Peter Pete L. Crawford

September 3, 1938 ~ September 1, 2011

Peter "Pete" Lyman Crawford, 72, of Lake Charles passed away on Thursday, September 1, 2011, in a local hospital.

Pete was born on September 3, 1938, in Lake Charles to Lyman A. "Pete" Crawford and Louise Romero Crawford. He graduated from Landry Memorial High School under the tutelage of the Christian Brothers in 1956. He was named President of his Class in 1956 and was a member of the All District Football Team. Pete also attended McNeese State University, where he graduated with a Master's Degree Plus 30 in Education. During his college career, Pete was honored as a Distinguished Military Student, a Distinguished Military Graduate, was named Battle Group Commander of the McNeese R.O.T.C., and was named as a Who's Who Among College Students. Pete married Christine Niel in January 28, 1961, and they had four children. In January of this year, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Following college, Pete joined the Army and attended Provost Marshal General School in Ft. Gordon, Georgia. As a military policeman, he was stationed at Ft. Rucker Alabama, where he was named Company Commander and Assistant Provost Marshall in the early sixties. During his tenure there, he protected James Meredith during the integration of Ole Miss, was decorated as a sharpshooter, and was honorably discharged as a First Lieutenant in 1964. After his tenure in the Army, Pete returned to Lake Charles and began his career as an educator. He was a football coach at F. K. White in the mid-sixties and was the only coach to ever claim an undefeated, unscored upon, untied season. In 1967, he became an Assistant Coach at LaGrange High School and was instrumental in their 1969 State Playoff run. In 1971, he was named Assistant Principal of LaGrange H.S. and was Principal from 1973 to 1981. Following his career with LaGrange, Pete became the Title 1 Director of Federal Programs for Calcasieu Parish Schools until he retired in 2005. During his service in the educational system, Pete was a 26-year member of the Louisiana Association of School Administrators of Federally Assisted Programs (LASAFAP) and served as President in 1988. He also served on the McNeese Alumni Board from 1972 to 1975 and was awarded the State Leadership Award in 2002 by the National Association of Federal Education Program Administrators. He was also a member of the American Legion, W.B. Williamson Post No. 1.

Pete was preceded in death by his father, Lyman A. "Pete" Crawford, and his sister, Theresa Jane Crawford. He is survived by his devoted wife, Christine Niel Crawford; his mother, Louise Romero Crawford; his children, David Crawford and wife, Beverly; Kevin Crawford and wife, Karen; Angie Crawford Schmitt and husband, Andy; and Mike Crawford and wife, Jennifer, all residents of Lake Charles. He is also survived by his siblings, Phyllis Solari, Mary Higdon, Dr. Patrick Crawford, Dr. John Crawford, Carolyn Toups, Joe Crawford, and Susan Meche. Pete was blessed with eight grandchildren, Alex Schmitt, David Crawford, Abby Schmitt, Austin Crawford, Sara Crawford, Jacob Crawford, Emily Schmitt, and Josh Crawford.

Pete was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle. He was a leader among men. He believed that hard work and dedication were inherent to a life lived well. Pete believed that all things could be accomplished through perseverance and determination, and personally, he always put forth more than was expected in any endeavor. He was always an optimist, believed that you should never quit, even in strife, and was always cheerful and positive, even when times were difficult. He loved football as he believed that sports taught life lessons on discipline and teamwork. He also loved coaching football and considered it a battle of the wits.

Pete taught and led, first by example. His primary lesson to all who knew him was the value of good character. He loved the Louisiana heritage and had a passion for fishing and hunting .He enjoyed taking care of his boat, the Kingfish, and he cherished spending time with his family and friends. Pete was a hero to all of us.

His Funeral Mass will be at 10:00 AM, Monday, September 5, 2011 at The Cathedral of Immaculate Conception. Monsignor Jace Eskind will officiate. Burial will be in Highland Memory Gardens under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home. Visitation will be, Sunday, from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM with a rosary being recited at 6:00 PM, and continue from 8:00 AM until 9:30 AM, Monday, in the funeral home.

The family would like to express their thanks to Lena, Rae, Mildred, and Christian, who helped care for Pete over his last years, especially his favorite nurse, daughter-in-law Jennifer Crawford. They would also like to express their thanks to the doctors and staff of Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for their excellent care.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Immaculate Conception Cathedral School, St. Louis Catholic High School, or the charity of your choice.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Chris, and family,I'm so sorry about your loss of Pete. I remember him from school, but in reading his obituary, and being older, see and realize what a good man he was. You're in my Prayers,Darlene Monceaux

  2. Coach Crawford was a very special and great man. He will surely be missed. I just wish there were more men like him in our school system today. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family in there time of sorrow. Remember Coach is in heaven now and he will be watching over you every day.

  3. Coach Crawford was the type of leader who's impact was felt by his students but not seen by others. He could influnce students with his words and his decisions, w/o having to be the center of attention. From 74-78 he would address the FB team with an inspirational speech that I still can remember today. Rest in peace Coach and God's blessings for your family. Ray Langlois, Class of 78

  4. coach crawford,, i remember when i became so frustrated in high school at LGHS,especially in senior year,i wanted to quit and join the service. you brought me in your office and we talked for over an hour about why i did not want to do such,,, 36 years of being a successfull employe of the railroad driving trains and making a very good living,, i look back and think,,thank you sir .you were right ,,god speed on your rest in heaven with our father and peace to you family for a job well done from all us kids at your school, thanks my friend,thanks !! wayne rogers

  5. Crawford family you indeed have lost a true hero. I can think of few men who were as honest and fair as Pete Crawford.In my years as a coach and faculty member at LaGrange SR. I remember Pete doing his job as principal with great leadership and compassion.Christine, David, Kevin, Angie, and Mike you all have lost a great man in your lifeand he loved you all dearly as he made everyone around him aware how proud he was of his family.In the coming days, months and years you will remember and recall so many of the wonderful things he brought to your lives. God bless you in your sorrow and loss.Wayne Askew

  6. Dear Crawford Family:My sincere prayers and deep condolences are sent to you today. Mr. Pete Crawford is fondly remembered with much respect for his integrity and influential character as a Principal at LaGrange High School. I'm a graduate of 1979 and I remember Mr. Crawford well and the respect I always had for him. I am now a Catholic Priest and Pastor at St Martin de Porres Church in Lake Charles and I can truly say that Mr. Crawford was a mentor who modeled for me the integrity and character of quality leadership. His legacy lives on in the many people who have been inspired by his life, like me. Know of my continued thoughts and prayers for each of you. May you be renewed in the great promise of Resurrection as a gift from God. Peace and blessings, Fr. Keith Pellerin

  7. He was a great coach and even better principle. One couldn't have asked for a better person to head up things at LaGrange!! I always looked up to him during the time I was around him.

  8. He was my Coach. Always had a smile for me. Great man and educator. So sorry for your loss. Praying God provide you with strength and comfort during this time of loss.

  9. I can't remember a time of not knowing and loving the Crawford family. Such joyful years and memories must sustain us now. Pete was truly one of the good guys. Christina our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  10. I had Coach at FK White and LaGrange. He was a good coach and school administrator. I did not understand some of his methods while under him, but as I grew into an adult I came to understand him and his methods more clearly. I wish we had more people of his character and discipline in our school system today. I have many memories of him but my most favorite was when he used to call me out of class to talk about fishing. Whenever my name was called out over the intercom I always wondered what I had done wrong. He just wanted to talk about fishing techniques as I had a lot of knowledge of fishing in the Gulf. He kept you on your toes. He had a tremendous amount of positive influence on all of us that were under him. He will be missed.

  11. I had the honor of Coach Crawford being in my life at F. K. White, then as our asst principal at LaGrange but he was still Coach.The first only time I skipped school my Mom called Coach to let him know. He couldn't believe I did something like that. My punishment was to work in the office during study hall, I loved it. I will never forgot Coach, he truly loved his work us kids, Thanks Coach

  12. I read Pete's obituary and it describes the man I knew to the T. I am so sorry for his passing and that I didn't get over to see him before he passed. The world lost a brilliant and gentle light. My condolences to the Crawford family,and especially to Christine.

  13. I remember Mr Crawford well as Assistant Principal at Lagrange Jr. He was a very nice and kind man and I know his Fly and friends will miss him dearly.May God be with all of you to give you comfort at this time. God bless.

  14. I remember Mr. Crawford as being a fair and honest man. He will be truly missed. He helped me tremendously in my growth of life by giving little tidbits of advice from time to time. You see I saw Mr. Crawford everyday my senior year because my locker was right across from his office. I'm so sorry for your loss but I know Mr. Crawford is in the loving arms of Jesus now and feeling no pain.God Bless you all

  15. I will always remember Pete Crawford as Coach Crawford. I attended LGHS from 1974-1977…what I like to consider now it's 'better years.' Coach Crawford set the example for the students as far as how we should present ourselves to the city and on our own campus. There was pride at our school, and we could feel that 'back in the day.' My sincere thoughts and prayers to all the Crawford family at this time and always. Sincerely, Melanie Scott (class of '77)

  16. It saddens me so very much to know that my ole college buddy has passed on, but at the same time I realize that it to a much better place where we all strive to go. I know that God wanted a good friend like Pete to be with him so as to discuss all the things that really matter. I know all his family will be comforted by him when he and the Good Lord get to discuss it.I hope to meet him when the time comes and someday meet his great family before then.Norval and Gloria Knapp

  17. Mr. Crawford was such a wonderful administrator and a great calming influence over us otherwise out of control teenagers. I have such warm memories and am truly sadden by his passing. peace.

  18. Mr. Crawford will certaintly be missed. He was the best principal and the best person to talk to. No matter what kind of problem you had he would sit down and talk to you and help you solve the problem. My prayers go out to his wife and family. May he rest in peace.Debra Paniuski MillerClass of 1974

  19. Our prayers go out to the Crawford family.Being from a family of Eight Mr.Crawford had his hands full with all of us and every time he warmed our rear end it was because we deserved it.Now as I look back I understand how fair and understanding Mr. Crawford was and the patience.Coach will be sorely missed and I believe the way the school system is today we sure could use a man such as he today.REST IN PEACE COACHDavid Miles Family

  20. Pete Crawford will be missed by many! He lived a life of service to his fellow man and taught me and so many others life lessons and helped so many to become honorable men! Rest in Peace, Pete. This world was a better place because of your life. May God Bless your family!!!

  21. Remembering all of you makes me miss Lake Charles even more. I am so sorry for the loss of Pete. He was indeed a remarkable man and left a grand prayers are with all of you….carol phillips fruge sca class70

  22. Roselyn and I want to offer our sincere condolences to the family of Peter Crawford. Pete certainly was a great guy and will be missed by many, many people. Roselyn is so hard to get out but we want you to know that the family is in our prayers.Roselyn Battaglia Hunter and David Hunter

  23. So sad to hear about Mr. Crawford! What a wonderful Principal you were for LAGrange Senior High School!!! Susan – please know you and your family are in our prayers!

  24. So sorry to hear of Coach Crawford's passing…He was a great influence on all of us students from F.K.White to LaGrange Sr…My condolences to all the Crawford family.

  25. To the Crawford Family, My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. So sorry to hear of Mr. Crawford's passing. He was a great principal and mentor. He would always walk around, smiling and talking to all the kids. He will be greatly missed!! I was a student at LaGrange Sr. from 1974-1978. God Bless!

  26. We were very sad to hear of Mr. Crawford passing, he was such a sweet man, and we've always enjoyed your family.We will miss him, our condolences to your family

  27. What a wonderful, Christan man. Our family has many wonderful fond memories of Mr. Crawford. Our schools would be better off if we had more men like him as principals. Our hearts were saddened to hear of his passing yet rejoice in knowing he is in heaven. May God comfort and bless you in the days ahead. Your in our thoughts and prayers. The Bill Hale family

  28. What can I say about Coach Crawford? Except,that he was genuinely liked and well respected by all. I have fond memories of LaGrange Sr.,due to his guidance and patience with the students. I have had the opportunity to keep up with his health through his son Mike for several years. Mike being an Adapted PE coach and caring for kids so much like his dad. I pray for the entire family,,heaven has gained what we have lost. I pray that you all have peace,,for he will be greatly missed.

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