DREW PLANTATION, Maine – Dale Crawford was a boss, mentor and colleague to many truckers in his life, so when that life ended, they memorialized Crawford as only they could.
A 37-truck convoy led by Crawford’s son, Percy, carried Dale Crawford’s ashes from Robin A. Crawford & Son trucking in Chester to Wytopitlock Baptist Church on Saturday. It was a fitting tribute to the late logging and chip truck driver, his daughter, Julie Crawford Howland of Bangor, said.
“It shows what a lasting impression he made on so many people in the community, the loyalty and respect he had,” Howland said Monday. “A lot of the people in that convoy he had mentored and taught how to work on trucks.”
A trucker since his teens and the owner of Dale F. Crawford & Son trucking, Crawford died at a nursing home in Brewer on Dec. 21 after a lengthy illness. He was 68. His cremated remains will be interred in the Drew Plantation cemetery this spring, Howland said.
Dale Crawford was among four generations and probably dozens of truckers in the Crawford family. Robin A. Crawford is Dale’s brother and Timberland Trucking Co. was formed by another brother of Dale, the late Harry Crawford, Howland said. Percy Crawford also owns his own company.
Dale Crawford sold his company to Robin Crawford when he became ill in 2000, she said.
As trucking families go, the Crawfords are probably only slightly less known in the Katahdin and Lincoln Lakes regions than the Pelletiers, who were made famous on the Discovery Channel television show “American Loggers.”
Actually good friends, the Crawfords and Pelletiers enjoy a very friendly rivalry that made news in 2010, when workers of Robin Crawford Jr. hung a letter “C” – like those on Crawford family trucks – on the now-ornamental Mack truck rig that hangs from the facade of the Pelletier family restaurant in Millinocket.
Howland said her father had a lot of admirers, particularly for his favorite saying about himself.
“Dad was well-known for the quote: ‘When it is too tough for everyone else, it’s just right for the Big C,’” she said. “He meant that you never quit and you never give up.”
She said she was deeply gratified for the convoy and the close to 300 people in it and at the church.
“It was very touching. They provided a special memory that I will carry in my heart for the rest of my life,” she said.