Santa Clara Magazine is published in print for alumni and friends of the University. It is updated weekly on the web.
Duane Crawford ’43 passed away peacefully on July 7, 2010 in his home in Aptos, Calif. The consummate gentlemen, Duane was a loving and dedicated husband, father, and educator. Those who knew him will always remember Duane as soft spoken, warm hearted and caring. Born in 1920 in Palo Alto, Calif., Duane attended SCU on a baseball scholarship. After graduating in 1943, Duane entered the United States Army. A WWII combat veteran Duane served in the XX Corps of Patton’s 3rd Army. Upon returning home in 1945, Duane began his professional baseball career, playing for the Ventura Yankees, Salem Senators, Denver Bears, and Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League. After retiring from baseball, Duane became a teacher in Palo Alto and Menlo Park, and he earned his M.Ed from the University of San Francisco. Duane met Patricia Hagerty during a vacation to Ensenada, Mexico, and they were married in 1958. Moving to the Pajaro Valley in 1960, Duane was principal at Amesti School and Freedom School. He retired from education at Bradley Elementary School in 1985. Duane was an avid volunteer throughout his life, working with many church groups, Grey Bears, and Senior Network Service. Duane was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Patricia Crawford, and his beloved daughter, Nancy Crawford Kniffin. He is survived by his son, David Crawford, his loving caretaker, Nirmala Crawford, his son-in-law Kurt Kniffin, and his five grandchildren: Betsy Kniffin, Patrick Kniffin, John Kniffin, Aliyah Crawford, and Sean Crawford, all of Aptos.