Thomas Aaron Crawley, 90, of Sale Creek, Tenn., passed away peacefully early Saturday morning, Aug. 10, 2019, at CHI Memorial Hospital in Hixson, Tenn., after a brief illness. He was a member of Dayton First Baptist Church.
Tom was the son of the late Drewia A. and Nola Jordan Crawley, of Sale Creek, Tenn. He was born at the Crawley family farm on Nov. 12, 1928. As a young man, he worked on the farm, a dairy operation and peach orchard. He was active in Future Farmers of America (FFA). At age 16, already president of the local 4-H Club For Boys, Tom was selected from a field of 700 to represent Hamilton County at the National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago, Ill.
In 1953, he began working for the Tennessee Game and Fish Commission (TWRA) as a wildlife agent in Grundy County, Tenn. He was then transferred to Bradley County, Tenn., where he worked for several years. Later, he moved to Nashville where he served as lieutenant, covering a 10-county area. Some months later, he was transferred back to Bradley County as District Captain and Area Supervisor.
In 1967, Tom was named Tennessee Wildlife Officer of the Year while representing Tennessee at the Southeastern Wildlife Conference in New Orleans. For many years, he wrote an outdoor information column for the Cleveland Daily Banner as well as hosting an informational hunting & fishing radio broadcast at both WBAC and WCLE in Cleveland for ten years. After his retirement in 1986, he left Cleveland to work on his father’s farm, establishing a ten acre peach orchard. After his father’s passing, he continued to manage and maintain more than one thousand peach trees in addition to an abundant tomato crop. And in 1997, Tom was inducted into the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity as a Renaissance Man in the TN Eta chapter.
Like his father before him, he was honored with an induction into The Hamilton County Agricultural Hall of Fame and was later also inducted into The Bradley County Agricultural Hall of Fame due to his passion for land, nature, and farming. Most recently, in April of 2019, the Tennessee State Senate passed a resolution sponsored by Senator Bo Watson and signed by Governor Bill Lee honoring Tom for his extensive lifetime achievements in agriculture.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Drewia A. and Nola Jordan Crawley, of Sale Creek, Tenn.; two brothers, Orval A. Crawley, of Charleston, Tenn, and Albert B. Crawley, of Knoxville, Tenn., and their families respectively; his wife, Virginia Lane Crawley; and his son, Thomas “Tommy” E. Crawley.
He leaves his legacy to his survivors, daughter, Judy Crawley Robinson, of Cleveland, Tenn.; granddaughter, Kris Crawley (Kevin) Cobb, of Sale Creek, Tenn.; grandsons, Lane E. (Kathleen) Crawley, of Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Aaron M. (Ashley) Robinson, of Old Hickory, Tenn.; as well as beloved great-grandchildren, Kully and Kolt Cobb, of Sale Creek, Tenn., Sean, Derrick and Corey Crawley, of Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Finlay Robinson, of Old Hickory, Tenn.
He was so very loved by many and will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Funeral services for Tom will be held Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, at 5 p.m. in the Vanderwall Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Milton Knox officiating. He will be laid to rest in Rhea Memory Gardens in Dayton.
Share memories of Tom on his online guest register at www.vanderwallfh.com.
The family is being cared for by Vanderwall Funeral Home where they will receive friends Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, after 2 p.m.