Felix Crawford

Felix Crawford

Felix Conkling Crawford (January 11, 1938 - January 23, 2007) was a general dentist in Plainview, Texas, who was an officer of both the Texas and national dental associations. He was president of the Texas Dental Association from 1988-1989 and received the "Distinguished Service Award" from the group. In 2001, he was elected the second vice president of the American Dental Association at the annual convention in Kansas City, Missouri. Crawford was a member of the International College of Dentists.

Early years, education, military

Crawford was born in Midland in west Texas to Marshall Crawford, Sr., (1903-1984) and Lela Mary Crawford (1907-1988). In 1942, the family business was moved to Lamesa (pronounced LA MEESA), the seat of Dawson County, on the Texas South Plains. The senior Crawford was a Firestone tire dealer and owned a home and automobile supply company. Mrs. Crawford was a deputy tax collector in the Dawson County Courthouse. Crawford attended public schools in Lamesa and was encouraged by his family dentist, Dr. H.M. Stover, to pursue a career in dentistry.

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".

He served two years in the U.S. Army (1963-1965) and was stationed at Fort Carson, near Colorado Springs.

Dental association activities

In 1965, Crawford opened his dental office in Plainview, the seat of Hale County, north of Lubbock. He practiced for thirty-eight years until his retirement in 2003.

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.

Civic leadership

Crawford's extensive community service included presidencies of the Plainview Chamber of Commerce, the Plainview Country Club, the Plainview Rotary Club, and the Plainview Toastmasters Club, which promotes effective public speaking. Crawford was a former chairman of the Plainview-Hale County Board of Health. He also served as a coach for Young Men's Christian Association soccer, tiger league football, and little league baseball.

Crawford's death and legacy

Crawford died at the Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock. Services were held on January 26, 2007, at the First United Methodist Church in Plainview with Dr. Lewis Holland and Dr. Max Browning officiating. Burial was in Plainview Memorial Park in Plainview.

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."

References

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