Tommy Crawford passed from this life Saturday, February 25 at his home in Springer, NM just a couple of weeks after celebrating his 80th birthday with his family. He was born February 7, 1937 in Las Vegas, NM as the youngest of four children of Lawrence Leslie and Nettie Faye (McKinley) Crawford. The family moved to Springer in the early 1940’s where the only time he left for any significant time was to serve his country in the Army as a combat engineer from 1960-1962. He graduated from Springer High School in 1955 and was faithfully married to Velma Lynn Nordman, his loving wife of 56 years, on October 18, 1960.
Tommy and Velma were blessed with two children, Curtis and his wife Denise of Monte Vista, CO, and Tommy Lee and his wife Tracy of Springer, NM. Grandchildren are Karen Crawford of Albuquerque, NM, James Crawford and fiancée Samantha Cordero of Alamosa, CO, and Katy Francis and husband Heath of Alamosa, CO. He farmed and ranched his entire life with his late brother William McKinley (Billy Mac) Crawford and wife Geneva of Springer and later also with his son, Tommy Lee. A jack-of-all-trades, he was a proficient shade tree mechanic, could run heavy equipment, run a board meeting, pull a well, or pull a calf from a ringy heifer snubbed to the bumper of his pickup.
He served as President of the Springer Tract Water Users Association for many years. As charter member, he helped develop the funding and build the system that brought a consistent source of clean water to the homes on Springer Tract and then worked countless volunteer hours to repair and keep the system in good working order. He and Velma were honored as 2013 Colfax County Fair and Rodeo Grand Marshals for their combined years of community service.
Tommy was never one to take a vacation. He found his life’s purpose and fulfillment in taking care of God’s crops and soil, livestock, and his neighbors. He would enjoy a weekend of cat-fishing down on the Canadian and Mora Rivers between the second and third cutting of alfalfa in late summer with Billy Mac, his sons, and Elmer Wiggins or just a slow afternoon drowning worms at the farm pond. Before illness made hiking too difficult, he hunted deer and elk, not only for sport but to keep meat in the freezer because it was too expensive to slaughter his own beef for his own use. Many a fall evening was spent processing wild game or a hog on the kitchen table with a handsaw, knife, and hand meat grinder. Working with Billy Mac, they rebuilt several antique tractors for fun. His evenings were usually spent reading every Louis Lamour novel written or watching RFD TV or televised bull-riding.
Family was Tommy’s pride and joy. He dearly loved visiting with his sisters Alice and Nelladean before their deaths. He was a faithful husband and proud father and grandfather. His in-laws adored him and he would bend over backwards to make their day. Sister-in-laws Geneva Crawford, Annie Nordman, and Sandy Nordman, and brother-in-law Karl Nordman could count on him for help with almost any problem and a hearty dose of good nature when they visited. Numerous nieces and nephews often considered him their favorite uncle.
Tommy found much companionship in his constant canine friend, Peanut, for the past 14 years as well as Nick and Kitty-Kitty, his feline bed and lap warmers for the past decade as he became more and more confined to his home. The friendship of Jeff Hoogshagen and Neal Trujillo with their telephone calls and visits were treasured especially as of late.
Tommy was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Billy Mac, and sisters Alice Thompson and Nelladean Schumann.
Services for Tommy T. Crawford will be held on Saturday March 4, 2017 at 10:00 A.M. at the First United Methodist Church in Springer, New Mexico, with Pastor Chuck Wiggins as the Officiant. Burial will be at the Springer Cemetery immediately following.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to the Springer Senior Citizens Center in gratitude for their meal deliveries and housekeeping during Tommy’s final months or the Colfax General Long-term Care Center in Springer.
Arrangements and celebration of love for Tommy T. Crawford are under the direction of the Yaksich-Long Funeral Home of Raton.