Mary Catherine Hagarty Crawford

Honored by:Her Children
Brick location:PAVER:33  map

Mary Catherine Hagarty was born August 2, 1919, in Butler County, Iowa. She was the youngest of four children of Lawrence and Catherine (Reis) Hagarty. She had two brothers, Donald and Kenneth, and a sister, Margaret. Catherine attended "country school" and graduated from St. Mary's Academy in Greene, Iowa, in 1936. She graduated from Gates Business College in Waterloo and worked at the Alstadt and Langlas Baking Company.

Her husband, John Wayne Crawford, was born April 12, 1918, in Black Hawk County, Iowa. He was the third son born to John G. and Edith (Lohberger) Crawford. His two older brothers were Myron and Cyril ("Cy"). Wayne attended "country school" in Waterloo Township and graduated from St. Mary's High School Waterloo Iowa in 1935.

Wayne and Catherine were married on April 2, 1940, in Greene, Iowa, and began farming on the Crawford family farm in Black Hawk County. Their firstborn son, Robert, was born April 2, 1941. In 1946 Wayne and Catherine moved their family which now included two daughters, Mary and Jane, and one more son, John, to Floyd County, 2 1/2 miles northeast of Marble Rock. They farmed the 160 acres for eight years. While in Floyd County, six sons were born to Wayne and Catherine: Russell, Daniel, Peter, Kenny, Terry, and Mike. In 1954, Wayne and Catherine moved to Liberty Township in Buchanan County, where seven of their children were born: Steven, Ronald, Rose, Margaret, Dennis, Patricia, and Larry. Wayne and Catherine continue to reside on their farm located two and one-half miles southwest of Winthrop. Wayne worked for 23 years at the Mental Health Institute Independence, retiring in 1983. They are members of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Winthrop.

Ten of their seventeen children received degrees from Iowa State:
Russell--Animal Science--1968
John--Civil Engineering--1970
Pete--Civil Engineering--1972
Kenny--Animal Science--1973
Dan--Civil Engineering--1974
Terry--Civil Engineering--1974
Mike--Animal Science--1975
Steve--Animal Science--1976
Dennis--Animal Science--1981
Larry--Civil Engineering--1984

There was a Crawford family member attending ISU for twenty consecutive years, 1964 through 1984. In the fall of 1972, six brothers were enrolled at one time, setting an all-time record for the University.

Wayne and Catherine were chosen as Parents of the Year in 1978 and were honored at half-time of the Iowa State/Drake football game. They are the only parents so honored who are not Iowa State alumni.

The other family members' education and occupations are:
Robert--Loras College, Postal Service, Independence, Iowa
Mary--Mercy School of Nursing, Dubuque, BSN University of Dubuque,MSN University of Wisconsin
Jane--Young's School of Beauty, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, farm wife
Ron--Iowa State Farm Operations Program
Rose--Iowa State 3 years, BA University of Northern Iowa, social worker
Margaret--Ellsworth Community College, Cedar Falls School of Beauty
Patricia--University of Iowa, BSN Mount Mercy School of Nursing

Four sons are Armed Forces Veterans: Robert--U.S. Army 1963-1966 430th Intelligence Corps. Detachment Italy; John--U.S. Army 1963-1966 Corp. of Engineers 809th Engineer Battalion Thailand Berlin Brigade Germany; Dan--U.S. Army Infantry 1968-1970 2nd Battalion 502nd Infantry 101st Airborne Division; Vietnam Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal; Russell--U.S. Marines Artillery 1969-1970 12th Marines 3rd Marine Division Okinawa.

An unassuming woman, Catherine wanted no notoriety for the number of children in her family. She simply went about the tasks of raising seventeen children in a manner that made the entire community marvel. You see, not only did Catherine cook and clean but she also stressed the importance of religion, hard work, discipline, and sharing long before "family values" became a political buzz word.

She was much more at ease talking about the accomplishments of the family than talking about herself. After the children were grown, Catherine kept busy with the grandchildren, attending daily mass with Wayne, reading, and caring for her plants and flowers. Catherine entered into her eternal rest on March 24, 2001. Succeeding Catherine in death was her husband, Wayne, on May 2, 2008, and their eldest son and our beloved brother, Robert, on March 26, 2010.

We hope that honoring mom in the Plaza of Heroines in a small way shows how much she meant to us. She was not only a heroine but truly a saint!

Submitted by the Crawford Family on 2/24/95; updated 3/4/2014

Paver Inscription:

"Mary Catherine Hagarty Crawford
Winthrop, Iowa
ISU Parents of the year 1978
Mother of 17 Children
10 ISU Graduates"