Joan Crawford, 89

Sep 16, 2020 by

Active in the North Reading community, enjoyed gardening

Published September 16, 2020

NORTH READING — Joan (Rolfe) Crawford, 89, of North Reading, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020.

She was the daughter of the late Frederick W. Rolfe, Jr. and Ariel M. (Decker) Rolfe of Malden and Melrose, and the sister of the late Edwin D. Rolfe.

Joan grew up in Melrose and graduated from Melrose High School, Class of 1948 and Boston University, Class of 1950. She married her high school sweetheart, the late Charles Whitney (Whit) Crawford, in 1951. They were married 58 years until his death in 2009. She was the devoted mother of Michael and his wife Carol of Rockport, Richard and his wife Anne of Melrose, the late Steven of North Reading, Brian and his wife Karla of Youngsville, La., Philip and his wife Ellen of Lynnfield, and Susan (Crawford) Standley of North Reading. Joan was the loving grandmother of 12 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, with number nine on the way. Joan lived in a circa 1750 farmhouse since 1959 that she and Whit had restored; the site of many parties over the years, and lived in North Reading a total of 63 years.

Joan was very active in the community. She was a two-time past president of North Reading Historical and Antiquarian Society, for which she baked many pies for the Apple Festival. She was past president of the North Reading Garden Club, where she participated in garden teas, garden tours and flower shows at the Topsfield Fair and in Boston. She belonged to the Union Congregational Church, where she was a past president of the Monday Club and Chair of the Christmas Faire. She was a member of the North Reading Camp Fire Girls Council and a Cub Scout Den Mother.

Joan loved gardening (but hated weeds). She also enjoyed rug hooking, rug braiding, repairing antique chair seats and bird watching. She had 12 bird feeders which attracted a large variety of birds. She enjoyed watching them and the deer, squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, ducks, turkeys and rabbits that all visited her backyard.

Joan was laid to rest at Riverside Cemetery in North Reading on Sept. 14 with family in attendance.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Joan’s memory to either the North Reading Historical Society ( or the North Reading Garden Club (

The Croswell Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements. To leave an online message of condolence, please visit

Related Posts


Share This