In Memory of




Obituary for Shirley J. Crawford

CRAWFORD: Shirley J.
July 10, 1937 - October 30, 2023
Shirley Jean Crawford (nee French) was born on July 10th, 1937, on her uncle George's farm near the north shore of Last Mountain Lake, SK. She was the second youngest child born to Benjamin Rush Hoit French and Pearl Gertrude French (nee Gallacher). She was raised in the town of Simpson, SK as part of a large family during times that were sometimes difficult. Shirley enjoyed sports like curling and often represented her school at district track meets. She was fun loving, social, and enjoyed making people laugh - traits that continued throughout her life. Mom worked a few summers at Manitou Beach and later as a telephone operator in Regina before attending Teachers' College in Moose Jaw. Money was tight and she was always grateful for the loan from her brother Arnold that made her post-secondary education possible. Mom taught in country schools near Liberty and Furdale SK. She married Ralph Crawford in 1958 at the United Church in Simpson. They went on to have three children: Greg, Karen and Grant. Mom and Dad started off farming near Simpson but, pursuing Ralph's further education and subsequent career in corrections, they made a number of moves that included Saskatoon, Los Angeles, Victoria, Regina and Richmond BC. They finally landed in Prince Albert in 1971. Mom spent many years as a substitute teacher in P.A. They also had an active social life there and enjoyed many activities including badminton, skiing and camping. Mom was very much in her element during the "camping era." She would have everything lined up by the door and ready to go when Dad got home from work on Fridays. She really enjoyed the adventure and it was a great family activity. The North was a big draw and when Mom and Dad built a cabin at Weyakwin Lake in 1978, it became a big part of their lives. Mom filleted a lot of fish over the years! In retirement, Mom and Dad moved back to the farm near Simpson. They spent their winters in Mesa AZ/Vancouver Island. They managed to fit in a lot golf and travel during retirement. Their final move was to Saskatoon's Circle Drive Place independent living in 2011. Mom continued to live there after Dad's passing and enjoyed a close relationship with her sister Myrna who also resides there. Mom's niece Colleen was also a great comfort to Mom in these years and the whole family is grateful that she was available to meet so many of Mom's needs.
Mom was devoted to her husband and family. "Ralph had the ideas and Shirley got it organized," as Myrna observed. The family expanded to include daughters-in-law Wendy and Julie and son-in-law Stu and when the grandchildren came along (Ben, Maggie, Jeff, Katie, Tessa and Kyla), Mom was thrilled. Scavenger hunts on the farm were one of the many traditions that she organized for her grandchildren. Mom was always proud of everyone and their accomplishments. She worked hard during her life and always gave generously of her time and resources to support her family. Shirley had a good life and she will be missed.
Shirley J. Crawford, aged 86 years, of Saskatoon and formerly of Simpson, SK passed away at Circle Park Special Care Home, Saskatoon, SK on Monday, October 30th, 2023. A Memorial Service took place at Simpson Community Centre, Simpson, SK on Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. with Rev. Joan Kessler officiating. A Private Family Interment took place in Simpson Cemetery. For online condolences, tributes or to make a donation to Simpson Cemetery Fund in Shirley J. Crawford's memory, please visit: