Dorothy Rose Crawford

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FRANKLIN – Dorothy Rose Crawford, 102, died peacefully at her home on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. A native of Rogersville, Alabama, she was the daughter of the late Thomas O. Rose and Mattie Greer Rose. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 74 years, John L. Crawford; a sister, Doris Rose Hudson; and her brother-in-law Thomas N. Higdon.

She attended David Lipscomb College and earned her BA from George Pepperdine College in Los Angeles. While earning her Masters in Social Work at UNC Chapel Hill, she met her future husband, John L. Crawford, whom she married on March 12, 1942 in Victoria, Texas, where John was a pilot in the US Army Air Corps during World War II.

She was a social worker in Davidson County, North Carolina and Lauderdale County, Alabama before becoming a social worker in Macon County in 1952. She was appointed director of Macon County Department of Welfare in 1958, a position she held until her retirement on June 30, 1984.

Dorothy was an active and longtime member of the Franklin Church of Christ.

Her civic and professional activities were varied. For most of these organizations she served on the board as an officer, including the posotion of president:  NC Social Services Association, NC Directors of Social Services Association, Board of Directors of Macon County Program for Progress, Area Mental Health Board, Area Advisory Council on Aging, Franklin Business and Professional Women’s Club, PTA, Den Mother of Cub Scouts, Charter member of Franklin Gem and Mineral Society, WNC Associated Communities, WNC Tomorrow, American Legion Auxiliary Unit #108, AARP and many more.

In 2006 Gov. Mike Easley awarded her The Order of the Long Leaf Pine for her meritorious service to the citizens of North Carolina. In recognition of extraordinary service to Macon County, along with her husband John, in April 2012 the Macon County Senior Services Center was renamed the Dorothy R. and John L. Crawford Senior Center. In the spring of 2018, Gov. Roy Cooper also awarded Dorothy the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for her continued service to the citizens of North Carolina. She received many other awards, including State Volunteer of the Year for NC by the Joint Action in Community Services (JACS) in May 2004, the 2016 Pioneer Award by the NC Coalition on Aging, WLOS Person of the Week in June 2017, Lifetime Career Leadership Award by the NC Council of Community Programs by Vaya Health in 2016 and the Macon Matriarch Award in March 2020.

Survivors include her sons, John L. Crawford III and wife Donna of Flat Rock, North Carolina; Thomas R. Crawford and wife Jae of Sylva; seven grandchildren, Caroline Heubel and husband John of Ft. Mill, South Carolina; Robert Crawford of Charlotte, North Carolina; Molly Moore and husband Parker of Beaufort, South Carolina; Kate Fuqua and husband Jason of Pelham, New York; Thomas R. Crawford Jr. and wife Michelle of Cedar Point, North Carolina; Kathryn McMillan and husband Tom of Port St. Lucie, Florida; Holly Conlin and husband Scott of Sylva; 16 great-grandchildren; niece Doris Kirkland and husband Ed of Atlanta; and nephew James Hudson of Brunswick, Georgia; sisters-in-law Julia Green of Burlington, North Carolina, Beverly Moore of Franklin and Patricia Higdon of Las Cruces, New Mexico; brother-in-law Alfred Higdon and wife Ann of Atlanta; and numerous nieces and nephews in the Higdon family.

Because of COVID-19 the family will plan a service to celebrate the life of Dorothy as soon as feasible.

Mrs. Crawford laid in state at the chapel of Bryant Grant Funeral Home from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020 for friends and family to visit and pay respect. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Franklin Church of Christ McCollum Drive  Scholarship Endowment and mailed to North Carolina Community Foundation, 3737 Glenwood Ave., Suite 460, Raleigh, NC 27612, or donate online at 

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.