Rachel Kathryn Crawford
January 25, 1927 - March 15, 2024

Rachel Kathryn Crawford

Rachel Kathryn Crawford
Jan 25, 1927 - Mar 15, 2024

Rachel Kathryn Crawford
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In Loving Memory of Rachel Kathryn (McGowan) Crawford

January 25, 1927 - March 15, 2024

Rachel Kathryn Crawford, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, peacefully passed away on March 15, 2024. She was born in Reinbeck, Iowa, to Raynard and Sybil McGowan and grew up alongside her two sisters, Eleanor and Ruth, in a close-knit north central Iowa farming community during the depths of the Great Depression. It was here that Rachel learned the values of hard work, compassion for others, and the importance of family and faith.

After graduating as Class President from Reinbeck High School in 1944, Rachel pursued her passion for education at Tarkio College in northwest Missouri. There, she met the love of her life and lifelong partner, Harold Crawford. The couple tied the knot in 1948 and embarked on a fulfilling journey together, settling in Story City, Iowa, where they both pursued careers in teaching. They lovingly raised their two sons, Reid and Robert (Bob) and were actively involved in their community and church.

In what would become a loving and supportive component of Rachel's life, she supported Harold with his first career move to Sac City, Iowa to further his career. They lived a wonderful and active social life in this rural Iowa community, raising their children, playing golf, and being active members in the First Presbyterian Church. In fact, Rachel was one of the first women in her church to serve as an Elder. Their third son, David was born here in 1957.

In 1965, a move to Ames, Iowa became "home" for the rest of Rachel's life. Rachel's dedication to education led her to become an English teacher in the Huxley/Ballard school system. Later, she worked over 25 years in the Registrar's office at Iowa State University, where she touched the lives of countless students, helping them with their academic journey.

Rachel was a woman of strong faith and a devoted member of Northminster Presbyterian Church. She served as an Elder, Deacon, Sunday School teacher, and choir member, leaving a lasting impact on her church community. She was also a proud member of PEO and the ISU Order of the Knoll. She took joy in attending Iowa State athletic events and welcoming guests from all over the world into her home. Her warmth and love touched everyone who knew her.

Family was everything to Rachel, and she cherished her husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren deeply. Rachel is survived by her sons Reid, Bob (Ruth), and David (Carolyn), as well as her grandchildren Matt (Kate), Drew (Abbey), Jason (Shelly), and Megan (John David). She leaves behind 13 great-grandchildren, each one a testament to the love and legacy she shared.

Rachel was preceded in death by her husband Harold, her parents Raynard and Sybil McGowan, her sister Eleanor Tjepkes, her brothers-in-law, Glenn Tjepkes and Don Hayes, as well as her grandson, Joel Crawford and great-grandson, Kade Crawford.

A public greeting with the Crawford family will be held at Green Hills Retirement Community on April 4 from 3:30 to 5:00 PM. A celebration of life service will be held on April 6 at 10:00 AM at Northminster Presbyterian Church, followed by a private family graveside service at Grant Township Cemetery in Reinbeck, Iowa.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that gifts and memorials be directed to Northminster Presbyterian Church, 1416 20th St., Ames, Iowa 50010 or the Harold R. and Rachel K. Crawford Multicultural Scholarship, @ Iowa State University Foundation, 2505 University Blvd., P.O. Box 2330, Ames, IA 50010.

Online condolences can be made to:

Rachel touched the lives of many and will be dearly missed. May her memory be a source of comfort and inspiration to all who knew and loved her.

Sarah Buck on Mar 22, 2024

Our heartfelt condolences to your family as you celebrate Rachel's well=lived life and mourn her passing.

Mark Sullivan on Mar 21, 2024

Reid, Bob and family,
Becky and I are so sorry for your loss. Your Mom had a great run! I remember her and your Dad from our days at FH. She was a wonderful lady!

Becky Corcoran and Mark Sullivan

Dan Frahm on Mar 20, 2024

Our families were so deeply connected, from family roots in Reinbeck, Tarkio College and Northminster. It seems only fitting that Rachel and my mom share the obituary page in the Tribune. The world lost a couple great individuals that week in March, and the way they loved their families and treated strangers were a testament to who they were and who we all should strive to be. Heartfelt condolences to the family, and much love to you all.

Connie Highland Keller on Mar 20, 2024

My condolences on the death of your mother. I knew your family from your Sac City days.
Connie Highland Keller

Jan Scott on Mar 20, 2024

It was my honor to know Rachel while I served Northminster as interim pastor. Blessings to her family and friends. Jan Scott



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Green Hills Community
2205 Green Hills Dr
Ames, Iowa 50014
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM


Northminster Presbyterian Church
1416 20th Street
Ames, Iowa 50010
10:00 AM

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"Faith, hope, love; but the greatest of these is love"