Age 73, of Byron, passed away Wednesday, July 29, 2020, surrounded by his family.

A memorial Mass will take place at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, at St. Mary Catholic Church, 700 E. Columbia Drive in Durand. A rosary will be prayed at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the church prior to Mass. Burial will take place in Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly.

Gary was born Dec. 16, 1946, in Saginaw to Frank and Norma (Block) Crawford. Gary earned varsity letters in football, track, baseball and basketball. He began working at Grand Trunk in Durand soon after his graduation from Byron High School in 1965.

In April 1966, he joined the U.S. Navy and was sent to Great Lakes for recruit training. Gary remained at Great Lakes after boot camp, attended corps school, and worked with Navy recruits until his assignment to Field Med School at Camp Lejeune.

In June 1967, Gary landed in DaNang, Vietnam, and received orders for First Battalion, 26th Marines (1/26) at Khe Sanh. While at Khe Sanh, Gary was wounded and received a Purple Heart.

In July 1968, Gary returned to Great Lakes where he worked as an occupational therapist with some men he had treated in Vietnam. “Doc” also played football for the Marine team at Great Lakes before his discharge as an HM-3 (E-4) Jan. 5, 1970. Gary returned to work at Grand Trunk when he was released from active duty. After 24 years with the railroad, Gary retired in August 1988.

Gary enjoyed woodworking, hunting and following the Red Wings. In addition to his Marine Corps Lejeune membership, Gary was a life member of the Durand VFW Post 2272 and AmVets Post 2273 as well as the Owosso American Legion Post. Gary was active in the Durand Eagles and was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Durand.

Gary is survived by his wife of 51 years, Lois Crawford; children Lance (Lisa) Crawford, Melanie (Bill) Boyd and Lori (Jamie) Ladd; five grandchildren; and siblings Norma Mott, Dwight “Jocko” Crawford and Sharon Post.

Gary’s family would like to give a special thank you to nurse Lynn from Grace Hospice as well to Jocko Crawford, Pat Crawford, Jenny Weber, Ben Snook and Mike Fayfer, and to all the other countless friends who have called and aided them during this time.

Memorial contributions given in Gary’s name are suggested to charities for homeless veterans. Online condolences may be shared with his family by going to watkinsfuneralhomes.com.

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