Obituary: Marian Crawford / Teacher shared musical passion with family in her 106 years

April 19, 1907 - May 24, 2013

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Marian Crawford was by no stretch of the imagination a health nut. She didn't regularly exercise at the gym or limit the number of calories she ingested each day.

So, what then, was the secret to living 106 years?

"She had good genes and sheer determination to just hang in there," her daughter, Marilynn Flood of Bethesda, Md., said.

Ms. Crawford, formerly of the East End, died May 24 at Sherwood Oaks senior living facility in Cranberry.

Born in the north boroughs of Pittsburgh in 1907, Ms. Crawford attended Bellevue public schools.

After graduating, she went to Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she received a teaching degree, which enabled her to get a job teaching music to young students in Bellevue.

Ms. Crawford shared a passion for music with her husband, James Crawford. When they moved to the East End to raise a family, the Crawfords formed a mini-band -- she played piano, he sang and their three children played instruments including guitar and banjo around the home.

"We used to make music at home, which she adored," Ms. Flood said. "Music was an important part of her life always."

The Crawfords were married for 63 years before Mr. Crawford died in 1997. The key to their long and successful marriage was their devotion to each other, her daughter said.

Community service also was very important to Ms. Crawford. She served on the Shadyside Hospital Social Service Board and volunteered for Shadyside Presbyterian Church.

"I think she enjoyed service because she felt she was making a difference," her daughter said. "She really enjoyed visiting patients at the hospital to help boost their morale."

Ms. Crawford was a member of the Ross Mountain Club, Pittsburgh Golf Club, Twentieth Century Club executive board and Tree Garden Club.

In addition to her daughter, she is survived by two sons, James Jr. of Centennial, Colo., and Bradley of Fiji; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A funeral will be held at 1 p.m. today in the chapel of Homewood Cemetery, followed by a private interment.

Memorial contributions may be made to Sherwood Oaks Fund, 100 Norman Drive, Cranberry, PA 16066; Shadyside Presbyterian Church, 5121 Westminster Place, Pittsburgh 15232; or Alzheimer's Association, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1100, Chicago, IL 60611.


Jessica Tully:, 412-263-1159 or on Twitter: @jessalynn4.

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