obit template2018-11-29T12:10:12+00:00

Ronald Richard

Just as loving as he was stern, and just as caring as he was generous, to know Ron Crawley was to love him. A hard working man his whole life through, Ron possessed numerous talents which allowed him to help others selflessly. His love for nurturing and enriching the lives of children and young people was beyond compare, and he found it to be a true blessing. For those who knew and loved him best, Ron will be missed and fondly remembered.

Ronald R. Crawley was the son of William and Ethel (Hansen) Crawley. Born on November 27, 1934, in Madison, Wisconsin, he was the twin brother of Donald Crawley, and together they joined their older brother, William. The brothers later welcomed the addition of two younger sisters, Shirley and Marlene. Times were lean as families struggled through the hardships of the Great Depression, and impending war overseas. People learned to find joy in the little things, like gathering around the radio or going to a picture show which freed their minds from everyday worries.

Raised on their family farm, there was never a shortage of work to be done. Ron’s father worked on the farm along with his construction job while his mother tended to their household. Although his father was a stern and strict man, Ron truly loved and respected him. From a young age he was taught a hard work ethic. He and his siblings had many chores they were responsible for on the farm, and from these experiences Ron learned a great deal. These talents went on to serve him well as he applied himself throughout all of his days.

Like many young boys, Ron shared numerous adventures as a kid, and he found his share of mischief a time or two, as well. Having attended the area schools, Ron left his education behind for a time after his ninth-grade year when he was needed to help on the farm more.

As a young man, Ron became quite smitten with a girl by the name of Julia Rice. He met Julia through her best friend, Luerae, who was dating Ron’s twin brother at the time. At a time when not too many women entered the Armed Forces, Ron was quite impressed when Julia entered the U.S. Air Force near the end of the Korean War. Ron followed suit, joining the Air Force in January of 1954 right alongside his twin brother, Don. While in the service, Ron was a military helicopter flight mechanic. When serving in Korea, his helicopter went down behind enemy lines, but thankfully he wasn’t injured.

Throughout this time, Ron’s relationship with Julia blossomed and on May 5, 1956, the young couple was happily married. Ron also completed his schooling while in the service, receiving his GED. Upon their honorable discharges, Ron and Julia were eager to truly begin their life together as husband and wife, and to start a family. Although their marriage came to an end in 1978, Ron was forever grateful for the five children they shared from their union, Debra, Robert, James, Patti, and Douglas. As a father, Ron was strict like his father before him, yet loving all the same. He enjoyed taking his family on vacations to visit his brother in Texas where great times were enjoyed by all.

Ron used the talents he learned working on the farm and went on to become a very good machinist. He worked for a number of companies in Milwaukee, and later, in other Wisconsin cities. He was also quite handy when it came to fixing things, which was just about anything he put his mind to! Family and friends would call on Ron for help with different projects and he never hesitated to lend a hand. Generous with his time and talents, Ron always helped out or taught others how to do things. In fact, he even taught his daughters how to change the oil on their cars, how to solder, and many other things.

Love was not lost for Ron. One night, he and a friend stopped at the Spectrum Tavern in Milwaukee where Ron struck up a conversation with the bartender. That very conversation with Evelyn “Sue” Sobiek led to a whirlwind romance, and on September 11, 1982, they were soon married in Burnett, Wisconsin. Together, Ron and Sue were partners in marriage and work. They came to own several different taverns through the years, including Ronnie’s Bar in Milwaukee, Ron & Sue’s Happy Landing in Fox Lake, Crawley’s Inn, also in Milwaukee, and Sue’s Hideaway in Eden. Besides running the bars and working as a machinist, Ron also owned a taxi cab for a time.

Ron and Sue eventually made their home in Mauston, Wisconsin where they opened their hearts and their home to over 60 foster children in the Juneau County area of Wisconsin. There they offered these children a safe, loving and temporary place to stay. Six of those children found a permanent home when Ron and Sue adopted them. As a couple, Ron and Sue were recognized by Governor Scott McCallum and the State of Wisconsin as “Quiet Heroes” for their loving foster care. Their love also extended to caring for Ron’s special nephew, Michael, and Ron’s granddaughter. Even though they made a lasting impact in the lives of young people together, Ron and Sue were later divorced in 2008.

In his free time, Ron enjoyed being around his family and he continued his love for helping others. He also liked fishing and hunting, especially in the company of family and friends. Just some of the wonderful things everyone loved about Ron, he was uniquely his own which endeared him to others. When Ron died suddenly after suffering a fatal heart attack, those who knew and loved him not only lost a loving father, brother, uncle, and friend, they lost someone with whom they could depend. Deeply loved and dearly missed, Ron lives on in the hearts of many.

Ronald R. Crawley, age 81, of New Lisbon, and formerly of Milwaukee, suddenly passed away on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 2016. Cherished father of Debra Clements, Robert (Keri) Crawley, James (Aime) Crawley, Patti Liebig, Douglas (Chris) Crawley, Robin Crawley, Lisa Crawley, Victoria (Jeff) Tanner, Dennis (Heather) Crawley, Amber (Gary) Diaz and Rose Crawley; dear brother of twin, Donald (Luerae) Crawley and William (Greta) Crawley; former husband of “Sue”. He is further survived by his special nephew, Michael Minor; 26 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren, other relatives and friends.

Visitation Tuesday, June 7, 2016 from 4:00 PM until the time of his funeral service at 7:00 PM and Wednesday, June 8, 2016 from 9-10 AM at the Niemann / Suminski Life Story Funeral Homes, 2486 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue, 414-744-5156 followed by a procession to Forest Home Cemetery for interment. To share a favorite memory or photo of Ron and to sign his online guestbook, please visit

Past Comments

Kurtis Klingbeil IV

The last time I seen Uncle he had asked me, “how’s life.” I looked at him and smiled and said,” oh you know just taking it easy.” He looked right in my eyes with a serious face and said,” Don’t take life easy, give her Hell.” It took me awhile to figure out what he was trying to tell me but now I life me life by them words of wisdom. Thank you uncle and RIP

bryan klingbeil

to sum up what kind of man I knew uncle Ronnie as…there was this one time my brother and I were left at work all day with no food and nothing to drink. unexpected uncle Ronnie showed up around lunch time with subs and sodas, and says I figured you guys were hungry. he always thought about everyone else’s well being. he will be greatly missed and I definitely enjoyed the times we shared together…

Alyssa KItzman

Grandpa Ronnie and I were always so close, the closest grandpa I had. Most of my memories with him were blowing on his belly , eating candy , watching odd T.V shows , and laughing. He was a man that never left my side , the man that once I saw him I ran to him in delight and happiness to see him. <3 I will dearly miss him , and remember all good times . His hugs, his kisses , his jokes, and his encouraging statements that would make any frown flip upside down. But all good things come to a end, and unfortunately it was him at a time no one expected. I love you grandpa <3 ill miss you. save me a spot in heaven and butterscotch . <3 6-8-16

Amber Crawley-Diaz

Fishing. That’s some of my best memories with you uncle Ronnie. I remember the first time you took me fishing, I caught the biggest fish I had ever seen! A small mouth bass. We had plenty of other fishing experiences after that, but my favorite was deep sea fishing. We went twice together, once with just me and you, we got the whole day together while everyone else stayed on shore. We saw dolphins swim up to the boat, they were jumping out of the water, people were throwing fish that they had just caught right out to them. Those were the moments where I got to experience what a father should be like, what it felt like to have that unconditional love and admiration. The guidance I got from you in the years to follow was invaluable, and the love I got will forever be cherished. You are the reason I now know what Elena deserves out of a father, thank you.

Michael Minor

Hey uncle I love you so much I am going to miss you thank you for everything you have done for me & now you will be in heaven with Grandma Judy now I am going to miss you with all my heart & soul & now this family is going to take good care of me Love you & you now can Rest

Amber LaVigne

Thanks Unc for everything. Bless your heart. You will be sadly missed.

Patti Crawley Libig

Dad, how do I put down one memory? I can say that the time I cherish is our casino trips. How you would cuss at me because I won all the time. How you were so happy when I chose to take you to the casino VIP event. I also was thankful that you pushed me to get my license, picked me up to get ice cream but it wasn’t long and you said Get behind the wheel and drive! I’m not sure I would have ever gone to get them if you hadn’t pushed me into it, so thank you!. I loved our serious talks. I loved how you always said I love you after a phone conversation or visit. You would even thank me for calling or visiting you, I would always smile and say you don’t need to thank me, I wanted to call or see you. I remember how you would bet money against customer’s that I would beat them in pool, and let me keep the money. I made good money to lol.. I will miss you but I promise I will stop by once in awhile to see you, and promise me if you see me in a casino, that you don’t bring me your bad luck that you had on the slots. Love you forever Dad. Rest and say Hi to everyone.xoxoxo


Thanks Ronnie for all the memories that we shared in your life time! May you rest in PEACE. Love you Joe

Darlene Zaren

Mic & I had some really great times at the bar with you & Sue and that stupid crane machine. LOL :). May you REST IN PEACE. Say “HI” to Mic for me. Dar

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