriedale Show & Sales and the National Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Ky., and earned 25 straight champions at the Iowa State Fair. He 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 in Lima, Peru, and to 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. He also served on the Corriedale Board of directors. He continued his flock with the help of several regional breeders including the Adam family of Fairfield.
Showing sheep afforded him the opportunity to travel the country and he loved taking his family to zoos, circuses, museums and many parks.
He was proud to have been named Father of the Year by KILJ when his children were in grade school.
He also was proud of his many students and their accomplishments.
He always made caring for his mother-in-law, Betty Larson of Swedesburg, a priority.
He delighted in entertaining family and friends with his mechanical and musical toys and collections of seashells and gems.
He enjoyed several years of ceramic painting and always welcomed nature drives – including a trip to the mountains and a wild animal safari vacation last summer.
He was a member of Swedesburg Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Survivors include his wife; two daughters, Karla Crawford Kerr and spouse Michael D. Kerr Jr. of Mt. Pleasant and Katherine R. Crawford of Woodridge, Ill.; and two grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents.