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Rex B. Crawford 1923-2017

May 23, 2017
Emmetsburg News

WEST BEND -- Funeral service for Rex B. Crawford of West Bend was Saturday, May 20, at the United Methodist Church. The Rev. Bea Kinzler officiated.

Interment was in the West Bend Cemetery, with military rites conducted by members of American Legion Post 151. The Harris Funeral Home in West Bend was in charge of arrangements.

Rex Burnett Crawford, son of Albert and Goldie (Lumley) Crawford, was born Jan. 26, 1923, in Hampton, where he was raised and educated.

Upon graduating from Hampton High School, Rex enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He was stationed in England during World War II serving as a flight engineer top turret gunner on a B17 heavy bomber.

Rex completed 36 missions over the European Theatre. His crew flew out of Gladden for the 457th Bomb Group. Rex received many medals including the Distinguished Flying Cross and Oak Leaf Clusters. His last mission was on D-Day, and after that he came home to serve as an instructor for new crews. Later Rex was called back to serve during the Korean War.

After completing his service to his country Rex worked in the construction industry in Mason City where he met Mary Bonnstetter. They were married Feb. 20, 1946 and had four children. The couple moved to West Bend in 1951 where they farmed and raised their family.

Rex served on the West Bend School Board and was a member of the American Legion, Lion's Club and United Methodist Church. He enjoyed golfing and fishing, was a Craftsman woodworker and a fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes. Rex's grandchildren and his entire family were extremely important to him.

Rex died Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at the Lakeside Lutheran Home in Emmetsburg, at the age of 94.

Survivors include his children Mark (Mary Jane) Crawford of Van Buren, MO, Jon Crawford of Fontanelle, Jim (Judy) Crawford of Emmetsburg, and Jayne (Rick) Shaffer of Joice; 17 grandchildren; and 24 great grandchildren.

Rex was preceded in death by his parents; wife Mary in 2007; daughter-in-law Wendy Crawford; brothers Harry, Faye, A.J. and Forest; and several brothers- and sisters-in-law.

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