WAYLAND — Many came to honor one of the pillars of the community on her very special day.
Marian Crawford turned 90-years-young as she celebrated with family, friends, and community members at the Wayland Area Historical Society on May 19. Crawford has been showered by hundreds of birthday wishes, cards, phone calls, visits, and hugs from all those who have been touched by her kindness over the decades.
Crawford’s children, Sue Riley, Nick Crawford, and Julie Kurtz, set up the party for their mother at the museum she loves.
“Mom was born and raised in Cohocton. Her brother Vic is here with us today. Aunt Dot came all the way from Florida. We sure appreciate everyone being here,” Riley said. “It really means a lot to us to see so many people here, and especially to mom. We are grateful to the Wayland Historical Society for welcoming us into this beautiful facility. Mom is a life-long learner and educator. She wants everyone to check out the museum, and reflect on the past and the wonderful legacy we have been given.”
John Landino, WAHS President, said a few words about Crawford’s passion for the museum.
“We are proud to have you all here. When Marian came on board as a director after she retired from the library she created a new ambience about youth and education. We spent all our early years building on buildings and having our dinners,” he said. “We really had trouble getting into the school system, and presenting ourselves to the youth. The word legacy is what we use to promote to the next generation. We all want to leave behind something good. Marian has really done that.”
“I am thrilled to see people from all aspects of mom’s life here today. Family, fellow educators, neighbors, friends, community members, and past students each and every one of you has been an important part of mom’s life,” Riley said. “All of you folks have had such a very important part in mom’s life. You have been with her on life’s journey learning, working, laughing, crying, struggling, recovering, praying and loving right along the side of her.”
Riley now lives in Ohio with her own family, but as she stopped by to celebrate her mom’s big day she saw what mom means to the community.
“I was delighted to see a whole room full of flowers. They were from friends, family and all kinds of people. That was just the first sign of what she means to everyone here. I saw a mound of birthday cards. Each day in the mail even more have arrived,” she said. “She has received phone calls all week along with emails, Facebook messages, and visitors. I know what mom means to all of you. I know why. Mom knows and has lived the message of my favorite poem 'Up to You.' She has lived her life making a difference at home, in the workplace, and in the community. She knows the value of a life. She knows one touch, word or a helping hand can make a big difference.”Nick Crawford did a toast for his mother as everyone raised a glass of champagne in her honor.
Gerry Kurtz, Marian’s grandson, played two songs on his guitar for his grandmother.
“I would not have gotten to be 90 years old if it weren’t for all of the wonderful people in my life. All of you wonderful people keep me young. I have enjoyed being a part of your lives. It has been a wonderful life,” Marian Crawford said. “I have lived 35 years by myself, which is longer than I was married. I have known such wonderful people all of my life, and so I never felt like I was alone. Thank you all very much for coming, and I hope you all enjoy this gorgeous museum.”
Crawford mentioned how she worked with the whole Evans Family who came to her birthday. Trust In the Lives of Older Women is her group of lovely friends she cherishes. The Wayland Free Library is an episode of her life she will never forget.
Crawford has been part of several community-driven projects over the decades including Wayland Area Revitalization, Trust in the Lives of Older Women, Wayland Lowell Club, Wayland Area Historical Society and more.