Obituary for Zella Crawford
Zella Kunhardt Crawford of Johns Island passed away peacefully at home on April 28, 2017. Born in New York on February 13, 1931, Zella grew up in Greenwich, CT, where she took up riding and fox hunting at the early age of six. She graduated from Foxcroft School in VA, and attended Finch College in NYC. On September 9, 1962, she married J. Hamilton (“Ham”) Crawford, Jr. They moved to Manhattan, where they raised five children.
In 1969, they moved to Locust Valley, NY where she was an active volunteer at Planned Parenthood, earned a real estate broker’s license and enjoyed painting classes. In 1989, they purchased their second home in Johns Island, where she moved permanently a few years after Ham passed in 1998. She loved her life there, having spent many years as a young child in Vero Beach where her parents built a second home and were members of Riomar.
An avid sportswoman and traveler, Zella loved golf, tennis, and swimming and shared those passions with her family. She kept up with her golf, and took up bridge which she loved playing with her many friends right until her passing. In Vero, she volunteered for Meals on Wheels and at VNA Hospice House. While a champion of many causes, she became a generous and longtime supporter of Save the Chimps.
She adored her large family, treasured her many friends and lived every day to the fullest. She is survived by her five children: Robin Perito and husband Paul of Bethesda, MD; Terrell Crawford of Meredith, NH; Philip Crawford and wife Lisa of Manhattan; Ham Crawford and wife Patty also of Manhattan; and Paige Kelly and husband Bob of West Palm Beach; eleven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren; and her brother-in-law Jim Crawford and wife Betsy of Johns Island.
Zella will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to have her as a friend or relative. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Save the Chimps, PO Box 12220 Fort Pierce, FL 34979.