James “Jim” Crawfis

August 05, 1923 ‒ June 05, 2020

Vero Beach, Florida
Formerly of Mansfield, Ohio

MANSFIELD:   Whatever good things we build end up building us. Jim Crawfis helped construct much more than buildings. As a founding member of Marr, Knapp & Crawfis Associates, Inc., he provided architectural, engineering, planning, and facility management services. And he lived and breathed a philosophy of providing more than architecture. He developed a staff at MKC of community leaders who invested their time and talents in public service. Service clubs, charitable funds, scholarship programs, even Habitat for Humanity have benefited from Jim’s support of his employee’s community service. Jim Crawfis helped build community.

Self-described as a frustrated carpenter, yet successful farm boy, Donald James Crawfis passed away Friday morning June 5, 2020 in his Vero Beach, FL home. He was 96.

Born August 5, 1923 in Leipsic the only child of Chester and Ruth (Conine) Crawfis, he was graduated from Blanchard Township High School, and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from The Ohio State University.

Jim served two years with the US Navy in the Philippines.

Jim opened the Mansfield office of MKC in 1951. He focused on planning and designing public facilities for school districts, religious facilities, recreational projects, civic, commercial and healthcare buildings across Ohio. Headquartered in Mansfield, MKC operated offices in New Philadelphia, Mansfield and Columbus. The firm was founded in New Philadelphia, Crawfis brought the firm to Mansfield, and the Columbus office was added later.

He was a member of the American Institute of Architects, and served as General Chairman and of Mansfield Exchange Club. He served on the board of trustees of the YMCA, and was a member of Shrine Club and Ohio Genealogical Society.

Jim had a spirit of wanderlust. In 1980 and 1981 he and his wife and younger son sailed their 37-foot Tartan “Drummer” on a 12-month odyssey departing the Erie Canal system through the mouth of the Chesapeake to Bermuda to Western Europe to the Canary Islands to Barbados, through the Caribbean, and then up the east coast of the US. He loved sailing. A former Commodore of the Mohican Sailing Club, he served as general chairman of Jet-14 National Regatta, and was a member of Mansfield Power Squadron, Vero Beach Power Squadron and Vero Beach Yacht Club.

Jim “Pa” will be remembered for building a fine family, loving them, and always accepting them.

He is survived by his wife Patricia (Wells) Crawfis, whom he married January 28, 1950; their sons Spencer (Jean) Crawfis of Vero Beach, FL and Greg (Jackie) Crawfis of Mansfield; grandchildren Josh (Natalie) Crawfis of Tampa, FL, Jessica (Lonnie) White of Spring Hill, FL, Robin Leedy of Ashland, David Jerger of Charleston, SC, and Douglas (Lisa) Jerger of Chandler, AZ; and numerous great grandchildren.

A graveside funeral service will be held Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. in Mt. Zion Cemetery, Lucas with Pastor Ron Biddle officiating. The Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home is handling funeral arrangements.

Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the Crawfis family, share a message of support – or watch Jim’s tribute video – online at: SnyderFuneralHomes.com

  • Golly, Spence & Greg, so many wonderful memories from our childhood when our families did so much together & our parents enjoyed so many adventures ! I remember when your dad designed our dad’s doctors office on Park Avenue & had his own architects office on the second floor! Then your dad designed their home on Lex Ave,! I enjoyed the Celebration of Life video & so touched that my parents had a special place in it. Wondering ,Pat,if that was the trip to Cuba? We were so grateful when you supported our family during our not so distant losses. Please know our thoughts & prayers are with the Crawfis family. The Morkel Family

  • To live a life of 96 is truly a blessing from God! Pa lived his life to the fullest and wouldn’t have changed anything. He lived his life making sure that his wife was taken care of and everyone of his children, from their first breath of life, to his last breath of life. The memories you share will forever be embossed in your hearts, and as you remember them, smile like you’ve never smiled before.

    To Jessica, my daughter in law, I will always remember meeting Pa and your grandmother during the time of your wedding. They were such a loving couple whom I truly admired. Always remember moments like these and cherish them in your hearts forever. Just take a glimpse from time to time of the love you shared and smile again, like never before. I’m very proud to have met Pa, and I, too, will never forget him.

    I’m reminded of a scripture that says; “we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8. Right now, Pa is present with God, and eternally resting!

    Love you,
    Marva White and family

  • Greg, Spence and mom Crawfis my sympathy to your family at this time of yours loss. I have so many fond memories of the time spent together at Lucas High School. While viewing the slide presentation I was surprised to see we had more in common than I realized at the time. My family and grandparents received great care from Dr. Morkel and his wife for many years.

    Your in our thoughts and prayers.

    Clair & Bev Keever

  • May Jim rest in peace! We extend our condolences and sympathies to you. And may remembering the life that Jim led bring happiness to his family.

  • Our deepest sympathies to the Crawfis Family. 51 years ago Jim sponsored me, a young German immigrant, to join his firm in Mansfield. He was my mentor, patient as I adapted to the American way of life. His community spirit encouraged me to follow his guidance and becoming a community leader. Jim cared deeply about the wellbeing of his employees and staff… a boss with big heart. Jim, you changed many lives in most positive ways; you will be missed, Mentor, Boss, and Friend. RIP.

  • Spencer and Greg such a beautiful tribute to your dad. He sure knew how to follow his dreams and live life to the fullest while loving his family and friends. Spencer it’s been 55 yrs. Or so since you left our high school class but know I always valued your friendship and wondered where life took you. Bless you all and share your stories to keep your memories alive.

  • Dear Pat, Spence, and Greg,
    Our sympathies to you for your loss of husband and father. But our gladness, too, for you to have such fond memories and to celebrate a life well lived. The 50’s and 60,s were made more special with your friendship. Blessings to you all.

  • Pat, Spence, and Greg, you have our deepest condolences. Jim hired me when business was slow, but he felt that I needed to get into an office for experience. I retired from MKC some 40 years later. He was a good man and lived his life to the fullest blessed with 96 years with the people he loved and cared for.

  • Greg and Jackie
    Certainly the of you and your family
    Sending my deepest sympathy
    My memories of PA are great Roger Coulton