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In Memoriam: Ted Crawshaw

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Memorial contributions in Ted’s name will be placed in the A+ Foundation for West Aurora Schools Fund

Ted Crawshaw passed away on July 20, 2023.

From the obituary:

Ted Cathcart Crawshaw, 87, of Aurora, died Thursday, July 20 after a brief hospice at Loyola-MacNeal in Berwyn. He is survived by his children, Susan (Sheila Ballen) of Philadelphia; son Michael (Joan) of Western Springs; and grandsons William (Paige), Andrew, and Thomas. The son of the late Clyde and Margaret (McAfee) Crawshaw, he was also preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Diane Morsch Crawshaw, and his younger brother, Michael (Dee) Crawshaw, of Marseilles, Illinois.

Sweet, sweet Ted was born on Valentine’s Day 1936 in Carbondale, Illinois, where his parents had attended college and begun their teaching careers. The family soon moved north to Marseilles, where Clyde built a long career as a basketball coach, athletic director, principal, and ultimately superintendent of schools. Ted graduated from Marseilles High in 1954 as a decorated, multi-sport athlete-and the region’s Boys State representative-and entered what was then Northern Illinois State Teachers College to carry on the family business.

In 1959, Ted joined his new bride, Diane, whom he’d married that June-just a year after their first date-at Franklin Junior High in Aurora, where she’d begun teaching English that spring. He remained with District 129 for the next 34 years, first teaching math and science, then, after earning his Master’s Degree in 1966 from NIU, as a guidance counselor at Washington Junior High and West Aurora High School. In between, he hustled every extra duty he could to supplement their modest teachers’ salaries-coaching track, reffing basketball, chaperoning sock hops, announcing football games, and, in the summers, repainting school rooms, delivering milk for Oberweis Dairy, and logging overnight shifts at the Caterpillar plant.

Beloved by his students for his empathetic ear (and perhaps his bottomless candy dish), Ted was equally respected by his peers. He was a long-time member of both the Illinois and American School Counselors Associations, serving variously as board member, vice-president, and president over the years. In 1980, nominated by his Washington colleagues in honor of his service to their students, Ted was named Kane County Educator of the Year. Even outside school hours, he never stopped thinking of ways to help his students plan their next steps. And so, to the sighing and eye-rolling of his own two children, he rarely passed up the chance to tour a campus. Any campus. Even obscure schools. Even while on family vacation. (Don’t tell him, but the kids cherished those Transylvania University t-shirts for years).

In 1993, Ted and Di both took early retirement, allowing them to spend much more time at their Northwoods cabin on Crystal Lake in Mercer, Wisconsin. Surrounded by trees and water and hummingbirds and the occasional black bear, they read together, cooked together, and generously hosted friends and family-especially their grandsons, who will forever hold golden memories of jam-packed lake days with Gramma and Grampa.

As decades-long members of Wesley United Methodist Church in Aurora, Ted and Diane volunteered often and helped lead Wesley into the the Reconciling Ministries Network, affirming its mission as an inclusive, welcoming congregation to the LGBTQ+ community. Ted also greatly enjoyed his regular breakfast gatherings with the Mug Club, the church’s men’s discussion group, whose fellowship helped him through some tough months during Diane’s illness. The family is grateful for the support of the Wesley community. They’d also like to thank the staff at the Landings of Batavia, where Ted moved after Diane passed in July 2021. Their care and compassion made his last few years much easier.

A visitation is scheduled for Tuesday, July 25, 2023 from 4 PM to 7 PM at The Healy Chapel, 332 W. Downer Place, Aurora, IL. The funeral will be at Ted’s home congregation, Wesley United Methodist Church, 14 N. May Street, on Wednesday, July 26, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Ted’s memory to the A+ Foundation for West Aurora Schools c/o Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley.

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