Naomi Jean “Granny” Crawford, longtime Chesterton resident and grandmother
to many, died Sunday surrounded by her family. She was 75.
Jean was born September 9, 1933 the daughter of Dilver and Bessie Ford of
Switzerland County, Ind.
On April 17, 1971 Jean married Alfred Crawford, who preceded her in death.
She is survived by two sisters, Cleta (Wilbur) Markland and Thelma (Howard)
Robinson; one brother, Paul Eddy (Barbara) Ford; three daughters, Vicki
(Dennis) Schweller, Angie (Bruce) Macrander/Schaller, and Trena (Neal)
Mortensen; three stepchildren, Roger (Linda) Crawford, Pam Mack, and Tom
(Helen) Crawford; 12 grandchildren, Dennis and Scott Schweller, Kevin and
Kyle Schaller, Tristan and Tianna Mortensen, Jacob and Jamie Crawford,
Candice Jones, Amber Lawson, Tracy Beasley and Holly Crawford; 18
great-grandchildren, and many beloved nieces and nephews.
She was also preceded in death by two sisters, Alfreda Ford and Alberta
(Jim) Read, and one brother, Harold Ford.
Jeannie grew up on a farm outside Vevay, Ind. with her six brothers and
sisters. She was active in cheerleading while she studied at Patriot High
In 1957 she moved to Chesterton. She waited tables for many years at what is
now the North Side Diner. She supported her family as a waitress, crediting
her success to the business created by the construction of Bethlehem Steel’s
Burns Harbor Plant. Throughout the 1970s she sold Avon products, earning
various national sales awards and recognitions.
Jeannie was always known for her compassionate nature. She was a favorite
mom among local youth while her children attended Chesterton High School.
Later in life, she cared for her husband and a number of close friends as
they faced terminal illness. She loved people unconditionally - so much so
that even casual acquaintances were subject to her fervent praise and
As she grew older, Jean found new joy in her grandchildren. Being retired,
she delighted in the opportunity to raise children without having to devote
the bulk of her time to work. It was her role as “Granny” that Jeannie
enjoyed above all else. That role extended beyond her own grandchildren as
she befriended many local youth. She was Granny to countless children and
followed them as they moved from elementary school into high school and even
She passed lessons of hard work to younger generations with stories of
growing up on the farm and working in hectic restaurants. Her stories of
Chesterton “in the old days” served as living history lessons.
A treasured memory of Jean’s was her trip to Europe with her husband. Her
favorite stop was Austria where she thought everything was beautiful and
everyone was friendly. Baseball was also a topic she brought up often. She
cherished the Cincinnati Reds and recounted stories of the high-powered
teams of the 1970s and her youth.
Jean was a member of St. Johns United Church in Chesterton.
Funeral service officiated by Pastor Katie Lindberg will at 10 a.m. Friday,
July 17 at St. Johns United Church at 225 Lincoln in Chesterton.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m., Thursday, July 16 at Edmonds &
Evans Funeral Home, 517 Broadway, Chesterton.
Memorials may be given to the VNA Horton Hospice in Valparaiso, Indiana or
St. Johns United Church.