Life Story / Obituary
David Crowe, Professor Emeritus at UWEC, dies.
David Burns Crowe, 91, of Traverse City, MI, died October 3, 2022. Dr. Crowe was born October 6, 1930, in New Brighton, PA, a son of Donald and Olive (Braham) Crowe. A graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, he met his beloved wife of 56 years, Jean, when they were both earning master's degrees at the University of Michigan. Dave taught at Jamestown Community College in NY before earning his doctorate at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Dave and Jean joined the faculty at UW–Eau Claire in 1963, with Dave’s classes including general zoology, wildlife of Wisconsin, and the natural history of vertebrates. He taught ichthyology at Pigeon Lake Field Station, a UW System facility, where he also served as chairman of the UW Advisory Council. Additionally, he taught biology through UW in England and Denmark and was a representative to the first conference on wildlife conservation in China. Dave secured and curated the collection at the UWEC James Newman Clark Bird Museum. He retired from UWEC in 1994.
Dave served proudly as a U.S. Army Captain from 1952–1954 in the 8th Army Transportation Corps. Stationed at Oakland Army Base in San Francisco, CA, he had one deployment to Wonju, Korea, where he led supply convoys through mountain passes to the front lines.
Dave took an avid interest in antique tool collecting, specializing in the history and tools used in the lumbering industry from the 1800s to the early 1900s. He enjoyed attending farm auctions and tool “swap meets.” He also prepared tool displays that often won awards at the Midwestern Tool Collectors Association meetings.
Somewhat less well known is that Dave was a gifted writer and storyteller whose stories were published in Wisconsin Trails Magazine, Wisconsin West Magazine, The Gristmill (a publication of the Midwest Tool Collectors Association), and more. In 1973, his article titled “Birdman on the Chippewa” was awarded first prize for short nonfiction by the Council for Wisconsin Writers.
Dave’s hobbies also included fishing, gardening, woodworking, swimming, jewelry making, and walking. His most treasured moments were those spent with family and friends and a series of beloved labrador retrievers, including Shadow, Buckley, and Bramble. He will be remembered for his zest for life, his love of the outdoors, and his unique sense of humor.
A member of the Lake Street United Methodist Church in Eau Claire, Dave moved to Traverse City in 2016, several years after Jean’s passing, where he loved attending the Watershed Church. He particularly enjoyed the warm weather services held under the huge champion white pines and towering red spires of the beautiful historic Grand Traverse Commons.
Dave was preceded in death by his wife, Jean (Hathaway) Crowe, his brother, Robert Braham Crowe, and his stillborn sister, Rebecca Olive Crowe.
Surviving are his two children and their spouses, Nathan and Meskel (Hailegiorgise) Crowe of McDonough, GA, and Drs. Deborah Crowe and Todd Wilson of Traverse City, MI, and his three grandsons, Joshua Crowe of Lawrenceville, GA, and Christopher and Benjamin Wilson of Traverse City, MI.
The family will hold a private celebration of Dave’s life in Traverse City, MI. He will be interred alongside his wife and parents at Fair Oaks Cemetery in New Wilmington, PA.
Please visit www.lifestorytc.com to read the full obituary and share your thoughts and more. Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City.
Donations may be directed to:
The David and Jean Crowe Memorial Scholarship
University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire Foundation
127 Roosevelt Avenue, PO Box 1208, Eau Claire, WI 54702-1208