VERO BEACH, FL: Whatever good things we build end up building us. Jim Crawfis helped construct much more than buildings. As a founding member of Marr, Knapp & Crawfis Associates, Inc., he provided architectural, engineering, planning, and facility management services. And he lived and breathed a philosophy of providing more than architecture. He developed a staff at MKC of community leaders who invested their time and talents in public service. Service clubs, charitable funds, scholarship programs, even Habitat for Humanity have benefited from Jim’s support of his employee’s community service. Jim Crawfis helped build community.
Self-described as a frustrated carpenter, yet successful farm boy, Donald James Crawfis passed away Friday morning June 5, 2020 in his Vero Beach, FL home. He was 96.
Born August 5, 1923 in Leipsic the only child of Chester and Ruth (Conine) Crawfis, he was graduated from Blanchard Township High School, and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from The Ohio State University.
Jim served two years with the US Navy in the Philippines.
Jim opened the Mansfield office of MKC in 1951. He focused on planning and designing public facilities for school districts, religious facilities, recreational projects, civic, commercial and healthcare buildings across Ohio. Headquartered in Mansfield, MKC operated offices in New Philadelphia, Mansfield and Columbus. The firm was founded in New Philadelphia, Crawfis brought the firm to Mansfield, and the Columbus office was added later.
He was a member of the American Institute of Architects, and served as General Chairman and of Mansfield Exchange Club. He served on the board of trustees of the YMCA, and was a member of Shrine Club and Ohio Genealogical Society.
Jim had a spirit of wanderlust. In 1980 and 1981 he and his wife and younger son sailed their 37-foot Tartan “Drummer” on a 12-month odyssey departing the Erie Canal system through the mouth of the Chesapeake to Bermuda to Western Europe to the Canary Islands to Barbados, through the Caribbean, and then up the east coast of the US. He loved sailing. A former Commodore of the Mohican Sailing Club, he served as general chairman of Jet-14 National Regatta, and was a member of Mansfield Power Squadron, Vero Beach Power Squadron and Vero Beach Yacht Club.
Jim “Pa” will be remembered for building a fine family, loving them, and always accepting them.
He is survived by his wife Patricia (Wells) Crawfis, whom he married January 28, 1950; their sons Spencer (Jean) Crawfis of Vero Beach, FL and Greg (Jackie) Crawfis of Mansfield; grandchildren Josh (Natalie) Crawfis of Tampa, FL, Jessica (Lonnie) White of Spring Hill, FL, Robin Leedy of Ashland, David Jerger of Charleston, SC, and Douglas (Lisa) Jerger of Chandler, AZ; and numerous great grandchildren.
A graveside funeral service will be held Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. in Mt. Zion Cemetery, Lucas with Pastor Ron Biddle officiating. The Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home is handling funeral arrangements.
Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the Crawfis family, share a message of support – or watch Jim’s tribute video – online at: https://www.snyderfuneralhomes.com/obituary/james-jim-crawfis/.