In Memory

Mary Frances Crowder

go to bottom 
  Post Comment

09/18/09 11:04 AM #1    

Jeanne Cruickshanks (Fellowes)

Mary and I were alphabetically destined to meet on the first day of 8th grade, and we became friends. She had a good and generous heart, an artist's soul, and a hearty sense of humor. On what turned out to be the last evening of her life, I happened to be at her parents' house when the call came about the accident virtually in front of the high school. I'm embarrassed that I don't remember whether it was Christmas Eve 1969 or 1970, the latter I think. I will always be grateful to Gary Lanham for being at Mary's funeral.
Peace, my friend.

11/02/09 06:17 PM #2    

Linda Swanson (Ligon-Dart)

Mary was a well liked lady. It was such a shock to hear the news. I seem to believe it was in 1969, i remember it was no long after we finished HS.

02/02/11 02:35 AM #3    

Mark Fisher

Mary and I were in the same Sunday School class at Bon Air Methodist Church, as well as sharing some classes together at Huguenot, although we were not especially close. I held many part-time jobs between 1967 and the early 1970s, which included driving a wrecker nights and weekends for the city contractor. 

One weekend afternoon, I was dispatched to meet the city police at one of the parking lot entrances on Forest Hill (then 2 lane). Another Huguenot student (younger than our classmates, who I will decline to name) who was substantially intoxicated had apparently pulled into the path of a small eastbound American Motors car operated by Mary and Peter Harahan (sp), who was in the class of 1968. In the head on-collision, Mary suffered masive head injuries and had expired.  Peter suffered crippling leg injuries. The drunk driver was ironically uninjured.  Mary and Peter had just purchased engagement rings and having showed them first to her family, were on the way to Peter's home on Old Westham Road in Stratford Hills.

When I realized that I had personal acquaintences with all three, and particurily shaken by Mary's death, I was unable to do my towing work. My boss responded from McGuire Circle and took care of the work. That night, I spent hours looking at their demolished car and questioning how God can let such things happen. I had worked other "messy" wrecks, but this hit very close to home, which was somehow very different and more awful.  

This terrible event has now stayed with me at least in the back of my aging mind for 40 years. During the 1980s, I was a major organizer of two New Years safe ride home programs, Operations High Spirits (747-HIGH) as well as the final years of VCU's 222-MUCH program. I think one of my motivations was the memory of a sweet and talented girl, Mary Crowder. 

Mark Fisher, February 2, 2011






 where another residentsshall never forget being dispatcherd   


. n on of those twists of fate, I was  and was sent to the collision location.  

go to top 
  Post Comment