OBITUARY: Leray M. Crawford


Leray M. Crawford, age 86, a resident of Columbia, Tennessee, passed away on Monday, February 26, 2024, at NHC Maury Regional Transitional Care Center.

Born on October 21, 1937, in Iron City, Tennessee, Leray was the daughter of the late Abe Morton and the late Johnella Pullen Morton.

She graduated from Carver Smith High School in 1957 and attended Tennessee State University. Leray dedicated many years to working on the production line at General Electric before retiring. Known for her impeccable sense of style, Leray married Murphy Crawford, Jr. in August of 1960, and he preceded her in death on June 20, 2011.

She found joy in travel, fishing, and hosting fish fries for her neighbors. A passionate basketball enthusiast, she was an avid Boston Celtics fan. Leray was a lifelong devoted member of Wayman Chapel AME Church, where she sang in the choir and was involved in the Owens Wright Women’s Missionary Society.

She leaves behind to cherish her memory her sons, Rufus James (Demetriss) Crawford, Gregory (Eva Janice) Crawford, brother, Curtis (Marion) Morton, sisters, Shirley Morton, Bobbie (Eugene) Whitaker, grandchildren, Kandric Crawford, Kandreah Crawford, sisters in law, Ann Morton, Betty Morton, Betty Baxter, Nancy Johnson, and China Crawford, devoted cousin, Catherine Hubbard, special friends, Jacola Gaines, Mai Cooper, Mable Baxter, and Marilyn Braden, and a host of nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her brothers, Charles Morton, Floyd Morton, Leon Morton, sisters, Eleanor Jean Morton, Wynell Brown, father and mother-in-law, Reverend Murphy Crawford, Sr. & Mother Louise Crawford, brothers in law, Willie L. Brown, James H. Crawford, and sisters in law, Mildred Morton, Annie Louise Cooper, Mary Alice Greene, and Susie Whitaker.

A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, at 12:00 PM at Wayman Chapel AME Church. Following the service, she will be laid to rest in Pinecrest Memorial Gardens. A visitation will be held on Monday, March 4, 2024, from 5:00 – 7:00 PM at Heritage Funeral Home. Heritage Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Mrs. Crawford’s nephews will serve as pallbearers, and Ann Gaines, Shanta Baxter, Sharnell Crawford, and nieces will serve as flower girls.

The family wishes to extend a very special thank you to Dr. Gibran Naddy and the main caregiver and dialysis tech, Bradley Helton, at Fresenius Kidney Center.


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