Cumberland – James H. Crawford, Jr., 71, of Cumberland, Rhode Island, died Monday, February 1, 2021 at the HopeHealth Hulitar Hospice Center, Providence, surrounded by his loving family. He was the beloved husband of Margaret (Yates) Crawford, to whom he had been married for forty-six loving years.
Born in Providence, a son of the late James H. and Mary (Ezovski) Crawford, he had lived in Lincoln for most of his life, before moving begrudgingly to Cumberland four years ago.
Mr. Crawford was the proprietor of JMJ Equipment. Prior to that, he worked as a truck driver for Wayne Distributors, and as a heavy equipment operator for J.H. Lynch & Sons.
James was a volunteer of the former Fairlawn-Lincoln Fire Department, where he served as a lieutenant and later as a fire warden. He was a member of the Teamsters, Local 251.
James and Margaret lived a full, happy, and accomplished life together. Their priority was always family, they truly enjoyed taking part in their children's development through schooling and later in their professional lives. James and Margaret also enjoyed spending time together. In their early years they enjoyed golfing and the occasional trip to Florida. Later in life they fell fond of weekends in Cape Cod and Maine, exploring local eateries and enjoying the scenery.
Always the loving and supporting father, James took great pride in his children, who were known locally as Jimmy Crawford’s kids or Bones’ kids. From the early days of camping and beach days, to the best hockey skate lacer, to the super star girls softball coach. As his children matriculated to URI, James would enjoy hockey games and even popping into the dinner hall for the occasional lunch with some of the guys. James always enjoyed supporting and cheering on his children through all of their accomplishments and achievements. Family, including the dogs, were always his priority. James was often seen as the guy walking the big black dog and later on the happy golden.
While living an eventful and fulfilling life, James’ passion came late in life. It was quite clear to all that observed James with his grandchildren that they were truly the light of his life. In 2010 James, with the challenge of fully pronouncing “Grandpa”, officially became “Pa,” a name that stuck. Pa cared for his grandchildren from the time they were born, as they grew this care would transition to shuttling to and from school, activities or anything else they needed. Quite often, and not to their parents' knowledge, these trips would involve a detour to Dunkin Donuts or Nayco for a quick treat, and possibly some lottery tickets. The grandchildren would attest that they also enjoyed their time with Pa. They loved being picked up in Pa’s Jeep, enjoying the opportunity to play with the radio, and those treats that would often follow. Over the summer, the boys enjoyed their time with Pa watching some construction that was occurring in the neighborhood, talking trucks, excavators, and loaders.
Along with his wife, Margaret, James is survived by his daughter, Gretchen C. Gomes, and her husband Steve, of Cumberland; son, Michael J.H. Crawford, and his wife Hanh, of Cumberland; and five grandchildren: Madelyn, Natalie, William, Matthew and Tyler. He was the brother of the late John R. Crawford and Calvin R. Crawford.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, February 5, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. in Saint Jude Church, 301 Front Street, Lincoln. Social distancing will be followed, and all guests will be required to wear a mask. The maximum attendance capacity of the church is 125 people. Private burial will be in Resurrection Cemetery, Cumberland. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory to HopeHealth Hospice & Palliative Care, 1085 North Main Street, Providence, R.I. 02904 would be appreciated. Arrangements with Bellows Funeral Chapel, 160 River Road, Lincoln.
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HopeHealth Hospice & Palliative Care
1085 North Main Street, Providence RI 02904