Roy Crawford, Sr., said he felt bad about folks having to wait in a long line at a reception in his honor, but he just couldn’t bring himself to just brush off friends he hadn’t seen in awhile.
More than 150 folks turned out Monday, Sept. 12, to honor Roy Crawford, Sr., for his years of service.
Crawford said he was surprised by the turnout and felt bad the long line moved slow. “I was just floored. A lot of those who stood in line and came through, I hadn’t seen in years, and you don’t turn them off with a, ‘Good to see you,’ and go to next person,” he said. “It was just very, very flattering. Both Dorothy and I were taken aback with all the nice things said.”
There were many more folks on hand than Roy Crawford expected. “I thought it would be a nice, quiet affair, mainly with those at the city who would stop by as they left from work,” he said. “But gosh, we had over 150 names on the guest book.”
The mayors of Alcoa and Blount County honored him with proclamations, and the City of Maryville officially dubbed it “Roy Crawford Day” in Maryville.
When it was announced that Gov. Bill Haslam had followed suit and proclaimed it “Roy Crawford Day” across the whole state, the guest of honor said his wife was really surprised.
“We were just flattered and so pleased by the comments that were made at the reception, and we were surprised by the certificates presented,” Crawford said. “Then the governor declared the 12th as ‘Roy Crawford Day’ in the entire state, and I thought, ‘My gosh, things are getting out of control.’”
City Manager Greg McClain said it would be difficult to count all the ways Crawford has contributed to the city. “I don’t know where to start as it pertains to the city,” he said. “He was the architect of the current city charter, and he showed the way to creating a new government the City of Maryville adopted in 1967,” he said. “It was largely due to his work.”
Attorney Keith McCord said Crawford has been an outstanding, very fair attorney. “He was dedicated to the City of Maryville and all his clients,” McCord said. “He met all the qualifications you could ask of a professional. He was good and solid.”
Roy Crawford, Jr., said when he was growing up, he had a lot of physical problems, but his parents wouldn’t let him feel sorry for himself or settle for anything less than his best effort in an endeavor. “I’m so blessed, to be honest with you, to have grown up with the parents like Roy and Dorothy Crawford,” he said. “I felt so blessed to have had the support I had from both of my parents.”
Dr. Emily Anderson, pastor of New Providence Presbyterian Church where the Crawfords are longtime members, praised the couple. “I am grateful for the steadfastness of people like this who not only serve the congregation but also serve the community,” she said. “God bless you both.”
Maryville Mayor Tom Taylor thanked Roy Crawford. “I think it is important we recognize Roy for all of his years of service. He has been humble and a rock solid supporter of this city, and we think it is appropriate we recognize him in this way.”
Kenny Coulter praised Roy Crawford after making his way through the room that teemed with a throng of people from all walks of life on hand to greet the Crawfords.
“They could not put enough people in here to pay tribute to him,” Coulter said.