Gary L "Chief" Crawford

Gary L Crawford “Chief” answered the last alarm and made his final DX contact on July 18, 2017,

Gary was born 12-31-1949 and raised in Whatcom County/Bellingham. He is survived by his wife Sharon, his son John (Cheryl) his daughter Jill (Daryl), and three grandkids, Nicole, Tyler, and Abby. He has two sisters Teri (Stu), two half brothers Jim Bergner (Darlene) and Joe Bergner (Michelle).Gary grew up primarily in the Southside of Bellingham. He was honest and hardworking, he started Commercial fishing at the age of 14. He held a variety of jobs. Gary worked for the City of Bellingham as its first, Animal Patrol officer, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, Western Washington University Police Department. In 1968 he Joined Marietta Fire department as a volunteer firefighter. Gary worked his way through the ranks and earned the top spot of “Chief” in 1986. Gary had a degree from WWU and attended the Fire Academy in Emmitsburg Maryland. He retired from Marietta fire department (WCFD 8) in 2005.  In the winter months “Chief” could be found in Mexico and later to Arizona. 

Gary has traveled in all 50 states, and had ridden motorcycle coast to coast, twice. First with Wife Sharon in tow, to visit relatives in West VA. The second time, to visit his son who was stationed in VA beach area. His joys of riding his Goldwing led him and Sharon as Chapter President in the GWRRA. Gary liked to ride with his special groups of friends including Lonnie Lyon, Robert Pittman, Tom Fields, Lynn Davidson, Stuart Smith, Daryl Burk and many others. It was common for Gary to “ride over the hump” (code for Winthrop WA his favorite ride) for lunch and return to home in the same day. Gary enjoyed bird watching and could tell you the habits of most Western Washington birds. Watching Eagles was his special trait.  Gary had a passion for Ham Radio (DX GOD) and held the Bellingham Whatcom County record for having the highest tower in the area for many years. He had made confirmed contacts with 248 different countries, including the Space Shuttle Columbia and the International Space Station.  

Gary was truly a dog lover. He taught all his animals “special tricks including “sneezing, howling like a coyote, and bad guys.” It was uncommon not to find his tail wagging friends with him during work, play, or travel.

Gary will be truly missed however, never forgotten by his family and his firefighting family, and close-knit of friends. Gary (“Chief”) has asked that no services be held. His ashes will be laid to rest by his family at later date