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Sarah Nelson Crawford

August 11, 2018

Sarah Nelson Crawford was an ebullient and wonderful person who enjoyed the magic of nature’s surprises; from the sudden appearance of hummingbirds to the rush of thunderstorms and to the quiet colors each sunset gave the neighborhood. She was always attuned to the birdsong surrounding the house, and knew the names of every dog walking across the sidewalk in front (and occasionally their owners’.) She howled at each blue moon.

The music of her own voice was always tilted towards leaping into song, so that the least musical cue or snippet of conversation would often lead to melody, or laughter, or both.

Her work as a legendary admissions counselor brought her to three of Texas's best schools:

She was thankful to Rice University for bringing her to this great city of Houston, and for introducing her to the amazing confluence of students and friends and artistic endeavors she enjoyed for the past three decades.

She's thankful to Austin College in Sherman for introducing her to her husband Michael Crawford, and for all the friendships formed there.

And before that, ever-thankful to Texas Woman’s University.

She felt that a wide-ranging education in the liberal arts was the best preparation even for the most exacting of disciplines. And at all three of those institutions she sought to discover each high school student’s best fit for a college or university; the place where that student would most likely thrive, whether it was with her employer or not.

In her 20 to 30’s, Sarah loved acting, especially in musicals at TWU, Rice University, and as a founding member of Houston's Grassroots Theater Project.

She was an accomplished calligrapher, specializing in Uncial. She was an amazing and inventive cook. She was skilled at scherenschnitte and sewing, nimble with crochet and knitting, notably making a number of pink ‘pink’ hats for the Women’s Marches in January 2017.

She loved making visual art, notably retablos at Lawndale Art Center each year, and her favorite creative endeavor was singing as a soprano for twenty years in Houston’s premier a cappella group, Lager Rhythms. They recorded four albums with her, most recently a live performance recorded at Houston’s MATCH theatre in May of this year.

Sarah was born in Corpus Christi. Four years thereafter the family moved to the Texas Hill Country, which Sarah called “God’s country!’ She lived for ten years year-round at Camp Capers, an episcopal church camp where her father Bill was the camp manager and her mother Kit was the camp crafts director.

With her siblings she lived an idyllic life where the live oak trees dot the hills and the cypress trees shade the Guadalupe River. It was a magical and formative time for her.


She graduated salutatorian of Comfort high school in Comfort, Texas, and at TWU she quickly established herself academically & socially, joining the Aglaian literary social club, forming friendships she cherished throughout her life, and was elected class president each of her last three years there. After graduating, she served her alma mater in Admissions, and as an officer in the TWU Alumni Association, as Chairman of the Scholarship Committee of the Foundation; and the service she was most proud of— after tropical storm Allison flooded Houston's Medical Center she took over as campus manager for TWU’s campus there for four years; repairing the damage from the flood and guiding the school through the construction of the new building on Fannin and Holcombe to moving the entire campus there.

She is survived by her son, Gray, a Masters candidate in Interaction Design at Carnegie–Mellon University in Pittsburgh; by her husband Michael, who writes an occasional obituary; her siblings Jane, Alex, and Martha, of Austin and San Antonio; her sisters-in-law Nan and Barbara of Kenwood and West Hollywood, and Alice, brother-in-law Don, Garth, and Randy of LA, West Hollywood, and San Antonio, and Jim; and mother-in-law Louise of Katy, Texas; nieces and nephews Hannah, Alec, Kathryne, Emma, Will, Benjamin, and Miles, of Texas and California.

A service honoring Sarah’s life will be held on Saturday, August 18, 2018 at three o’clock in the afternoon at First Unitarian Universalist Church, 5200 Fannin Street, Houston, Texas 77004. A reception will follow immediately after the service.

As for memorials, in lieu of flowers (or chocolate), please donate to: TWU Foundation, Sarah Nelson Crawford Fund, P.O. Box 425618, Denton, Texas 76204

 Help her continue to support Texas Woman’s University.

Sarah was thankful for her friends in Lager Rhythms, the Fourth Friday Divas, the Women’s Spirituality Group at First UU church here, friends from TWU, her doctors and nurses, and all the wildly overlapping Venn diagrams of groups of friends she and Michael shared over their 34 years together.

She was thankful for the friends of her youth, her beaucoup cousins, all her family. She loved her son, loved her hubsband, as she called him. She gave love throughout her life, and throughout her illness she was supported by outpourings of love from everywhere.

It was, as Paul, her favorite, said: equal to the love you make. Sarah Nelson Crawford wants you to live a good life, filled with love. Enjoy!

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