Irene Olivia Crawford was born June 27, 1921 in Kansas City, Kansas. She passed away at on June 21, 2020 at the age 98 from complications related to COVID-19 and Pneumonia. She moved into Copperfield Hills Memory Care seven years ago when she could no longer care for herself.
Irene was one of two children and was raised by an aunt, spending most of her early years in Kansas City, Missouri. She married at a young age, had a son, Roy Steel, who died in his early twenties. She moved to Minneapolis to live with her uncle and other extended family and met and married her second husband Roy Crawford. She enjoyed 40 years of marriage, until his death.
Upon graduation from high school, she was employed as a cafeteria worker for Montgomery Ward Department store. Irene was a hard worker and enjoyed helping others. For many years she worked at the University of Minnesota in the Operating Rooms and later in the Department of Ophthalmology. She retired from the University after 39 years of service. She volunteered for years in the church office folding bulletins for Sunday service. At the suggestion of a friend, she volunteered at the American Red Cross for 12 years. In 1998 she was honored by the organization, receiving the Support Volunteer of the Year Award.
Irene joined the Sabathani Baptist Church when she first came to Minneapolis. Living on the North side, she moved her membership to Zion Baptist Church which was a closer to her home. At Zion she was active in various church ministries and served as an usher. In 1994 she joined the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church. She enjoyed Bible Study, Sunday morning service, and various church activities. On the van ride to church with other seniors, Irene could always be counted on to keep the conversation robust and entertaining.
More than anything else, Irene loved her dogs best. She often spoke of what great companions they made, and how much joy they brought her. She also loved hats, each Sunday she wore a hat that complimented her outfit. Traveling with friends was something she enjoyed, she and several girlfriends traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States.
Irene will be missed by her longtime friend, Samuel Blackshire Owieda Crutchfield and family, and her FMBC church family.
Arrangements are with Crescent Tide Cremation Services, St. Paul Minnesota.
Irene’s request is that memorials go to Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church.