Clarence Jessie (CJ) Crawford, 90, of Texas City, went to be with Jesus late Friday evening, May 6, 2022. CJ was born in Lufkin, Tx, on March 29, 1932. He was retired from JC Penney as a retail manager and a bivocational music minister. He gave his heart and life to Jesus when he was a teenager.
CJ served the Lord in music ministry from his teen years until his retirement from Highlands Baptist Church La Marque in 2009. He regularly sang gospel music on the radio in his teens with Lufkin’s Teenage Quartet. He met the love of his life, Carolyn, when their quartet needed a piano player. In the 60’s, CJ sang with a men’s quartet, The Spiritualaires, and they traveled to churches and singing conventions throughout Texas, spreading the gospel in song. In the mid 70’s as his children developed a love of music, he gathered his family to sing. Known as The Crawford Family, they revived the song “Heaven’s Choo Choo” that CJ had sung with the Teenage Quartet. The Family sang until CJ could no longer sing. He served as music minister at Central Baptist Church, Port Neches, from 1965-1970; Heights Baptist Church, Texas City, from 1972-1976; and Highlands Baptist Church, La Marque, from 1976-2009. CJ instilled the love of Jesus in his children and taught them to serve the Lord with their gifts. He was so proud that all three of his children are serving in ministry in their respective churches.
CJ honorably served in the United States Army and is a Korean War veteran. He is also a graduate of College of the Mainland. Other loves and interests included Astros baseball, domino and card games, gardening, and a good vanilla MALT.
CJ is preceded in death by his parents, Jessie and Zelma Crawford and his in-laws, Carmen and Veddie Poland. He is survived by his bride of 65 years, Carolyn; his children, Randy Crawford and wife Tonya, Carla Boone and husband Gehrig, and Greg Crawford and wife Lenda; his grandchildren, Kyle, Brock, Ryan, Jessie, Carrie, Jenna, Katy, Kara, and Gregory; and three great grandchildren, Maverick, Jamison, and Theodore. He is also survived by his brother, Tom Crawford and his wife, Molly; sister-in-law, Nelda Herndon and her husband, Roger; and brother-in-law, James Poland and his wife, Patty. In the days leading up to his death, he was surrounded by his loving family.
There will be a celebration of life at Highlands Baptist Church, La Marque, 3:00 p.m., Saturday, May 28, 2022 with a visitation beginning at 2:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made in memory of CJ Crawford to Highlands Baptist Church (HBC) or specifically to the HBC Music Ministry.
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