Thomas Aaron Crawley, 90, of Sale Creek, passed away peacefully early on Saturday morning, Aug. 10, 2019, at CHI Memorial Hospital in Hixson after a brief illness.
He was a member of Dayton First Baptist Church.
He was the son of the late Drewia A. and Nola Jordan Crawley of Sale Creek. He was born at the Crawley family farm on Nov. 12, 1928.
As a young man, he worked on the farm, a dairy operation and peach orchard. He was active in Future Farmers of America (FFA). At age 16, already president of the local 4-H Club for boys, he was selected from a field of 700 to represent Hamilton County at the National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago.
In 1953, he began working for the Tennessee Game and Fish Commission (TWRA) as a wildlife agent in Grundy County. He was then transferred to Bradley County, where he worked for several years. Later, he moved to Nashville where he served as lieutenant, covering a 10-county area. Some months later, he was transferred back to Bradley County as district captain and area supervisor.
In 1967, he was named Tennessee Wildlife Officer of the Year while representing Tennessee at the Southeastern Wildlife Conference in New Orleans. For many years, he wrote an outdoor information column for the Cleveland Daily Banner as well as hosting an informational hunting and fishing radio broadcast at both WBAC and WCLE in Cleveland for 10 years. After his retirement in 1986, he left Cleveland to work on his father’s farm, establishing a 10-acre peach orchard. After his father’s passing, he continued to manage and maintain more than 1,000 peach trees in addition to an abundant tomato crop. And in 1997, he was inducted into the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity as a Renaissance Man in the TN Eta chapter.
Like his father before him, he was honored with an induction into The Hamilton County Agricultural Hall of Fame, and was later also inducted into The Bradley County Agricultural Hall of Fame due to his passion for land, nature and farming. Most recently, in April of 2019, the Tennessee State Senate passed a resolution sponsored by Sen. Bo Watson, and signed by Gov. Bill Lee, honoring him for his extensive lifetime achievements in agriculture.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Drewia A. and Nola Jordan Crawley; two brothers: Orval A. Crawley and Albert B. Crawley, and their families respectively; his wife, Virginia Lane Crawley; and his son, Thomas (Tommy) E. Crawley.
He leaves his legacy to his survivors, daughter, Judy Crawley Robinson of Cleveland; granddaughter, Kris Crawley Cobb (Kevin) of Sale Creek; grandsons: Lane E. Crawley (Kathleen) of Murfreesboro, and Aaron M. Robinson (Ashley) of Old Hickory; as well as beloved great-grandchildren: Kully and Kolt Cobb of Sale Creek, Sean, Derrick and Corey Crawley of Murfreesboro, and Finlay Robinson of Old Hickory.
He was so very loved by many and will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
The funeral for Tom will be held on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, at 5 p.m. in the chapel of the Vanderwall Funeral home in Dayton with Pastor Milton Knox officiating. He will be laid to rest in Rhea Memory Gardens in Dayton.
The family will receive friends Saturday after 2 p.m. at the funeral home.
Please share your memories of Tom on his online guest register at www.vanderwallfh.com.
Print subscribers have FREE access to clevelandbanner.com by registering HERE
Non-subscribers have limited monthly access to local stories, but have options to subscribe to print, web or electronic editions by clicking HERE
We are sorry but you have reached the maximum number of free local stories for this month. If you have a website account here, please click HERE to log in for continued access.
If you are a print subscriber but do not have an account here, click HERE to create a website account to gain unlimited free access.
Non-subscribers may gain access by subscribing to any of our print or electronic subscriptions HERE