Memorial Spaceflights

Timothy Heywood Crawford

1941 - 2020

Timothy Heywood Crawford, loving husband of Melissa Crawford, passed away on Thursday, April 2, 2020, at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California at the age of 78. Tim will be remembered for his generous, fun-loving spirit and for his wonderful, highly infectious laugh. Throughout his life, Tim’s laughter could get any party started, and it will live on in the memories of his friends and family.

Tim was born in September 1941 in New York City to George and Jean Crawford. He grew up in Connecticut with his brother Peter and his dog Dewey. He attended Pomfret School in Pomfret, Connecticut and graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut in 1964. At Trinity he majored in English and was pre-med, played varsity football, and was a member of St. Anthony Hall. Tim loved Trinity and credited the school with sparking his life-long love of learning. He attended Columbia Medical School in New York City and interned at Kings County Hospital in Seattle. He joined the U.S. Navy Reserve in 1967 and was on active duty during the Vietnam War from 1970 to 1972. He served as Flight Surgeon on the U.S.S. Ticonderoga, for Carrier Antisubmarine for Group 59 and on the prime recovery ship for the Apollo 14 and 16 space flights. One of the highlights of his Navy career was learning to fly during officer training. Tim achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander and received the Naval Defense and Vietnam Service medals as well as a Navy-Marine Corps medal “For Heroism,” the highest award available in a non-combat area.

Tim met his wife Melissa on a ferry to Sausalito when they were headed to the same party. Tim and Melissa were married in 1973 in St. Thomas Church on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Melissa worked as a flight attendant for United Airlines and Tim worked as the medical director for United Airlines and as a doctor for several professional sports teams in Los Angeles. Tim later worked as a real estate broker and also developed the West End Tennis Club and South End Tennis Club, both in Torrance, California. Tim and Melissa moved to La Jolla in 1980.

Insatiable travelers, Tim and Melissa saw the world together. They crisscrossed Europe and lived in Paris for three years. They enjoyed spending time on the slopes in Park City, Utah, at Melissa’s family home on Bainbridge Island, and especially at their home in Palm Desert. Tim loved adding new countries to his list of adventures and set foot on every continent, including Antarctica. With friends from the Navy and Manhattan Beach, he went on countless backpacking trips in the far corners of the world including Mount Kilimanjaro and the Amazon River. Later in life he and Melissa enjoyed cruises with dear friends to places like Singapore, St. Petersburg, Russia, and Komodo Island, Malaysia. Tim frequently went on sailing trips with friends through the Intracoastal Waterway or via the Gulf Stream from Florida to Cape Cod, and accompanied friends on three-week-long container-ship “cruises” through the Suez Canal and to South Korea. Tim always enjoyed meeting people wherever he went, and his warmth and openness drew them in and put them at ease. As he got older, his decreased mobility didn’t discourage him from travel, and had the unexpected perk of increasing his time for connecting with people.

An avid golfer, Tim relished his weekly outings with buddies on the course and the mandatory meals and drinks at the clubhouse afterward. One year he won the Marrakesh Club Championship, something that brought him great pride and extended bragging rights. 

Tim was preceded in death by his father George, his mother Jean, and his brother Peter. He is survived by his wife Melissa; his sister-in-law Linda Crawford; his nephew Baylor Crawford, his wife Caitlin and their two children Imogen and Asher; his nephew Calin Crawford; his nephew Bo Weingaertner, his wife Laura, and their children Lily, Mindy, Hank, and Nate; his nephew Jamey Weingaertner, his wife Davina, and their children Carly, Lauren and Axel; his nephew Trev Meyer; and his niece Tegan Clise, her husband Cameron, and their children Taylour, Codie, and Broden.


I introduced my father and Tim to each other in the early 1970's. They immediately bonded and for over thirty years shared a fond friendship. Tim and dad both loved Kipling's poem "Gunga Din.” So, with apologies to Rudyard for co-opting his Pentameter, I am placing this poem in Tim's spaceship.


I Shan't forget the night; It was Tim's last Navy Flight;
I handed him the stick and let him fly,
He dodged the lovely clouds, and laughing right out load
said he thought that we would surely never die.
For it's Tim Tim Tim, where the devil have you been? 
With Silver hair and big infectious laugh.
We are missing you a ton, your cheerfulness and fun, 
occasional misstep or silly gaff.
Tim's left, we don't know where, I miss him so, it's just not fair
to have him gone and not to share forever
a ski, a sail, or play the blues, to scuba dive, or cruise
and all the million things we did together.
Oh Timmie-tons-of-fun, where the devil have you gone? 
Perhaps to tap dance up on heaven's bowl?
You call yourself buffoon, but we'll not forget you soon 
You've touched us all down into our soul.
Oh my missing friend, this question I do send, 
Can you see ahead to the Heaven's end?
Are you rocketing past Mars, on your way to see the stars? 
Is there a chance that we will meet again?
So I'll meet you later on, where your rocket ship has gone; 
Where all matter, time and space run free
You'll get to hear my song, and of all the men l've known, 
You're a better man than I am, Silver D.
Douglas Fillmore Hudson, Junior
April 20, 2023
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