Cover photo for William M. Crawford's Obituary
William M. Crawford Profile Photo
1937 Bill 2024

William M. Crawford

October 11, 1937 — February 21, 2024

Carmel, IN

William Merrill Crawford passed away on February 21, 2024, in Carmel, Indiana.

William “Bill” was born October 11, 1937, in Washington, D.C., to William Winfield and Marian (Hobbs) Crawford. He was raised in Colorado and Montana and graduated in 1955 from Missoula County High School, where he was also elected president of the student body.

Bill earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (with Honors) in 1959, and his Master of Arts in Economics in 1961, both from the University of Montana. An all-around brilliant student, he received the Cultural Attache Award in German, the Gordon and Anna Watkins Scholarship Award in Economics, and the Wall Street Journal Award. [His master’s thesis on a retail sales tax proposal, for the state of Montana, was taken under serious consideration by Montana legislature – an unusual influential outcome for a new graduate student]. As an alumnus of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, he maintained lifelong ties with his friends.

As a distinguished military graduate of the US Army ROTC Program at University of Montana, he served in the US Army as First Lieutenant from 1961 to 1963, and was awarded an Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service.

Bill then embarked on a productive [three decade long] long career in the telecommunications industry at Indiana Bell, AT&T, and Ameritech. He focused on financial and regulatory administration, and retired from Indiana Bell as Director of Regulatory Affairs in 1992. He subsequently joined Greenwich Associates – a provider of global market, intelligence, and advisory services – based in Connecticut, from which he retired in early 2000s.

Given his long history in Montana, Bill thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors (which included a stint as a forest firefighter). He was an avid golfer, and loved traveling with his wife. His depth and wealth of knowledge particularly in current events led others to experience the joy of being in the presence of a great conversationalist.

As an accomplished athlete and student, Bill’s life-long love for sports helped him appreciate its immense value in building character and fostering teamwork. Bill was a big fan at his grandchildren’s little league games and all their sporting events throughout the years, and always sending personal notes of congratulations and encouragement after a game or match. [He kept up with college basketball and NFL and could recall detailed statistics on almost any athlete – impressing us all!] He loved following all of his grandchildren’s travels & accomplishments, and remained an incredible positive role model in their lives.

Bill’s civic engagement led his passion for inspiring young students toward excellence (Junior Achievement) and in volunteerism (United Way). He also served as a volunteer board member of the Indianapolis Business Development Foundation, and the President of the Indianapolis Planning Executive Institute.

Bill’s faith was particularly important as a longtime member of the Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, where he had many friends and met his wife, Mary Lou.

Bill entered Woodland Terrace (Carmel) when he felt the need for assisted living. However quite paradoxically, we heard from his caregivers how much love he showed them; he distinguished himself as a friend, and made them feel so important. This was so typical of Bill – intelligent, kind, and so compassionate; it made it easy for people to want to spend more time with him.

Bill is survived by his wife, Mary Lou Crawford (daughter, Debbie and son in law, Dave Babcock; granddaughter, Stephanie and husband, Joe Graves; great-grandson, Caden Alexander; and great-granddaughter, Ella Kate); brother, Scott Crawford (wife, Linda Crawford and their daughter, Sarah and son in law, Lt. Col. Jonathon Hoang USAF) of Denver, Colorado; Bill’s children, Lizabeth Crawford of Peoria, Illinois; Laura Crawford (and close friend, Craig Hopkins) of New York City; Gregory Crawford (wife, Cosima Crawford) of Zurich, Switzerland; Jennifer Fuller (husband, Mark Fuller) of Carmel, Indiana; and 6 grandchildren: Olivia Jeanne Crawford, Anna Sophia Crawford, Maxwell Bradley Fuller, Lucas Bradley Fuller, Maximillian James Crawford, and Edward Grayson Crawford.  

Bill was a wonderful example of embodied kindness, love and joy, who was also impeccably patient and gentle – a unique and precious gift to us all! Bill was a man of great faith and is now born to eternal life.

Services will be held at Second Presbyterian Church (7700 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46260), Tuesday, March 12, at 2:30 pm. A livestream of the service can be found on Second Presbyterian Church's website.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Second Presbyterian Church or to the University of Montana Foundation, in Memory of William M. Crawford.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William M. Crawford, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Starts at 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

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