Cover photo for Phyllis Smith Crawford's Obituary

Phyllis Smith Crawford

March 11, 1927 — October 23, 2020

Phyllis Smith Crawford

Phyllis Marie Smith Crawford, 93, of Bellaire, left the earth to begin her next great adventure, as she often called it, on Friday morning, October 23, 2020, from Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility. She even managed (during COVID) to begin her exit in time to allow her Bellaire daughters to be with her in person the last week of her life.  She was born on March 11, 1927, in Forest Home Township, to Norval Douglas and Helen Marguerite (Dewey) Smith. She grew up as a messy, pretty, joyful, curious and fun girl in the Village of Bellaire.  She loved singing with her sisters at the local fairs in coordinated dresses and, later, playing basketball, cheerleading for the Eagles, being a majorette, and hanging with friends.

Phyllis graduated from Bellaire High School in 1944 and then attended Michigan State where she met Richy. They married on September 26, 1946, in Spring Lake, Michigan.  She lived in Muskegon, Pontiac, Utica and then Italy, Turkey, New Orleans, Santa Barbara, and Florida – but was proud to begin and end here in Bellaire. Upon her return, she showed her pride in Bellaire through her work with the historical society, flower gardens at The Farm Golf Course, cheering on the Eagles and reading to Meadow Brook residents.  Phyllis spread her warm exuberance across the country, living wherever she was needed to offer her amazing strength and caring to her family.  With a silky singing voice and ever-present smile, she exuded a sense of celebration that everyone was welcome to share. She was a patriot who spoke her mind and, at 80, took great pride in making calls to get out the vote for Obama.  Her acts of love will long be remembered by her many friends and relatives to include visits, calls, beautiful gardens to enjoy, letters of love and support, and wine wisdom conversations late into the night.  Phyllis was a fan of basketball and football. She enjoyed tennis and sewing and rarely turned down a good game of cards or a drink with loved ones.

Phyllis was fun.  She was caring.  She really wanted to make your world and the world better. She was interesting and enthusiastic.

She loved the magic and beauty of the world – dolphins, dogs, daisies and children.

She was all about living fully and loving greatly.  She loved excellence, promise, generosity, music and nature. – singing, gardens and children.

She loved her friends and family most of all

Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband,James Richard Crawford; her son and daughter-in-law, James Dick and Kathleen Marie Sachs Crawford; her brother and sister-in-law, Norval Donald and Joyce Lathrop Smith; her sister and brother-in-law, Norma Donna Smith and Ward C. Taphouse, and brother-in-law, Allen Loehr.

She is survived by three daughters, LouAnne Crawford (Roger Clyde) Cooper, Bellaire, Sandra Crawford (Arnold Gary) Muller, Bellaire, and Helen Jean Crawford (Christopher Alan) Zajic, Santa Barbara, CA; a sister, Betty Jean Smith Loehr, Bellaire & Ft Myers, Fl; 8 grandchildren (she would include her “married-ins” and tell you 12); and 6 ½ great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews who held special places in her heart.

A celebration of Phyllis will be held in the Spring or Summer of 2021.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Bellaire Public Library, PO Box 477, Bellaire, MI 49615. Thank you librarians for being such an important part of Phyllis’s life for so long.

And while we’re thanking people, great thanks to the wonderful institution that is Meadow Brook.  They gave Phyllis great care and a great community.

Arrangements are in the care of the Bellaire Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes.  Please sign her online guestbook at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Phyllis Smith Crawford, please visit our flower store.


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