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News > Obituaries > John Patrick Crawford (OB 1963-1974)

John Patrick Crawford (OB 1963-1974)

7 Sep 2021
Written by Jos Hollington

Although christened John Patrick, “Patrick” was always known to his family by his second forename to avoid confusion with his father, John Veitch Crawford - an Old Brentwood himself from a previous generation, who was head of West House in the 1930’s. The family lived locally in Shenfield, and Patrick followed three elder brothers (Peter, Alan and David) in their paths through the Brentwood School curriculum. He was a fun-loving pupil, full of life, and with the determination not to be over-shadowed by his older siblings. Somewhat confusingly, he was known to all his friends as “Ted” or “Teddy" throughout his school days, due to his rather cute appearance when he was small; something he accepted with mixed feelings in later life! In true Crawford tradition, Patrick followed his father and eldest brother into the world of medicine, and graduated from London Medical School as a dentist in the late 1970’s. Whilst studying diligently, Patrick nevertheless still managed to squeeze in a laudable social life, and was actively involved with the Student Union and various community and international friendship circles and societies. A popular raconteur and wag, he was destined to always be the best man at his friends’ weddings during this early period of his adulthood.

As a qualified dentist, Patrick quickly established himself as a skilled and sympathetic practitioner, who could quickly allay the fears and fretting of his young clients in particular. He took up some amazing posts in his early career, including one for the Scottish Borders which involved regular fortnightly trips out to the Hebridean Isles. Patrick maintained that rough weather on the voyage over only improved the steadiness of his hand, and he quickly became a popular and highly respected professional, much praised by the local islanders with the sobriquet “Painless Pat”. 

Patrick built up his experience and business via stints in several dental practices, eventually settling in Ponteland, north of Newcastle upon Tyne, where he was also a wonderful support and carer for his widowed mother throughout her latter years. Here in the North, he met Joanne, a nurse at Newcastle General Hospital, and they fell in love and were married in the late 1980’s. Their daughter, Anne has proven to have inherited his flair and joie-de-vivre and is now a successful entrepreneur, enjoying growing her own internet businesses. During this time, Patrick astutely opened a dental surgery in the Gateshead Metro Centre - then the UK’s largest shopping mall. Here, a captive clientele of young shoppers could be lured by their parents into Patrick's dentist’s chair with the promise of new trainers or similar bribes.

Patrick retired early at 60 years of age; and he and his faithful canine companion, Zippy, soon became regular attendees at local country events, shoots and dog training activities. He was so proud when his granddaughter, Skyler, was born recently and of the wonderful home that daughter Anne and son-in-law Steve have created for her.

John Patrick “Ted” Crawford was a wonderful and joyful man who was kind, considerate and sincere … he was taken from us at the young age of 65 … but his humour and personality will never be forgotten.

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