Donald L. Crews, 79, of Fort Collins, died March 8, after a short illness.
Don was born on Dec. 8, 1935, in Culbertson, Nebraska, to Paul and Vera (Spence) Crews. He attended public schools in Culbertson, graduating in a class of 23 students. He received a bachelor’s degree in forest utilization from Colorado State University, a master’s degree in forest products from Michigan State University and a doctorate in wood products engineering from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse University.
In 1959, Don was married to Roberta Atkinson. To this marriage, three children were born: James, Thomas and Gail. Don and Roberta later divorced. Don and Diane Jones were married in 1976.
Don was a member of the faculty of the Department of Forest Sciences in the College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University for 36 years. He retired in 1999 as associate professor emeritus. For 15 years, he served as assistant dean of the college, where he coordinated their undergraduate and summer employment programs. Don was an excellent recruiter and the enrollment of the college was at its highest during his tenure in the dean’s office.
Don was active in Fort Collins local government. He served eight years on the city planning and zoning board (two as chairman), four years on the Larimer County Urban Growth Area Review Board (one as chairman), and was a member of the West Side Neighborhood Planning Committee. Don always treasured his small town heritage. In 2003, he wrote a successful proposal to FEMA to acquire a new $250,000 fire engine for his hometown (pop. 596).
Don loved going to his family “hunting lodge” (Crews Farms) in Nebraska to hunt pheasants, quail, and turkeys. Accompanied by family members and friends, he always described these outings as “a few days of hunting, watching college and pro football games, telling great jokes, eating lots of red meat and drinking good whiskey and wine.” In addition to hunting, he enjoyed his many hiking trips to England with Diane, traveling (as of 2010, he had spent at least one night in all 50 states), cooking, working at the National Western Stock Show, Colorado Rockies baseball, and golfing. During his retirement, he volunteered at the Larimer County Food Bank, as a driver for SAINT, and at the Colorado Welcome Center. He was an active member of the Poudre Golden K Kiwanis Club for many years, serving as its president in 2010-2011, and he enjoyed the camaraderie of a group of friends who met every Wednesday morning for breakfast.
He is survived by his wife, Diane; brother, Tom (Jan) of Federal Way, Washington, and Scottsdale, Arizona; son, Jim (Jan) and grandchildren, Ashley and Kiley of Scottsdale, Arizona, and Boulder; son Tom, (Brenda) and grandchildren, Tommy and McKenna of Loveland; daughter, Gail (Michael) Berkery and grandchildren, Abigail and Ethan of Golden; and stepson, Sean (Beverly) Jones and grandchildren, Meredith and Cooper of Golden.
At Don’s request, and in lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University to support the Crews Family Scholarship for Pingree Park. Cremation has taken place and his remains will be scattered at a favorite spot at a later date.
Friends and associates are invited to join the family at a wake from 4-6 p.m. on a date to be announced later, at the Fort Collins Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Drive, for fellowship, sharing of memories, and partaking of some adult beverages and munchies.