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Rod Crawford, 63, passed away in his hometown of Meeker, Colo., on Dec. 17, 2013, after a six-year battle with multiple myeloma, a journey that still allowed him to win numerous golf tournaments between treatments.
Rod was born in Denver, Colo., on Oct. 5, 1950, and his family relocated to Meeker in 1957, when he went on to become a star athlete for the Cowboys as a state runner-up in wrestling, state runner-up in football and a star baseball player.
Rod was graduated from Meeker High School in 1968, and attended Mesa Community College in Grand Junction, receiving his associate of arts degree and earning All-American honors on the wrestling team.
In 1972, he married Ellen Edwards. Son Ron Kelly was born in 1974 and daughter Stacy in 1975. From 1970 on, Rod worked and lived on his father’s ranch up Strawberry Creek, running cattle until 1987. During that time, Rod held jobs with Rio Blanco County and with the mine in Craig to add income for the family.
From 1985 to 1987, Rod served as the youth summer baseball coach for the teams in Meeker.
Rod moved to Fort Collins to join long-time friend Dave King to start Triple Crown Sports (TC) as a national tournament company for baseball, basketball and softball; he ran tournaments in 1988 and 1989 and returned to Meeker in 1990 for one year to ranch.
Dave called on Rod again to help him with a struggling young company in 1991 and Rod returned to stay for the next 23 years. He ran the shipping operations and warehouse duties throughout.
Rod was the first member inducted into the Triple Crown Hall of Fame in 1998. He also coached the 1997 National Championship Boys 18’s Baseball Team at TC with nephew Donald on the roster.
Throughout his life, Rod was a competitor at the highest levels. He played on the national level in softball for 30 years with the TC Teams throughout America. One of the top hitters and third basemen around, he received many all-tournament selections.
Rod was also a top town team basketball player in his 20s and then he headed to golf. Many people know Rod from the golf course, where he won numerous tournaments as a short game specialist. With his son, Ron Kelly, and nephew, Donald, in tow, Rod was also a big game hunter and fishermen at the highest level.
In 2011, Rod moved back to his hometown of Meeker to help at the golf course, play golf and yell at and cheer for his beloved Rockies. He purchased a small home and was the consummate bachelor. He was able to knock down a big bucket list in life: see his son, Ron, get married on his birthday this year, attend the 2010 College World Series and the 2013 Major League Baseball’s World Series between Boston and St. Louis at Fenway Park, attend the 2010 Senior PGA Championships and travel America.
Rod was a simple man of elegance — grumbling at co-workers when they needed it, smiling to get them moving and humming to every country song he almost knew. Rod was a valued friend to many. Rod spent many hours entertaining Stacy and his grandchildren, Troy and Robin, on his lap and building toys.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Ruth, in 1980, and father, Bob, in 1994.
He is survived by his pride and joy, son Ron Kelly Crawford, and wife Miranda of Meeker and son Clay; daughter Stacy Schauerhamer, her husband, Ben, and grandchildren Robin and Troy of Fort Collins; sister Sharon Griffin and husband Irven of Meeker; nephew Don Blazon and wife Winter of Meeker and their twins Jacob and Isabella; nephew Scott Blazon and wife Kelly and children Kinley and Chase of Tennessee; nieces Laura Blazon and children Courtney and Athena of Meeker; niece Renee Blazon and Shane and children Shelby and Gage of Meeker; the Malcolm Crawford family of Meeker and numerous Crawford cousins on his father, Bob’s, side.
Services were held in Meeker at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2013, at the Freeman E. Fairfield Center. A meal was catered for all who visited after the service.
Donations can be sent to the Rod Crawford Memorial Fund at the Mountain Valley Bank in Meeker.