July 13, 1930 – January 25, 2018
William (Bill) Douglas Crawford, 87, a Moses Lake resident, passed away peacefully in his sleep from heart failure. Bill was born in Denver, Colo. As a child he moved around the country, ending up in Burlington, Iowa where he met his future wife, Harriet Ward, one Sunday morning in church. After graduating from high school, he joined the Navy hoping to see the world, but only saw Oklahoma and Texas. After his honorable discharge, he married Harriet in 1954 and moved to Coquille, Ore., where their daughter Candi was born, and then Bellingham, Wash., where their son Mike was born. They lived in Bellingham for 32 years before moving to Moses Lake for the next 29 years.
While living in Bellingham, Bill was an avid motorcyclist, exploring all the mountain logging roads he could find as well as taking tours in Mexico. He and Harriet enjoyed parking their motor home in the most remote, out-of-the-way places they could find near waterfalls or streams in the mountains to get away from it all for a week or two. Throughout Bill’s life, there was almost always a camper or motor home parked in the driveway; the family even owned a houseboat at one point.
Bill always referred to himself as a “jack of all trades, master of none.” He worked as a watch repairman, sawmill worker, taxi driver, and barber. He enjoyed acting in the Bellingham Theater Guild, was a U.S. Merchant Marine, joined the U.S. Coast Guard Power Squadron, was an ambulance driver in both Bellingham and Seattle, and drove a tour bus in Seattle and Skagway, Alaska. After Bill’s leg was broken while working as a tugboat hand in Bellingham, Bill and Harriet used their settlement to purchase the first of nearly 100 residential rental houses/units they would own, manage and maintain in the Bellingham and Moses Lake areas during his lifetime.
Bill was an EMT and volunteer firefighter for over 35 years, occasionally working as a wildfire crew supervisor where he was affectionately dubbed “Papa Smurf” because of his white beard and bald head. He volunteered in the Minuteman Border Patrol’s early days, as well as Red Cross and Salvation Army disaster assistance programs, where he helped out after floods and hurricanes. In his later years he enjoyed motorhoming to Arizona and Texas for the winter, where he volunteered at a bird sanctuary and drove a shuttle bus at the USS Lexington Museum.
Bill achieved his dream of world travel with his life partner, best friend and soul mate Harriet. They enjoyed traveling (mostly by cruise ship) to many parts of the globe, including England, Spain, Italy, Greece, Peru, Russia, Holland, Germany, Austria, China, Australia, New Zealand, the Panama Canal, the Caribbean, Lesser Antilles, Fiji, Samoa, Japan, Venezuela and other parts of Central America. They visited all 50 states, Canada and Mexico.
Bill enjoyed cooking meats of all kinds (both in the oven and with various types of barbecues and grills) and experimenting with spices (the spicier the better seemed to be his motto).
As a father and grandfather, Bill encouraged individualism; he believed in trying new things and being yourself. He was a willing teacher, anxious to pass on his hard-earned knowledge on many subjects.
Bill is survived by his wife Harriet, after 63 1/2 happy years together; daughter Candi (Chuck) Thonney of Moses Lake; son Mike (Cyndi) of Cle Elum; five grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, a sister in Kentucky, and a brother in Arizona. At his request there was no service. His ashes will someday be combined with Harriet’s and scattered over the mountains they love so well.