James A. Crawmer, of Madison Wisconsin, passed away peacefully at the age of 92 years on May 17, 2023 at Agrace Hospice Care in Fitchburg.
He is survived by his children: Debra (Robert) Tribbey of Middleton, WI; James (LaRae) Crawmer of St. Paul, MN; Gregory Crawmer of Janesville, WI; Diane Crawmer of Liberty Hill, TX; Gary (Martha) Crawmer of Midland, MI; and, Thomas (Patricia) Crawmer of Middleton, WI.
Grandchildren: Jei (McKenna) Crawmer; Maggi (Sean) Hilger,; Kristi (Dick) Hansen; Ben (Rebecca) Crawmer; Bea (Bethany) Crawmer; Josh Crawmer; Kerensa Trevaskis; Ashley (Jerrod) Jewell; and, Andrea Whittaker.
Great Grandchildren: Savannah and Dickie Hansen; Justin and Jackson Jewell; Amanda, Breanna and Madison Schooley; Amber Sextro; Lilianna Whittaker; Ezekial, Portland and Raylon Crawmer. And Great-Great Grandchild: Keelan Cassady.
Jim was born in 1930 in Chicago, Illinois to Dorothy (Egan) Crawmer and Loren Crawmer. In 1933 his family moved to the Westmoreland Neighborhood in what was then the Township of Madison. As a child, he attended Dudgeon Elementary School, and then graduated in 1948 from Wisconsin High School. Jim attended the University of Wisconsin until 1951. Following his father’s early death in 1947, he and his brother, Loren (Bud) Crawmer, joined their mother in operating Badger Explosives Company for several years. After high school, Jim joined and served with the Wisconsin Army National Guard where he was certified as a sharp-shooter and marksman.
In 1949 Jim married his high school sweetheart, Mary Schwantes-Applebaum. They raised their six children in the Westmoreland Neighborhood on Paunack Avenue, where Jim himself was raised and lived for 80 years. Jim’s best memories as a kid growing up in what was then a “far west-side” new area of Madison was walking the railroad tracks to Dudgeon Elementary School, and playing golf at Glenway Golf Course with his best forever-friend, Bill Nelson. As a teenager, he and his brother worked for his father’s blasting and excavation business clearing land west of Madison for highway development. One day the brothers were sent down on a rope into a cave that the company had just discovered after blasting. What he remembers is an exciting climb into a big dark hole in the ground, and climbing up and out after seeing some “really neat rock formations”. Turned out this became the well-known tourist attraction: The Cave of the Mounds, in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. Those “rocks” he saw are actually stalactites and stalagmites. A few of which came home with the boys and are still kept in the family today.
In his work career, Jim held various positions as a master mechanic with Caves Buick, Kaiser Motors, Monarch Motors and Karls Motor Service. Joining the Wisconsin State Patrol in 1962, Jim served as a State Patrol Trooper in southern Wisconsin. Jim was then promoted within the Department of Transportation to the position of Investigation Supervisor in the Division of Motor Vehicles. In this role, he developed a program to audit payments from trucking companies using Wisconsin highways. Retiring in 1991, he and his wife, Mary, enjoyed traveling throughout the western United States, camping, hunting and working with his beloved Springer Spaniel dog, Max. In 2013 Jim and Mary moved from their longtime home in Westmoreland to Oakwood University Woods, enjoying their continued “retired” time with their family and friends in a great senior community. Many thanks to the Oakwood University Woods staff for all you do to enhance senior life.
Jim is predeceased by his brother: Lorin (Bud) Crawmer; and, very recently, his loving wife and partner in life for 73 years, Mary Crawmer. May the road rise up to meet Jim and Mary as they enjoy their eternal life together.
The family is deeply appreciative to the devoted skilled staff members of Agrace Hospice. Memorial donations may be made to Agrace Foundation at Agrace.org/Donate for online contributions, or by mail/check at Agrace Foundation, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711.
A celebration of life memorial service for both Jim and Mary Crawmer will be held for family and friends on July 15th at Cress Funeral Home. Visitation starting at 12:30 pm, with service following at 1:30 pm.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road Madison