Frances Donaldson Crowson

Thursday, December 25, 1930 - Saturday, May 21, 2022

In Loving Memory

Photo of Frances Donaldson Crowson  - 1930-2022

Canton - Frances Elizabeth Donaldson Crowson was born on Christmas Day 1930 and passed away Saturday, May 21, 2022, at the age of 91.

Fran was the sixth child of Jacob and Lydia Donaldson. She was raised in a traditional, loving family with three brothers and three sisters (two other siblings, one brother, and one sister perished as infants). She grew up as a “tomboy”, preferring the rough and tumble activities of her brothers as opposed to the normal life of little girls of the period. Her brothers taught her how to ride a bike, roller skate, water ski, and drive. She especially loved to spend time with her beloved father, Jake, who would place her in the family car and drive all over the surrounding mountains. From these treasured experiences she developed a lifelong love of the mountains of Western North Carolina.

Fran graduated from Bethel High School as an Honor Student. She began her working career at sixteen, working at Roses Dime Store in Canton, NC. She used this income to pay for her typing and shorthand classes at school. After graduating, Fran attended Asheville Biltmore Business School where she continued to hone her secretarial skills. At the peak of her professional career, Fran was able to type at an incredible 150 words per minute, error-free, on an IBM Selectric typewriter. This prodigious speed was faster than many of the early robotic typewriters used to print large batches of letters.

Some of Fran’s other early jobs were at The Dayton Rubber Company (DAYCO) in Waynesville, WLOS-TV in Asheville, and the H.L. Hunt Company in Dallas, TX.

Through a friend who was active in politics, Fran was asked if she would like to work for Congress. She was interviewed by Congressman Roy Taylor who represented Asheville and the surrounding areas. Mr. Taylor hired Fran to work in his Asheville District Office, where she served for about one year. Mr. Taylor was so impressed with the skills that Fran brought to his office that he asked her to join his staff in the Washington, D.C. Congressional Office. It was this introduction to politics that fostered a lifelong interest in the political world of this nation at every level.

Fran worked for Mr. Taylor until his retirement and continued to work in Washington and Virginia for two other Congressmen from the State of Virginia.

After spending twenty-three years in the Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia areas, Fran decided that it was time to return home to her beloved N.C. Mountains. Upon her return, she continued her professional career by working at The University of North Carolina – Asheville Campus, Mossbauer Research Center. She also worked recording Social Security hearings in Asheville and also was employed at The Biltmore Forest Country Club. At some point, Fran tired of the office environment and wanted to retire to her home in Canton. But she wasn’t done living life just yet!

At some point, Fran acquired a job with Hertz Corporation, the huge rental car purveyor. She joined a group of senior citizens whose job was to shuttle rental cars between the Asheville and Greenville, S.C. airports. This was a job that she absolutely enjoyed as she could drive through the beautiful mountains with an entertaining group of people. Hertz soon realized that Fran loved to drive, and began asking her to undertake long-distance trips. Fran drove all over the East Coast shuttling rental cars to their needed locations at major airports. She loved this work and continued until an unfortunate injury to her left knee exiting a SUV in bad weather.

Fran continued to be involved in politics at the local level in Canton during her retirement years. And she also continued her dedication to helping others in any way that she could. The American Red Cross recognized Fran for her incredible efforts at saving lives after she donated her 100th pint of blood. How many lives were saved by her Gift of Life!

While Fran enjoyed working at her various jobs, she never neglected her family. She was always available to help her sons, grandsons, and granddaughters in any way that she could. She tried to foster the same values in her family that her father and mother fostered in her.

 She always told her family that all she wanted out of life was to be a Mother.

Almighty GOD granted her that exalted title…MOTHER!

Fran is survived by three sons, Michael D. Noland, G. Douglas Crowson III, and David M. Crowson; one grandson, Dustin Roberts; two granddaughters, Savannah Crowson, and Alyssa Roberts; and her brother, James Donaldson of Knoxville, TN.

A gathering of family and friends and a reception will be held from 2:00 until 3:00 pm Sunday, May 29, 2022 in the chapel of Crawford / Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Ms. Crowson's memory to The Alzheimer's Association WNC Chapter at 31 College Place Ste Doppler 103, Asheville, NC 28801; Paralyzed Veterans of America at 801 18th Street NW Washington, DC 20006-3517; the Canton, NC Police Dept. at 58 Park St, Canton, NC 28716; or to the Haywood County Sheriff’s Dept. at 1620 Brown Ave, Waynesville, NC 28786.

Crawford / Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service is honored to be caring for the Crowson family.

Condolences from family and friends

Aunt Frances, I am so sad to know you are gone, but so thankful for the visits and time that we had. You shared family history and memories for me and my Donaldson family, that I would have never known. I loved the stories and hugs I got when we all reunited. Thank you for being there for me and love all of you. My prayers for everyone.❤⚘
Peggy Donaldson
Please accept my heartfelt condolences in Fran's passing. She was a true Gem-I admired and adored her. Her stories, her love of her family,work ethic-She was made up of a million different things and all of them wonderful. It was an Honor to assist. Prayers, Suzanne Allstate Ins
Suzanne Ingle
My favorite aunt. As a child, I always wanted to grow up and be just like her. She was beautiful and smart and always there to help. I am so sorry that she has gone now.
Shirley Sellers
Thanks, for trying to help me I shall never forget you I love you and I will miss you
Rick Anderson
Michael, Doug and Dave, My deepest condolences to the family. Sorry for your loss. I pray that you find comfort to get you through this difficult time. Sending you big hugs, Lisa
Lisa OLoughlin
My sincere condolences to Michael, Doug and Dave during this sad time. Your Mother, my friend/Mom2, was a beautiful, loving, caring, thoughtful lady with a heart of gold. I will always remember our mornings having coffee and fruit cake, she really liked fruit cake. I hope happy memories will carry you through this difficult time. You all are in my thoughts, my heart and my prayers. Love, Betty
Betty O'Loughlin
To Michael and family, we are so sorry for your loss. Please know that we are thinking about you and saying our prayers for you and your family during this sad time. Dennis, Kathy and Wanda
Dennis Arnette, Kathy Woods and Wanda Elsey