Iona Crawford

Iona Crawford, age 95, of Decorah died Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at the Barthell O.E.S. Home in Decorah. Funeral Services were held Monday, May 13 at the Glenwood Lutheran Church, rural Decorah with Rev. Stacey Nalean-Carlson presiding. Burial was in the Glenwood East Cemetery.

Iona Pamela Doris (Rocksvold) Crawford was born January 29, 1924 to Peter and Ida (Berg) Rocksvold on their home farm in Glenwood Township. She was baptized and confirmed at Glenwood Lutheran Church. Iona attended Rocksvold Country School and graduated from Decorah High School.

After graduation, Iona worked in the County Recorder’s office and attended Luther College. Then she moved to  St. Paul, MN where she worked as ‘Rosie the Riveter’ on the assembly line for B-24 bombers at Northwest Airlines.

Iona came back to Decorah and met her future husband, Leonard ‘Shorty’ Crawford, at Matter’s Ballroom and they married September 15, 1946. Iona and Shorty spent 48 years of marriage together on the family farm in Frankville and raised one son, Darrel Elliot. As a newlywed, Iona took on the role as caregiver for her mother-in-law, who was a stroke patient, and did this for 19 years.

Iona was very active in church activities and community affairs. She was treasurer of the Frankville Street Light Association for over 30 years and was employed with Northland Agency on Aging for 15 years. She spent numerous hours making donuts for the Luren Singer’s fair stand, cookies for Nordic Fest and lefse for church suppers. She was also active in the Glenwood Ladies Aid & Circle.

Iona played the piano and was a talented vocalist - singing with the Winneshiek County Farm Bureau Womens’ Chorus, Northern Lights Chorale and Glenwood Church Choir. She performed many solos at conventions, funerals and church services up until she started losing her eyesight due to Macular Degeneration.

When Iona wasn’t singing, she could be found in her garden - picking berries  or planting flowers - or in her kitchen baking the next batch of cookies or canning fresh peaches. Iona loved being a homemaker and spending time with her family, but she also enjoyed traveling and excelled at documenting her trips around the U.S., Norway and Russia.

Iona is survived by her daughter-in-law, Mary Crawford of Frankville; her grandchildren, Chris (Amanda) Crawford of Waukon and Stacy (Danny) Davi of Decorah; and her great-grandchildren, Kaelin, Taylor, Tristyn and Kooper Crawford, and Luca and Adrian Davi. Iona was preceded in death by her husband, Leonard; her son, Darrel; her parents, Peter and Ida (Berg) Rocksvold; her brothers, Russel and Dervin Rocksvold; and her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Irving and Alma (Leer) Crawford.

The family would like to thank Barthell O.E.S. Home and Winneshiek County Hospice for their exceptional care and support and Pastor Stacey Nalean-Carlson for her spiritual guidance.

The Schluter Balik Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.

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