Agriculture legend Bob Crawford dies at 79

Published 12:33 pm Friday, February 1, 2013

Long-time Lawrence County resident, U.S. Air Force helicopter pilot and Ohio agricultural legend Robert “Bob” Crawford died Jan. 30 at the Community Hospice Care Center in Ashland, Ky.

Known throughout the county for his agricultural expertise as Lawrence County Extension Agent for more than 30 years Crawford also was the man who preceded John Marra on WSAZ’s Farm Report. His youngest son Dean said he will be missed by more people than he will ever know.

“He knew everyone in the community, I mean absolutely everyone,” Crawford said. “He was a pillar of his community, a leader in his church and I bet you couldn’t find one person to say anything against him. He was a good man.”

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Bob Crawford grew up on his family farm in Science Hill, Ky., and his son said his father was known there as one of the first people to leave and make his name somewhere else. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky, a master’s degree in animal science from The Ohio State University and flying helicopters in the Air Force, Crawford said his father received multiple lucrative offers to fly commercial aircraft, but made the chose to dedicate his life to what he loved.

“Dad just loved to farm,” Crawford said. “Up to about a week before his death he was on the tractor. You just couldn’t keep him off of it.

“The thing that really amazes me about dad is if you knew he was a farmer and saw how he was and how he lived you’d look at him and almost assume he wasn’t intelligent, but he was probably one of the most intelligent people I knew,” Crawford said. He knew algebra, trig and other things you would just think he wouldn’t know. But he did, and could do it all in his head.”

His son said Crawford was an even-tempered man who never let anything get him down. He cared about his community to the point where he would almost literally give those in need the clothes off his back.

“He was always taking clothes and food to people,” Crawford said. “He’d literally just go through stuff at our house and get clothes for people who needed them. It didn’t matter if we needed them then or not, he’d just say we could get more.”

Crawford leaves behind his wife, five sons, a stepson, a step-daughter, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.