George William Crawford ’29, of Statesville, N.C., died Nov. 3 at his home at the age of 103. Crawford was born Oct. 21, 1906, and was the son of the late John Clifton and Mary Niblock Crawford of the Chambersburg (Bethany) township of Iredell County. He completed Davidson with honors, earned his master’s degree at UNC Chapel Hill, and later his Ph.D. from Ohio State University.
In 1940, he was called into service during World War II and served as lieutenant colonel of infantry in the European Theater as a member of the First U.S. Army Headquarters. He took part in Normandy, Central European, and Rhineland campaigns, being awarded six ribbons and three campaign stars.
On May 19, 1934, George married Frances Knox of Cornelius, who died Aug. 21, 1991. They had no children but both chose to educate children. She taught first grade, and he served as a professor of physics at N.C. State University, Davidson College, and The College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, Va.). He retired from William and Mary, and they named him professor emeritus of physics. He cherished the title of “professor.”
In addition to enjoying teaching, he had many interests and hobbies, including forms of woodworking (marquetry and furniture making). Until he was nearly 100, he shared his knowledge of astronomy through articles and star charts published in the Statesville Record & Landmark.
A lifelong Presbyterian, Crawford has served his church as a deacon, elder, and teacher and on many committees. Until recently, he rarely missed Sunday worship at Forest Park.
He is survived by a nephew, Robert C. Crawford, and by nieces, Agnes C. Mayes, 849 Old Mocksville Rd., Statesville, NC 28625; Mary Frances C. Holland; Sara C. Wolfson; and Betty Crawford.
In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Fred N. Crawford, Sr., James A. Crawford, and Thomas N. Crawford, and by a nephew, Fred N. Crawford, Jr. He is also survived by several great- and great-great-nieces and nephews, whom he adored.