He hence obtained his pre-dental degree from Texas Tech University (then Texas Technological College) in Lubbock. He then attended the Dental Branch of the University of Texas in Houston, from which he graduated in 1963. In 1996, the UT Dental Branch named Crawford "Alumnus of the Year".
Crawford was president of his local South Plains District Dental Society in 1979-1980. He was a delegate to the Texas Dental Association's House of Delegates. He was a member of the TDA Council on Legislative Affairs and chaired DENPAC (the dentists' state political action committee) from 1982-1989. After service on the board of directors, he was elected TDA president.
In 1990, Crawford helped to establish the Texas Dental Association Foundation to promote advancement of health care through continuing education for dentists.
Dr. Crawford was a delegate to the American Dental Association House of Delegates, and a member of the original ADA Committee on Chemical Dependency. He chaired the national American Dental Political Action Committee for two years and made more than forty trips to Washington, D.C., to lobby for issues important to dentists.
Crawford was survived by his wife, Dr. Marian Perry Crawford (also born 1938), an educator; his daughter and son-in-law, Christin Kay Gray and her husband Floyd Eric Gray; his son, Boyd William Crawford (born 1970) and wife April Lynette Crawford (born 1972); two stepsons, Ross Perry and Lee Perry; three grandchildren, Austin Crawford, Blake Crawford, and Dillon Gray, all of Mansfield, Texas; one sister, Camilla Crawford Young (born 1927) of Chalfont, Pennsylvania, and a brother, Marshall Crawford, Jr., of Houston.
Dr. Thomas C. Harrison of Katy near Houston (born 1953), the 2007 president of the Texas Dental Association, said that Crawford was "one of those people who was always thinking of someone else."
Dr. Kathleen Nichols, a general dentist in Lubbock, agreed with Harrison: "He was one of the people who really influenced my decision to get involved. He gently guided me into becoming interested in the issues." Nichols, a past chairman of the TDA's Ethics and Judicial Affairs Council, said "there will be some big shoes to fill . . . He was incredible to me. I would hope that I can do for someone else what he did for me."