Professor Emeritus Jack Crawford dies at age 96

By Kristin Crawford

I would like to inform the community that Professor Emeritus Jack Crawford passed away on March 17 at age 96 after a long illness, through which he remained vibrant to the end. He was a gifted poet, naturalist, tennis player and lover of life.

From 1962-1984 he was a professor in the English Department at SUNY New Paltz, where he taught poetry and literature, pioneered a course in vocabulary development, and served as faculty adviser to The New Paltz Oracle.

A recipient of the Theodore Roethke award from Poetry Northwest, Jack published widely in the best American journals, including Poetry, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Massachusetts Review and The Southern Poetry Review. In 2006 New York City-based Helios Press published a collection of his poetry, “I Explode and Other Poems” (reviewed in this publication April 20, 2006).

He is survived by his wife of three decades, Susie Buhalis, his son Tad and daughter Kristin from earlier marriages, his stepchildren Jason and Elektra, his daughter-in-law Susan and grandson Christopher, and his sister Sarah Barrie and her three children.

In Jack’s words: “I have loved life, which has sustained me in endless wonderment. I thank whatever brought me here and am grateful for the consciousness which leaves me stunned with inexhaustible amazement. Life is worth the dying which must bring it to a close. The miracle of it! The strange and exquisite mystery. It is, in itself, enough!”