Former South Lake Tahoe councilman Crawford passes away at 82 |

Former South Lake Tahoe councilman Crawford passes away at 82

Claire Cudahy
Two-time city councilmember Bill Crawford passed away on Friday, Nov. 25.
Courtesy Photo |

Flags are at half-mast across the city of South Lake Tahoe in memory of two-time councilman Bill Crawford.

Crawford, 82, passed away on Friday, Nov. 25, in Reno after a brief illness.

The outspoken community activist was a fixture at City Council meetings long after his time in office ended, and he was not afraid to speak up about his feelings on the state of affairs in South Lake Tahoe, his home of 49 years.

Brooke Laine, who served with Crawford on council from 1998 to 2002, described him as an “interesting and smart man.”

“During this period we accomplished a lot for the city. Redevelopment was a topic of discussion at every single meeting. Unfortunately — or rather fortunately — he was not a fan of redevelopment. He felt that the debt that the city would encumber didn’t outweigh the public gain,” explained Laine.

“He was not a proponent, however, during our discussions at council meetings, he would give input that was different and interesting. We were able to use his insightfulness to put in protections for the city — and in hindsight, thank god we did.”

“He always found a way to contribute, even when he didn’t agree,” added Laine.

Crawford served again as councilor from 2006 to 2010.

“He’s always been political. It’s in his blood,” said Jonnie Crawford, his wife of over 62 years.

“When he was on council you could count on votes being 4-1. But he had outstanding, researched reasons for why.”

“What he wanted to see for this city first of all was clean, good roads and to take care of the people who live here. He wanted things to be good for the people who lived here, not just the visitors,” she added.

Prior to participating in local politics, Crawford was an English teacher at South Tahoe High School and Mt. Tallac Continuation High School from 1967 through the late 1980s. He also taught astronomy and orienteering, and coached the football and ski teams.

“I’ve gotten calls from people who knew him when he was teaching at the high school, and they’ve had nothing but good things to say about how he positively impacted them,” expressed Jonnie. “It’s been amazing.”

Crawford also enjoyed writing poetry — he wrote regularly for more than three decades — cross country skiing, fishing, running and rock climbing.

He was an avid contributor of letters to the editor to all local publications.

In addition to his wife, Crawford is survived his children Marlowe, Paul and David, and granddaughter Caitlin.

At his request, there will be no funeral or memorial service.

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