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Obituary ~ Carl Kenneth "Kenny" Crawford
October 08, 1933 - May 26, 2018
The Leon Journal Reporter
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
Carl Kenneth Crawford, Kenny to all his friends and family, was born October 8, 1933, in Wayne County, Iowa and departed this life on May 26, 2018, from his rural Garden Grove, Iowa home where he has lived since he was three years old.
The son of James Harvey and Halah Mae (McVey) Crawford, grew up the youngest of six children on the farm south of Humeston, Iowa. He attended and graduated from Garden Grove High School in 1951. He chose to continue farming the home farm with his mother. His father had passed away in 1945. In 1955, he was drafted to serve two years in the United States Army, coming home in February of 1957. Shortly after his discharge the trustee who owned the land they farmed told him they wanted to sell. As he put it, “They knew more about my business than I did.” The farm manager said you can buy in, he’d already talked to the banker and they had it arranged. So in 1957, he purchased a short line of machinery and the farm he operated until his death. He also worked over 35 years in the Humeston Sale Barn.
In 1973, he was united in marriage to Carol J. Irelan and to this union two children were born, Christina Ann and James Harvey. During their high school years an acquaintance with Keith Talley resulted in him coming to live with them and although not formalized, he was another son.
Kenny was active in his community and was always willing to volunteer to help at events, such as be in the dunk tank for youth group, cook mountain oysters for the Legion, host cook outs for charity, or “hanging” for bicentennial reenactments. He was available to nieces and nephews, his children, and friends. He always wanted to give back to the community who helped him so much following two fires in 1972, first his barn and a week later his hog house.
Kenny loved his horses and owned one all his life, except the two years he was in the service. The American Quarter Horse Association recognized him for over 30 years of continuous breeding. Two colts from that breeding won the Iowa Breeders Futurity. He loved horse racing and operated an eight horse racing gate running races all over Iowa before pari-mutuels with his partner, Bill Woosley. He also participated in rodeos with the Sears Rodeo Company when it was in its infancy, riding bulls and steer wrestling, and started numerous colts for friends and neighbors. He also liked to show horses, receiving his first ribbon in 1945. He was a founding member of the Triple R Saddle Club serving in many capacities and lastly as it’s long time treasurer.
He help found the South Central Iowa Quarter Horse Association and belonged to the Iowa Horse Industry Council, serving for several years as one of its directors. While on the council board he with Carol organized the Horse Avenue of Breeds at the Iowa State Fair, and he helped start the Iowa Horse Fair. He enjoyed showing his horses and mules at the state fair bringing home numerous ribbons and trophies. He showed horses and mules all over the country, even qualifying and attending national events. He passed that love of shows and rodeo to his children. From 1973, to 1998, he hosted a mule show on the family farm, which led to other events, including a music festival, which ran annually for over 10 years and the U.S. National Miniature Donkey Show. There were also trail rides, Coyote Suppers, barbeques, and sledding parties. Anyone and everyone was welcome at the farm and in his home.
He enjoyed farming even when there were bad years. Like most farmers he was optimistic and looked forward to each spring and the new lambs, calves, and planting. In the last few years Parkinson’s Disease had limited his ability to work outside but he still maintained his interest and always wanted to know how many calves we were getting and how the hay was producing.
He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Virginia and Maurice Auxier, Betty Jean and Russell Helt, and Robert “Bob” and Mary Crawford; sister-in-law, Marie Crawford; and brother-in-law, Hugh Joy. Survivors include his wife, Carol Crawford; daughter, Tina Selsor of Garden Grove, Iowa; son, Harvey Crawford and wife, Lorie of La Belle, Florida; Keith Talley of Port Lavaca, Texas; brother, James Harvey “Junior” Crawford of Des Moines, Iowa; sister, DonNell Joy of Humeston, Iowa; four step grandchildren, Tyler Noble, Chelsea Noble, Ronnie Rae Selsor and Harley Selsor; and all the children for whom he will forever be “Grandpa Kenny”, Austin and Sara Talley, Cody, Cheyenne, Bronc, Sidney and Kaycee Talley, Taylor and Kaydence Anderson and Jeremy Curtis; as well as many nieces and nephews, grand and great grand nieces and nephews; and many friends.
Memorial Service: June 15, 2018 10:30 AM, Humeston Christian United Methodist Church, Humeston, Iowa
Memorial Established by Family
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, June of 2018