Dorothy Crawford


Dorothy Rose Crawford, 102, of Franklin, N.C., died peacefully at her home on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020.

A native of Rogersville, Ala., she was the daughter of the late Thomas O. Rose and Mattie Greer Rose. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 74 years, John L. Crawford; a sister, Doris Rose Hudson; and her brother-in-law, Thomas N. Higdon.

She attended David Lipscomb College and earned her BA from George Pepperdine College in Los Angeles. While earning her Masters in Social Work at UNC-Chapel Hill, she met her future husband, John L. Crawford, whom she married on March 12, 1942, in Victoria, Texas, where John was a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.

She was a social worker in Davidson County, N.C., and Lauderdale County, Ala., before becoming a social worker in Macon County in 1952.  She was appointed director of Macon County Department of Welfare in 1958, a position she held until her retirement on June 30, 1984.

Dorothy was an active and long-time member of the Franklin Church of Christ.

Her civic and professional activities were varied. For most of these organizations she served on the board as an officer to include president: N.C. Social Services Association, N.C. Directors of Social Services Association, Board of Directors of Macon County Program for Progress, Area Mental Health Board, Area Advisory Council on Aging, Franklin Business and Professional Women’s Club, PTA, Den Mother of Cub Scouts, charter member of Franklin Gem and Mineral Society, WNC Associated Communities, WNC Tomorrow, American Legion Auxiliary Unit #108, AARP, and many more.

In 2006 Gov. Mike Easley awarded her The Order of the Long Leaf Pine for her meritorious service to the citizens of North Carolina. In recognition of extraordinary service to Macon County, along with her husband, John, in April 2012 the Macon County Senior Services Center was renamed the Dorothy R. and John L. Crawford Senior Center. In the spring of 2018, Gov. Roy Cooper also awarded Dorothy the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for her continued service to the citizens of North Carolina. She received many other awards including State Volunteer of the Year for N.C. by the Joint Action in Community Services (JACS) in May 2004, the 2016 Pioneer Award by the N.C. Coalition on Aging, WLOS Person of the Week in June 2017, Lifetime Career Leadership Award by the N.C. Council of Community Programs by Vaya Health in 2016 and the Macon Matriarch Award in March 2020.

Survivors include her sons, John L. Crawford III and wife Donna of Flat Rock, N.C., Thomas R. Crawford and wife Jae of Sylva, N.C.; seven grandchildren, Caroline Heubel and husband John of Fort Mill, S.C., Robert Crawford of Charlotte, N.C., Molly Moore and husband Parker of Beaufort, S.C., Kate Fuqua and husband Jason of Pelham, N.Y., Thomas R. Crawford, Jr. and wife Michelle of Cedar Point, N.C., Kathryn McMillan and husband Tom of Port St. Lucie, Fla., Holly Conlin and husband Scott of Sylva; 16 great-grandchildren; niece, Doris Kirkland and husband Ed of Atlanta, and nephew, James Hudson of Brunswick, Ga.; sisters in-law, Julia Green of Burlington, N.C., Beverly Moore of Franklin and Patricia Higdon of Las Cruces, N.M.; brother-in-law, Alfred Higdon and wife Ann of Atlanta; and numerous nieces and nephews in the Higdon family.

Because of COVID-19 the family will plan a service to celebrate the life of Dorothy as soon as feasible.

Mrs. Crawford laid in state at the chapel of Bryant-Grant Funeral Home from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, for friends and family to visit and pay respect.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Franklin Church of Christ McCollum Drive Scholarship Endowment, and mail to: N.C. Community Foundation, 3737 Glenwood Ave., Suite 460, Raleigh, NC 27612, or donate online:; or to one’s favorite charity.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home in Franklin is in charge of arrangements.