John Kenton Crew was born November 23, 1928 in Toledo, Ohio to Jarvis H. and Jessie Dunn Crew with one older brother, J. Calvin Crew. "Jack," as he was known to the family, credited his father and his Uncle Avery for introducing him to the world of music --keeping the family afloat during the Great Depression by singing professionally for local churches and the renowned Toledo Ice House Quartet (mentioned in a 1930's edition of Variety!)
In 1950, John received his BA in English Literature from Oberlin College. The draft called him right out of college and from 1950-52, he served as an Army Corporal with the 101st "Screaming Eagles," stationed in West Virginia. Thankfully, as the 101st was about to ship out for Korea, the war ended. John was able to attend the University of Oregon and receive his master's degree on the GI bill, something for which he was eternally grateful.
In 1953, John met his future wife, Janie Gardner, while working a summer job at the Crater Lake Lodge. Janie worked as a maid/waitress and John as a bellhop. He won her heart with goofy limericks and by rewriting Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore into a performance of the staff for their guests called, "Crater Lake Lodge". Jane and John were married in August of 1954 in Eugene, and lived in student housing while finishing their post-graduate work in education and history, respectively. Afterward, the couple moved to Richland, Washington where John taught high school English and Jane taught at the elementary school level. A few years into their marriage, the couple had their first daughter, Karen. Later they moved to Beaverton, Oregon for a new high school position, and had their second daughter, Pam. While living in Beaverton, John sang in the local Methodist choir and Janie taught Sunday school. In 1963, John was hired on for his dream job at Grays Harbor College teaching Western Civilization, Political Science and Philosophy where he remained as faculty until retiring in 1993. John was an avid history, literature, drama and music enthusiast with an unparalleled adoration of the beautiful music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. So much so, that his Celebration of Life service will be scheduled for Mozart's birthday. John was his girls' first piano instructor, and he loved to sing in community and church choirs all throughout his long life. He is terribly missed by all, and especially by his grandsons who spent many happy hours playing croquet, mini-golf and setting off fireworks in his backyard.
John (Dad/Grandpa), passed peacefully from this world to the next on November 18, 2016.
John is survived by his beloved wife, Jane, of 62 years; his brother, Cal Crew (Lori) of Shreveport, Louisiana; his daughters Karen Crewe of Bellevue and Pamela Erickson (Ken) of Aberdeen; grandchildren: Joseph Crewe-Sullam (Chelsea), Sam Crewe-Sullam, Rebecca Erickson Sowders (Ben), Daniel Erickson (Amanda), James Erickson; one greatgrandson, Evan Sowders; his cousins, nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life service will be held on Friday, January 27, 2017 at 4:30 PM at Montesano Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Grays Harbor College Library. We would like to extend many thanks to Harrison Family Mortuary for their care and service to us.