Richard Bradway Crawford

After a brief illness, Richard Bradway Crawford died on June 27, 2022, at the age of 89, surrounded by his wife and children at his home in Somesville.
Born on Feb. 16, 1933, in Kalamazoo, Mich., to Kenneth and Alma Crawford, Dick’s lifetime of adventure, curiosity and academia began. At the family cottage on Lake Michigan, the Crawford children explored on bikes, the back of trucks and boats. Upon high school graduation as salutatorian, he and his brother Lewie spent the summer biking through Europe and even climbed the Matterhorn. After studying history and biochemistry at Kalamazoo College, Dick earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Rochester Medical and Dental School. In 1959, he accepted a position to teach at the University of Pennsylvania Medical and Dental School. In 1967, he left that tenured position to teach at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., where he remained for the rest of his career. There he relished his various roles as Professor Crawford, including leadership opportunities, research and, most of all, teaching. He developed lifelong and cherished relationships with many of his students. He also enjoyed several sabbaticals including: University of Edinburgh, Warwick University, The Jackson Laboratory and Scripps Oceanographic Institute.
While in Connecticut, he was an active member of his community, with particular devotion to both the work of Hartford’s Central Baptist Church and Rotary, where he received two Paul Harris awards and served as president.
Dick found the love of his life, Betty, in their 10th-grade English class. They were married in 1954 and together raised four cherished children. Never was a weekend opportunity for a family adventure missed, most often hiking, picnicking and swimming or boating. He took great pride in his children’s accomplishments, lovingly welcoming their spouses and eventually his grandchildren. Dick thrived in his family’s companionship, often providing news updates along with his own commentary grounded in social justice and peace.
Dick and Betty first came to Maine in 1956, to climb Katahdin and then to explore Mount Desert Island. What great fortune to arrive six years later with the family in tow to begin what became 20 years of research and summers at Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory. Deep connections to MDI and friends led them to ultimately build a retirement home on the island. The ensuing years brought many hikes and sails along with a wealth of new friends, enriching opportunities and many adventures around the world, returning frequently to Ireland. During retirement on MDI, Dick was instrumental in starting Acadia Senior College, joined the Bar Harbor Rotary Club, was active at the Somesville Union Meeting House and worked and learned with the Beatrix Farrand Society as well as the Mount Desert Historical Society.
In addition to his wife of 68 years, Betty, Dick is survived by his four children: Kate St. Denis (Tony St. Denis) of Bar Harbor; Christine Bowman (Stephen Bowman) of Mount Desert; Kevin Crawford (Eileen Crawford) of South Windsor, Conn.; and Nancy Crawford (Scott Champney) of Gorham; four grandchildren: Sarah Pearce (Greg Pearce), Eric St. Denis, Alex Colombo, Jacob Crawford; one great-grandchild, Dorian Pearce, and his devoted Golden Doodle, Amie.
He is also survived by his sister, Barbara Cross (Bob Cross); sister-in-law, Barbara Crawford, and cousins Carol Barnes (Bob Barnes) and Marilyn Mitchell (Don Mitchell).
He was predeceased by his brother, Lewis Crawford.
In his final days, Richard said to go out into the world and to spread love. He was grateful for the wonderful life he had and is already greatly missed.
A service of remembrance will be held on July 23, 2022, at 2 p.m. at the Somesville Union Meeting House. Should you desire to attend remotely, please visit for details on how to do so. Memorial contributions may be made to The Campfire Coalition, ℅ The Neighborhood House, P.O. Box 332, Northeast Harbor, ME 04662.
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