Gerald Joseph Crawley

Dec. 10, 1934 – Jan. 16, 2011

Gerald Joseph Crawley, 76, died with his family by his side Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011, at Waukesha Memorial Hospital of unexpected complications from surgery.

Jerry was born on Dec. 10, 1934, in Eagle, to Eleanor (Wilton) and Earl H. Crawley. He attended Palmyra High School, where he was active in FFA, band, chorus, class plays and athletics. He was valedictorian, FFA state farmer and senior athlete of his high school class. While at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he was awarded a varsity letter for managing the men’s basketball team. He also earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural education as an honors and distinguished military graduate. He went to attend Iowa State University, where he was a Mark Morris fellow. He finished first in his class summa cum laude and was the first veterinary honors program graduate, earning his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine, followed by his master’s in veterinary physiology.

While a student at UW-M, Jerry met Dana (Curtin), the love of his life. They were married Aug. 29, 1959. Together they raised six beautiful children during their 51 years of marriage.

Jerry learned how to be a hard worker and developed his love for animals helping out on the family dairy farm. He operated the farm for two years after the death of his mother. After graduating from ISU, he remained on the staff for two quarters, after which he was inducted into the Army Vet Corps, where he served with the Walter Reed Medical Research Unit at Fort Detrick, Md., for two years. He moved to Mukwonago and joined his brother, Jack, in a large and small animal veterinary practice. He continued to practice until a heart attack forced him to retire in 2000. Always a hard worker, he came out of retirement to work as a USDA federal meat inspector for three years.

As a parent, Jerry enjoyed working with youth and was active in Boy Scouts and 4-H. Also, he mentored many pre-vet and vet students. He contributed his time to Mukwonago High School by directing the boys intramural basketball program for five years. He and his family donated 14 acres to the Mukwonago School District where rolling Hills Elementary School was built. He was also active in many civic duties, serving as president of the Clarendon Avenue Elementary School PTA, a member of the Mukwonago School Board and a member of the Big Bend-Vernon Volunteer Fire Department for 13 years. He was a member of the Vernon Town Board, serving as president for two years during which time the master plan for the town was developed. He was also one of the founders of the Waukesha Emergency Veterinary Clinic.

In his spare time, Jerry was an avid fisherman and enjoyed spending time fishing with his family and friends. A life-long dream of his came true when he and Dana moved to a house on Lake Beulah for five years. Living at the lake also offered him time to relax and enjoy reading, listening to music and gardening. In addition, he enjoyed playing cards and participating in various sheepshead groups. Jerry loved his Wisconsin Badgers and loyally followed the football and basketball teams.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents; brother and best friend, Jack; and many brothers- and sisters in-law.

Jerry is survived by his loving wife, Dana; his six devoted children, Jane (Jeff) Barth, Gerriann, John (Krystine), Kenneth (Laurie Gildemeister), Timothy (Lori), and Christine (Thomas Breitlow); nine adoring grandchildren, Matthew and Michael Barth, Katie Crawley, Kayla, Ryan, Daniel and Jacob Crawley, and Caden and Noah Crawley; brothers-in-law, Patrick and Larry Curtin; and sisters-in-law, Mary Curtin, Olive Crawley and Carol Anchor. Jerry was loved and will be remembered by other relatives and many dear friends.

Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until the noon Mass of Christian burial Saturday, Jan. 22, at St. James Catholic Church, 830 Highway NN, Mukwonago, with the Rev. Mick Savio officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Jerry’s name may be made to the Mukwonago Community Library, 300 Washington Ave., Mukwonago, WI 53149; or the American Heart Association, 208 S. LaSalle St., Suite 1500, Chicago, IL 60604-1242.

Mealy’s Funeral Home in Eagle, 594-2442, is assisting the family. For the online obituary and guest registry, go to