A Tribute to Daddy
Lovingly submitted by Rhonda Arnold
Johnny B. Crawford was one of the kindest people in the world! His humble beginnings of being raised on a farm in east Texas taught him to value nature, patience, and being a good steward of the earth. He loved to garden, and we often ate tomatoes and melons from his garden. His favorite flowers were the sunflower and wisteria. Our backyard was full of fruit trees; peach, pear, and figs. Every summer, we would pick and preserve the fruit, making jam for Christmas presents for our family. He was an excellent baker. He made the best biscuits in the world and every Christmas he made fruitcake for our church family and friends. On Saturdays, we would watch westerns and drink coffee. I still do occasionally.
His favorite pastimes were reading the bible, bowling, and playing billiards. My Dad was an Army Korean War Veteran and we were raised patriotically, and a flag was hoisted daily at our home. He learned to play billiards in the army and knew how to play very well.
His favorite scripture is Acts 17:28 “For in him we live and move and have our being”. He also told me to read Psalms 91 when I needed protection. I read it every day. As an elder in our family church for 45 years, he led many to Christ. He loved giving hope to the less fortunate in the prison ministry and as an international chaplain visiting the hospitals, the sick and shut-in.
He taught me the value of life and the community. He would often say that it is important to meet people where they are. In other words, be relatable from “The Poor House” to “The White House”. His work ethic was second to none and worked several jobs to provide for his family. He would often quote the Post Turtle example to help others and show the existence of God. To paraphrase this reference “If you see a turtle sitting on top of a fence post, it didn’t get there by accident, someone had to help him”.
I get my sense of humor from my Dad. He had a smile as bright as the sun. He believed that when you smile even though you are going through sadness or difficulty, it will lift you up as well as others. My Dad believed in the importance of getting a good education. He strived for excellence and for helping others to achieve excellence as well. He was no-nonsense, very witty and quite cerebral, especially when it came to his vocabulary.
To sum it up, My Daddy is the joy of my life, my protector and my friend. Although he is now in Heaven, I think of him and miss him every day. I thank God for the honor of being his Daughter.
I wrote this poem for My Dad in 2006:
Dad, you are the kindest man I know, and take the Higher road wherever you Go;
You are patient beyond compare, and I wonder how you smile so bright, you are truly rare;
You lift me up when I am down; and let me know that I am still your princess, Hands Down!
God is your pilot and Jesus is your Guide; There is no doubt that Angels are on our side;
I wish I could be like you, joyful every day; By helping others and taking time to show us how to pray;
Thank you for your love your understanding too; Thank you for your support through the years, Daddy I love you!
I am very grateful to God for having such a wonderful man and Father. Happy Father’s Day!