Obituary for Jonathan Martin-Crawford
Jonathan David Martin-Crawford, 36, died last week at his home in Poughkeepsie, NY. On May 14, 1979, Jon was born to Joanne L. Martin and Brian D. Crawford in Baltimore, MD. In his 36 years, he wore many hats. He was a son, a brother, an uncle, a thrill-seeker, an artist, a teacher, a friend, an activist, and an agitator.
Most recently, he was employed as a teacher with the State of New York at the Eastern Correctional Facility. A longtime NY resident, Jon completed high school at the former Family Foundation School in Hancock, NY in 1997. He proudly attended Vassar College, and then enlisted with the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division where he served briefly before resuming his university studies at Dutchess Community College. Jon completed his studies at SUNY New Paltz, earning BA and Master’s Degrees in English and Education, while also employed full time. He pursued his passion for English literature and creative writing, and fulfilled his desire to become a secondary school teacher, having been inspired by his maternal grandmother, Lillian Martin, a lifelong educator.
Drawing on his own personal experience and traumas from his time at the Family Foundation School, Jon became an outspoken advocate for troubled teens. His testimony during Congressional Hearings held by the US House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor on April 24, 2008 was instrumental in exposing child abuse and deceptive marketing by residential programs for teens. His efforts helped to galvanize others to push for much needed oversight or shuttering of such programs. He was a supportive peer, caring mentor, and friend for others whose life struggles were ones with which he could also identify.
His hobbies were varied, ranging from watching the Yankees play or the Dallas Cowboys beating the NY Giants. Jon expressed himself in a variety of ways – writing, drawing, acquiring body art, listening to and mixing music, and raging against injustice and the political machine. Shielded by his contrarian nature was a sensitive and caring soul; he remains a cherished son and grandson, a much admired brother, and an adored uncle. In addition to his parents, Jon is survived by his sisters and brothers-in-law, Kelly and Patrick Seidel of Baltimore, MD, and Cori Martin-Crawford and Brian Keberlein of Denver, CO; and his four nieces, Addison, Lillian, Brady, and Cameron.
A Memorial Service, which is open to all who would like to celebrate his life, will be held at 2pm on Sunday, November 8 at the Vassar College Chapel in Poughkeepsie, NY.
For driving directions and online condolences, please visit Jon’s Book of Memories at www.mchoulfuneralhome.com.