Dear GDUI Leaders and Friends,
I am writing to share the very sad news that our dearest friend, Charlie Crawford passed away at 4:45 this morning. There are few details to share. Charlie was at home with his wife, Susan, and his Seeing Eye Dog, little “Razen in the Sun,” and his death followed a short illness. When I know details about memorial services or other arrangements, I will let all of you know.
We’ve lost a true advocate and friend,
And this is such a sad day for the blindness community. Charlie founded the first ACB state affiliate in Massachusetts, forty-nine years ago. He went on to head the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, and then to serve as Executive Director of ACB from 1998 to 2003. Charlie was such a wonderful advocate for those of us who rely on our guide dogs for independence and safety. It was knowing Charlie and his then Seeing Eye Dog, Ruthie, that led me to apply for my first guide dog, Glory – and Glory and Charlie had such a happy mutual admiration society going in that ACB national office!
Charlie has served several terms on GDUI’s Board, and we have been so fortunate to have Charlie chairing our Advocacy and Legislative Committee. No one who ever called Charlie with an advocacy issue left the call without knowing for certain how much he and GDUI cared about their civil rights.
It is particularly poignant that Charlie should pass away on the anniversary of 9-11. That terrible morning in 2001, his primary concern was that each one of the national office staff members get home safely from Downtown Washington, DC. So typical of Charlie, he made sure that every one of us was safely headed toward home and family before he and Ruthie found their way onto the Metro.
Charlie spent his entire adult life advocating for people with disabilities and the human and civil rights of all people. His caring nature has been a reminder to all of us who called him friend.
We are not sure how to get through this sad day or the ones that will follow without Charlie. He has been such a wonderful friend to so many of us and such an enthusiastic and effective advocate for all of our human and civil rights. Our best advice is to make the most of this and every day that comes, and to tell all the treasured people and dogs in our lives that we love them, as often as possible.