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Barbara Jean Crawford

Posted April 27, 2015 in Des Moines West, Obituaries, Waukee, West Des Moines

Barbara Jean Crawford, 92, of West Des Moines, Iowa, passed away April 23, 2015 at her home. Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Monday, April 27 at West Des Moines United Methodist Church. A luncheon and visitation will precede the service, starting at 12:00 p.m. at the church. Interment will follow the funeral at Elmwood Cemetery in Minburn. Barbara’s family will greet guests during a visitation from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday, April 26 at Iles Brandt Chapel in Dallas Center.

Barbara Jean Crawford

Barbara Jean Crawford

Barbara was born March 6, 1923 in rural Winnebago County near Lake Mills, Iowa, to parents Selmer and Elizabeth (Gunvordahl) Rygh. She attended school in Emmons, Minnesota, graduated from Fairview Hospital School of Nursing and later Drake University, where she was awarded a Masters Degree in nursing. On May 30, 1954, Barbara was united in marriage to Eugene Crawford. Following marriage they lived on a farm near Adel, raising their four children. Eugene passed away on December 19, 1962, and in 1965 Barbara and her children moved to Minburn. In addition to caring for her children, Barbara’s career as a Registered Nurse included working at Iowa Lutheran Hospital, Central Dallas School, and Woodward State Hospital. After her retirement, Barbara moved to West Des Moines in 1987.

Barbara was a member of West Des Moines United Methodist Church and she also enjoyed volunteering at Bidwell Riverside, Crossroads School, and Wesley Woods Church Camp. Her hobbies included reading and traveling, and her greatest enjoyment was time spent with family and friends.

Barbara is survived by her sons, Fred (Connie) of Waukee, Iowa, and David (Brenda) of Beloit, Kansas; daughters, Carmen of Johnston, Iowa and Kathy of Des Moines, Iowa; her grandchildren, Kristi and her son Broxtyn of Kansas City, Missouri, Ryan (Tyler) of Hinsdale, Illinois, Blaine (Brittnee) of Flushing, New York, and Kelsey of Lawrence, Kansas; sister-in-law Marcia Rygh of Lake Mills, Iowa; brother-in-law Vince Olson of Eagle Grove, Iowa; and many nieces and nephews.

Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Eugene, infant daughter Mary, her siblings Margaret Olson, Earl Rygh, and Paul Rygh.

Contributions may be made to the Unity Point Hospice of Des Moines or Wesley Woods Church Camp of Indianola in Barbara’s memory. Online condolences are welcomed at

Barbara’s family would like to thank Unity Point Hospice, especially Nurse Deb Slaikeu and Nurse Carolyn Carpenter. Angels really do exist.

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