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Charles Ponder Crawford

July 28, 1920 ~ May 8, 2018 (age 97)
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Charles Ponder Crawford, born July 28 1920, passed away peacefully on May 8, 2018 following a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. We are sorry if you didn’t know him because your life would have been better for it. He was a devout Christian, adored by his family and respected by all who knew him -- a life well-loved and well-lived.

The family will receive friends at 1:00 on Saturday, May 12th at Manes Funeral Home, 363 Main Street in Newport, TN followed by a Celebration of Life at 2:00 and burial at Union Cemetery.

Charles was born in Rankin, TN to Charles Crittendon Crawford and Milly Aurelia Ponder. Orphaned at an early age, he was raised by his extended family, Bascum and Ornan (Ponder) Ratcliff in Parrottsville, TN. Mr. Crawford was preceded in death by his beloved wife of fifty years, Velma Tittle Crawford, sister, Aurelia Crawford Gregg and grandson William Allen Crawford II. He is survived by his dear wife of nineteen years, Beverley Powers Crawford and her family as well as by his three children - daughter, Mary Beth Kirkpatrick (Ken) of Gainesville, GA, Daniel Charles Crawford of Denver, CO and William Allen “Bill” Crawford (Lisa) of Lexington, KY, nine grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.

Charles cherished the memories of growing up in Parrottsville, TN with the large Ratcliff family, walking barefoot to a one room school and working on the farm of this loving and generous family. As a young man, he moved to Knoxville, TN where he became a clerk for J. Allen Smith /White Lily Flour. Over the next 40 years, he served as Executive Vice President of White Lily Flour as well as Security Mills/Feeds. He later became a partner at Parker Brokerage where he completed his career.

Mr. Crawford was a World War II and Korean Conflict Veteran serving in the US Army as a reconnaissance officer in the South Pacific theatre -the Philippines, Leyte and Kwajalein – a member of The Greatest Generation.

He was an active member for 50 years of Mt. Olive Baptist Church (Maryville Hwy) where he enjoyed teaching a men’s Sunday School class and served several terms as Chairman of the Deacons.

He was passionate about community service as President of the Knoxville Downtown Rotary Club, Southeast Regional Director of the YMCA, Board member of the Baptist Hospital, and Board member of the Knoxville Symphony League. He also served as President of the Tennessee Valley A & I Fair for a number of years. Mr. Crawford was a member of the Charles H. McKinney Masonic Lodge.

His God, family and friends made him complete. He was an avid fisherman and loyal University of Tennessee football fan. Charles’ family expresses their sincere appreciation for the love and extraordinary care from the staff of the Memory Care Unit of Ashton

Senior Living as well as the Memory Care Unit of Lanier Lodge of Gainesville, GA where he lived these past two years.

The family suggests in lieu of flowers you may choose to make a contribution to the Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Maryville Hwy, Knoxville, TN, or the Alzheimer’s Association, www.

Those wishing to send online condolences to the family may do so at

Little & Davenport Funeral Home and Crematory, 355 Dawsonville Highway, SW, Gainesville, Ga. 30501.

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