Katherine J. Crawford age 86, of York formerly of Mason City, NE died June 11, 2018, at the Hearthstone Care Home in York, NE.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, June 15, 2018, at 10:00 AM at the First Baptist Church in Mason City with Pastor John Lewis officiating. Interment will be in the Mason City Cemetery. Govier Brothers Mortuary is in charge of the arrangements. A visitation will be held on Thursday evening 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Govier Brothers Mortuary in Broken Bow.
Katherine was born November 8th, 1931, to Albert and Katie (Greenland) Trefren on their farm near Arcadia Nebraska. She attended Country School. At age 6, her 1st recitation had the whole crowd laughing when she pulled up her dress to take her hankie out of the pocket her mother had sewn in her underpants. After graduating from Country School, she attended Arcadia High School. They lived so far out that she rented a room in town during the week. On Fridays she would hitch a ride with the mail truck to take her home. Upon graduating from High School, this Country Girl bought a one-way ticket to Chicago where she joined a group called “God’s Invasion Army”, teaching the children of Chicago about Jesus. She knew she would either be a missionary or a pastor’s wife. After completing her service in Chicago, she attended St Paul Bible Institute in Minnesota, working her way through college cleaning houses for the more wealthy. This is where she learned the “proper” way to entertain. While in school, she applied to the mission field and had just received her letter that she would be sent to Alaska as a missionary. While visiting home, she attended a young people’s meeting at The Baptist Church in Arcadia and met the love of her life Victor Crawford. He went back to the Oil fields and Katherine went to Lincoln, working on the top floor of the State Capitol Building. While living in Lincoln, she sang on the radio every week with the “Back to the Bible” choir.
She withdrew her application for missions and Married Victor on August 21st, 1956, at the First Baptist Church in Arcadia. After they were married, they tried both farming and sheep ranching. Victor started pastoring a church in New Castle, Wyoming and decided he needed to go to Bible School. So, in 1961, they applied for green cards, built and loaded a trailer with their belongings, and the car with 2 small children and headed across the country to Vancouver British Columbia. Upon graduation, they returned to the US and pastored the Baptist Church in Mason City, Nebraska. This began their 50-year ministry together, pastoring numerous churches. Katherine always described her role as “Making Victor look good”. She did a great job of that too.
Every year, for 50 years, Katherine held an annual Christmas Open House, baking for months in advance, pulling out her Silver and Crystal platters filled with goodies and was an amazing hostess. She was well known for her Fruitcake and sold many, many loaves over the years (to eat, not for door stops) She worked hard her whole life, many times doing the job of a man, but she was a true lady. She battled dementia for the last 14 years of her life. When she first realized what was happening she said, “I can choose to be sad or I can choose to be happy, and I choose to be happy.” She maintained her Happy-Ornery self until the end.
Katherine loved all the old hymns and even though she no longer knew or recognized any of us, she could sing those hymns without missing a word. If she wasn’t singing, she was humming in perfect harmony. What she would most want to be remembered for is her love for Jesus. She would want to know that each and every person has heard the Gospel of Christ and will someday meet her in Glory. Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren meant the world to her. We can say, Well done good, and faithful servant.
Three children were born: Mark (Teresa), Miriam (Kevin), and Stephen (Jennifer)
Eleven Grandchildren: Jay, Kyle, Lea, Nik, Zach, Alycia, Chelsy, Luke, Jared, Zachary, Joshua and seven step-grandchildren.
Ten Great-grandchildren: Calum, Pearl, Eli, Ethan, Olivia, Sophia, Jovia, Victoria, Keaton, Owen and eleven step-great-grandchildren
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Victor, and five brothers; Floyd, Willard, Marion, Theodore, and Don.