Nettie E. Crawley

Nettie E. Crawley was a family matriarch who guided five generations of her family in uncertain times.

She died on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015. She was 100.

She was born on July 2, 1914 in Philadelphia. She was the eldest of four children.

Crawley excelled academically at McMichael Elementary and Overbrook High School.

While Crawley’s aspirations for higher education were diverted by the Great Depression, her family said the economic calamity did not undermine her desire to live a full and rewarding life.

As a teenager, she married the late Fred Shaw of Philadelphia and three children were born to their union.

She later married her second husband, the late Charles Crawley of Philadelphia. They were married for 50 years.

Following the death of her husband Fred, Crawley became her family’s primary breadwinner for several years. She spent years producing uniforms and parachutes for American soldiers, sailors and airmen engaged in World War II.

“Considering her efforts during the war as more than a mere job, Nettie embraced her work with singular dedication and a profound patriotic spirit which came to punctuate every aspect of her life,” her family said.

Crawley was a committed Christian and attributed her longevity to the will of God, an active faith life and a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.

At the age of six, Crawley attended tent church services with her grandmother in Norfolk, Va., which helped shape her fundamental religious beliefs. She also spent summers in Windsor, N.C., where she attended a COGIC church established by her uncle Elder Aaron Bazemore.

She later became a member of the Holy Temple Church of God in Christ in the 1960s.

“Ever a source of encouragement, Nettie often shared her favorite pearls of wisdom, ‘Let go and let God’ to those encountering adversity and for young parents, to provide love and disciple to their children,” her family said.

She was preceded in death by her son Fred Jr. and daughter Elaine.

She was survived by her daughter Regina; eight grandchildren; sixteen great-grandchildren; 12 great-great grandchildren and one great-great-great grandchild.

Services will be held Jan. 15 at Prayer Chapel COGIC, 7099 Locust St. in Upper Darby. Viewing is at 5 p.m. Services will follow at 7 p.m. Burial will be held Jan. 16 in Washington Crossing National Cemetery in Newtown.

Turay Memorial Funeral Chapel Inc. handled the arrangements.

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