In Memory

Garry Crawford

Garry Crawford

Garry Lee Crawford of Billings and Red Lodge—much-loved father, grandfather, son, brother and uncle—passed away on February 1, 2023. He was 67.

Gar loved his family with a heart too big for words. He was quick to make friends, always ready to help anyone with anything, and never forgot a person he’d met. With a great sense of humor and an infectious smile, he dedicated himself to the people around him with generosity and steadfastness.

Born on June 1, 1955, at Chelsea Naval Hospital in Chelsea, Massachusetts, Gar grew up in Billings and graduated from Billings West High School in 1973. One of his favorite places to be was with his grandparents, Batt and Louise Bertolino, on their ranch in Roberts, where he spent countless days chasing whitetail, wading the creek and helping out in the hay fields. After earning an associate degree in civil engineering technologies from Dawson County Community College in Glendive and attending Montana State University in Bozeman, he devoted more than 35 years to the Billings ExxonMobil Refinery, where he served on the emergency fire response crew for 22 years and as Captain of the Fire Brigade.

Gar loved to ride his Harley, sharing the freedom of the road with both of his kids and many friends. He was an accomplished hunter and fisherman, loved to camp and spend time on his boat, 1 Tuff Banana—which once famously pulled him and his two brothers together on waterskis. He hand-crafted log furniture to share with others, and always made sure his loved ones knew they had an open invitation to his place in Red Lodge.

Gar—Uncle Mo, Garry, Dad—had a way of making us laugh and then looking back with a kind of amazement, as if he had only just then realized how funny he really was.

Garry is survived by his children, Witney (Chad) Hoffman and Nic (Lauren) Crawford; his grandson, Hudson; his mother, Barbara Bertolino Crawford; his siblings, Craig (Susan) Crawford, Brian (Kass) Crawford, and Kristi (Lee) Robinson; and a host of beloved nieces, nephews and friends. He is preceded in death by his father, Chris Crawford.

Services will be held for Garry at 1:30 PM on Saturday, February 11th, 2023, at Smith West Chapel, 304 34th St. West, in Billings. In lieu of flowers, Garry’s family asks that a memorial donation be made to the Billings Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (



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02/08/23 06:57 AM #1    

Barb Butler

This is very tragic news.  My condolences to his family.

I knew Garry at both Will James and BWHS.  He was always the sweetest kid.  Quiet and kind of shy.  He was easily embarassed if some of us girls went out of our way to engage him.  His mom invited some of us over for lunch one time.  Both she and the lunch were lovely although you could tell Garry was less than comfortable with his mom's idea. I hope you find peace, Garry.

02/09/23 07:25 AM #2    

Holly Henson (King)

Awe, Garry...RIP. It's been a few years since we last talked, but you were still a kind soul. 

02/09/23 08:52 AM #3    

Teri Babcock (Laird)

Barb described Garry well. I was one of the lunch guests & remember his mom's hospitality. It sounds like he remained a kind & gentle soul in adulthood & will be so missed by his family. 

02/09/23 06:36 PM #4    

Tom Vandel

The Crawford siblings and my brothers are best of friends and our family has spent much time with them. I remember Garry from Will James and West High and then didn't see him for many years. I finally came across him somewhere and he seemed even more quiet than I remember - but as friendly as ever. I could hardly see him behind his Bonanza of a mustache (like Sam Elliott) . I like this line from his obit:  "Gar—Uncle Mo, Garry, Dad—had a way of making us laugh and then looking back with a kind of amazement, as if he had only just then realized how funny he really was." I wish I had talked and laughed more with him.  Next life.  RIP Garry.

02/11/23 03:17 PM #5    

Barb Butler

02/11/23 03:18 PM #6    

Barb Butler

02/11/23 03:25 PM #7    

Kim Kron

The photos above are both freshman year at Will James Jr. High. Garry is #52 front row right in the top photo and 3rd from left front row in the bottom photo. Always gentle, always an ingratiating smile.

02/12/23 03:03 PM #8    

Barb Butler

Will James Rustlers mighty basketball team photo line-up:

Row 1:  Norm Spivey, Tim St John, Kim Kron, Gene Redmon, Ron Laird, Garry Crawford

Row 2:  Martin Warbington, Gary Miller, Duane Ware, Kevin Duecker, Mike Thomas, Tom Vandel

Row 3:  Mark Johnson, Tom Holden, Drake Dornfeld, Ron Ostermiller, Shull Lemire, Kelly Jones, Mr. Forseth

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