Darrell Wissler Crawford

  • Born: June 25, 1938
  • Died: October 4, 2021
  • Location: Greenwood, Indiana

Wilson St Pierre Funeral Service & Crematory - Greenwood Chapel

481 W Main St
Greenwood, IN 46142

Tel. (317) 881-2514

Tribute & Message From The Family

Darrell Wissler Crawford, 83, of Greenwood, Indiana, passed away peacefully on October 4, 2021, at Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis. With his family by his side as he drew his last breath, Darrell earned what he called his "great reward" for a life filled with hard work, a lot of luck, and copious amounts of laughter.

Darrell was born on June 25, 1938 to Lawrence C. Crawford and Verda N. (Wissler) Crawford in Topeka, Kansas. His parents would later move the family to Columbus, Ohio, where Darrell excelled in academics and music at Columbus North High School. While pursuing his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering at The Ohio State University, Darrell joined Pi Kappa Alpha and was the brother most called upon to entertain the frat party at the piano until the break of dawn.

After graduation, and with a signed proclamation in 1961 from President John F. Kennedy for his appointment as a commissioned officer, Darrell began his career with the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (later renamed NOAA). While stationed at Patrick Air Force Base in Cocoa Beach, Florida, in 1965, he met his future bride, Evelyn "Ebbie" Freeney, an elementary school teacher who lived in his apartment complex. The story goes that these two would have never married had it not been for Ebbie's persistence to meet the "handsome officer next door" using her pet cat as the bait. The rest, they say, is history. Darrell married Ebbie on June 19, 1966, in her hometown of Rolling Fork, Mississippi.

In 1967, Darrell moved his family to Lafayette, Indiana, to pursue his master's degree in Civil Engineering at Purdue University and where he welcomed his first child, Judd. As is the life of a military family, the Crawfords then moved from Lafayette to Kansas City to Seattle, where his daughter Jessica was born, and then back to Kansas City to Detroit and again to Seattle by 1974. By this time, Darrell earned his highest career rank as Commander and spent many months each year at sea as the Captain of the NOAA ship McArthur. By 1976, he accepted the landmark assignment of charting the entire Gulf of Alaska for the installation of the Trans-Alaska pipeline in Valdez.

After 20 years of distinguished service to NOAA, Darrell retired in 1981 and supported Ebbie in her pursuit of a new career in insurance and a new life in Greenwood. Although retired, Darrell could not rest (and Ebbie wouldn't let him). He found a second career as a bus driver for Greenwood Community Schools, and for the next 35 years, he drove children of all ages, abilities, and "questionable behaviors" (he would sarcastically say) to school, activities and sporting events.

When he wasn't driving a bus full of kids, Darrell's interests included singing barbershop, playing piano and trombone for the Greenwood City Band, ushering for Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra concerts, volunteering for CASA of Johnson County, gleefully doing taxes for all his family members the old fashioned way with pencil and calculator, and watching his beloved Kansas City Chiefs and the Indianapolis Colts (or the Dolts, if they lost) play on Sunday. His entire family knew his favorite hobby, though, was just piddlin' around the house.

Darrell was a 40-year member of the Greenwood Presbyterian Church, where he rarely missed a Sunday service. He served as a deacon, a financial secretary, a member of the choir, and as the first director for the church's food pantry, Samaritan Services.

Darrell loved a simple meat-and-potatoes meal and never declined a good piece of pie. He was always up for a great joke, a bad pun, or a witty limerick, and he would repeat it for weeks. His taste in music was "anything before 1959," as he once said. "After that, music got too loud, lyrics got too weird, and songs became too long," he quipped. He liked his humor dry, conversations brief, the checkbook balanced, voices in tune, the TV set to the History Channel, a toothpick at the end of every dinner, and his family educated, employed, and happy.

Darrell was predeceased by his parents, Lawrence and Verda Crawford. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Evelyn "Ebbie" (Freeney) Crawford; brother Kimm (Barbara) Crawford; children, Judd (Stacey) Crawford and Jessica (Zack) French; sister-in-law Nonie Freeney; brother-in-law Carl (Sharon) Freeney; grandchildren Brianna (KC) Mosley, Jamie (Corey) Elliott, Dallas Crawford, Emma DiSanto, Abby DiSanto, Tyler Sipes, Katie Sipes, and Ian French; four great-grandchildren (and one more on the way); and a niece and two nephews.

A public Celebration of Life service will be held at the Greenwood Presbyterian Church on Saturday, October 23, at noon, with a reception to follow in the church's Fellowship Hall. A private burial service will take place on Sunday, October 24, at Valley Grove Cemetery in Milton, Indiana. In lieu of flowers, donations in Darrell's memory can be made to the Greenwood Presbyterian Church, 102 W. Main St., Greenwood, IN 46142, or Johnson County CASA Program, 18 W. Jefferson St., Franklin, IN 46131.


Condolence & Memory Journal

My condolences to the Crawford family. Such a great family of friends who we have known through the Presbyterian Church and Greenwood schools. I recall working for Darrell and the schools during a summer of college and I really enjoyed that time and appreciated his kindness and respect. God Bless.

Posted by Monte Meier - Friend   October 22, 2021

Brilliant, talented, unassuming, witty, kind, and so much more. Darrell and I shared a great friendship for about 10 years. I am deeply saddened that I did not spend more time with Darrell.
Jim Hughes

Posted by Jim Hughes - GREENWOOD, IN - Friend   October 22, 2021

I sure loved chatting with Darrell. He was very kind and respectful of all he knew. Glad I could call him my friend for most of my life. He will be missed by our community! Prayers to all of the Crawford family, and his Greenwood Presbyterian Church family.

Posted by Paul St.Pierre - Greenwood, IN - Friend   October 22, 2021

Prayers for the family and friends of Darrell at this time. He was a great guy and I always found him to be kind, considerate, and dependable. Anyone who drives a school bus as long as he did is worthy of respect, admiration, and blessings in heaven. Rest in peace Darrell.

Posted by Joe Farley - Greenwood, IN - Friend   October 15, 2021

Our deepest sympathy to you Ebbie and your family on the passing of Darrell. He was a very special man.

Posted by Bill and Marlene Collins - Greenwood, IN - Friend   October 14, 2021

Deepest sympathy to Ebby and family. My late wife, Carolyn Crawford Conder, had great memories of Darryl and their childhood. Best wishes, Bill Conder

Posted by Bill Conder - Danville, KY - Acquaintance   October 13, 2021

Envied and family, We are so sorry for the loss of your loved one. Darrell was a loving and kind man that will be missed by all who knew him.

Posted by John and Jonda Stenzinger - Seneca, SC - Friend   October 08, 2021

welcome to the newest angel in heaven.....

Posted by Becky Hacker - Greenwood, IN - Friend   October 07, 2021

Family Album