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Edward William Crawford

Kossuth County Advance - Staff Photo - Create Article


December 6, 1922 - January 14, 2024

Mass of Christian Burial was  held at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 22, 2024, at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in St. Cloud for Edward William Crawford, age 101, of St. Cloud, who passed away on Sunday, Jan. 14 at the St. Cloud Hospital. Reverend Jeremy Ploof officiated. Burial, with full military honors, was in the St. Joseph Parish Cemetery in Waite Park at 3:30 p.m. on Monday.

Visitation was held from 4 until 7 p.m. on Sunday, Jan.  21 at the Daniel Funeral Home, St. Cloud and from 11:30 a.m. until the time of the service on Monday at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in St. Cloud. Parish prayers were held at 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Daniel Funeral Home, St. Cloud.

Edward was born on Dec. 6, 1922, to William “Bill” and Catherine (Gavigan) Crawford of Barnum. After graduating from high school in 1940, he was recruited to attend Western Air College in Alhambra, Calif. With the skills learned there, he soon found employment with North American Aviation in Inglewood, helping to build airplanes for the US and British military. The highlight of the job was making parts for the B-25 bombers used in Jimmy Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo in 1942.

Despite working in a vital industry, Ed joined the Army Air Corps (US Air Force) to further support the war effort. After training as an aerial radio operator and turret gunner, he served in the Mariana Islands of the central Pacific Theater as a ground-controlled approach operator, providing safe landings for returning aircraft. First trained to take lives and later to save lives, he was fortunate to use the second skill rather than the first.

After WWII, Ed returned to Iowa and there met his Wild Irish Rose, Marian Cahill, whom he married in 1948. Ed tried farming and trucking until 1954, when he began working for a farm store chain, first in Fort Dodge and later in Algona. After the company was purchased by Big Bear Farm Stores, he managed the Algona store and later transferred to St. Cloud to become a buyer. He worked in merchandising and inventory control until his retirement in 1986.

Ed is a member of the Church of St. Paul and an honorary life member of the Knights of Columbus, which he joined in 1943. He became a 4th Degree Knight in 1965, and served as Grand Knight for the Bishop Bartholome Council #12822 and as Faithful Navigator for the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus Father Pierz Assembly #530. In 2023, he was honored as Minnesota Knight of the Year. He is also a member of  The American Legion Post 428, VFW Post 428, Disabled American Veterans and a charter member of  The National WWII Museum in New Orleans.


Ed and Marian loved dancing, playing cards and traveling. In their nearly 65 years together, they visited all 50 states by automobile, airplane and motor home. Immensely proud of their Irish heritage, they particularly relished a trip to their ancestral homeland of Ireland. Ed spent many years researching his and Marian’s family trees, seeking out and establishing ties to their many distant cousins. He documented their histories in several books which are treasured by all of his family members. Ed enjoyed woodworking and crafted many furniture items for Marian and his children. A devout and faith-filled man, he became a familiar figure in his neighborhood, walking and praying the rosary. His personal goal was to put a smile on someone’s face each day.

Survivors include sons: Patrick (Jeanne) of Kansas City, Mo. and Paul (Kim) of Marion; daughters: Kathleen (Mark) Bernick of Rice, Minn. and MaryEllen (Gerry) Keymer of St. Cloud; son-in-law, Kevin Shiek of Ramsey, Minn.; grandchildren: Kelly Van Maren, Ryan (Maggie) Crawford and Conor Crawford, all of Kansas City, Mo., Sean Gohman of Laurium, Mich., Deb (Jay) Boehmler of Fort Worth, Texas, Mike (Kim) Keymer of Arlington, Va., Daniel (Ginger) Keymer of Stevens Point, Wis., Tim (Cara) Keymer of St. Louis, Park Minn., Lisa (Jason) Grebe of Greenville, Wis., Brian (Shelly) Shiek of Andover, Minn., Ben (Tiffany) Shiek of Ramsey, Minn., Devin Shiek of Minneapolis, Minn., and Brigid (Ian) Findley of Sycamore, Ill.; twenty-eight great-grandchildren; sisters: Patricia Schreier of Manson, Joan McMartin of Castle Rock, Colo., and Judith Roberts of Spring Hill, Fla.

Ed was preceded in death by his wife, Marian, on Jan. 1, 2013, daughter Jane Shiek, brother Leo and sisters, Kathleen Knox and Virginia Barrett.

Memorials in lieu of flowers will be donated to Ed’s favorite charities.








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