Dr. Frances Crawley

Obituary of Dr. Frances Janet Crawley

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CRAWLEY (McGoey), Dr. Frances Janet, B. Sc., M. Sc., M.D., F.R.C.S.(C) (General Surgeon - Retired)

Frances died of cancer at age 76, on Tuesday, June 20, 2023. She was born and grew up in Toronto, the third child of the late Dr. Paul Francis and Dr. Janet (Waugh) McGoey. When she was in infancy, her father was in training as a surgeon and her mother was at home caring for their four children. Her family was struck with Tuberculosis (TB), an infection her mother acquired working with TB patients in Scotland during the Second World War. Frances's mother and three siblings were sent to the TB sanatorium and Frances was the only child allowed to remain at home. Her father turned to the only one who could help him care for Frances. This person was her maternal grandmother, Mrs. Christine Johnson Waugh, who, though she had never been more than 100km from her birthplace in Scotland, came to Canada to care for Frances. She became a Canadian citizen and would then spend most of the rest of her life in Canada in the home of her daughter helping her care for her home and children. Frances always attributed her lifelong work ethic and Scottish accent to her brave, strong and extraordinary Scottish grandmother.  Fortunately, Frances's mother and her siblings recovered from TB and the family grew and thrived, as they worked, prayed and played together. Touch football, hockey, tennis, swimming and bridge were the family favorites, evident by their healthy competitive edge. 

Frances attended St. Francis Xavier University where she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. While at St. F. X., she met the love of her life, Harold Frederick Crawley. They were married after graduation and Harold began his teaching career in Halifax and Frances started her Master of Science in Genetics at Dalhousie University. With the course work and data collection for her thesis done, Frances stayed home to await the arrival of their first baby and to write her thesis. With the Master's program completed, Frances spent some years at home caring for her growing family. Frances began medical school in 1979 and with the unfailing help, support and love from Harold, who was also teaching both day and night school at the time, she completed medical school, her internship and residency in General Surgery.

Frances began working as a General Surgeon in a small community hospital - Hants Community Hospital - where she found such truly dedicated and hard working medical professionals and staff and the loveliest of patients, she never wanted to leave. The diagnosis of her first cancer however caused her retirement from medical practice in 2013. Her second cancer diagnosed in 2021 would prove to be fatal. 

To Frances, the greatest tragedy of her life was the illness and death of her beloved husband, Harold, in 2018.  She had many sources of happiness in her life; her faith, her family, her work, her dogs, her home in beautiful Falmouth, her country, her love of reading, and the many, many wonderful people she met during her lifetime. Did we mention her dogs?  Since early childhood, Frances had much love, empathy and an intense drive to alleviate the suffering of both people and animals, and her love of dogs was legendary. Frances throughout her life was a devout and faithful Catholic. 

Frances and her family wish to thank so many people who helped and cared for her during her final illness. Her children, who came from all over, to care for her. To her sisters, Helen, Louise, Joan, Chris and Janet, who traveled from Ontario multiple times to help. To her brother-in-law, Ian, for all his help. To her sister-in-law, Patricia Gillis RN, who helped so much and ensured she was never alone after surgery or during chemotherapy and in Frances's final days. To niece, Trisha for her help. Also, to her brother, Paul for his regular messages of support.

We would also like to sincerely thank all of the many medical professionals who helped our mom over the years. Despite working in an underfunded, underappreciated and extremely challenging system, we see your professionalism, dedication and sheer effort and we are forever grateful. 

We would like to thank the many nurses and nursing professionals; palliative care, emergency room and chemotherapy nurses.  

We would especially like to thank the nurses and the staff of Hants Community Hospital for their professionalism, dedication, support and kindness; Karen, Stacey, Jeannetta, Christine, Ryan and the whole team, for their skill, compassion, kindness and support. We would also like to thank Dr. Cathryn Smith and Dr. Tim Matheson, for your care, your kindness and compassion. Amber Phillips, for all your help, your thoughtful organizing and arranging for us and also to Dr. Kruger-Naug for your help and thoughtful discussions.  

We would also like to thank the Paramedics for their prompt and compassionate care during several difficult situations. 

We would also like to thank all the staff, nurses and doctors of Valley Regional Hospital.  As well, to Dr. Himmelman for his help and to Dr. Heisler, for his kind visit. 

We would like to thank Dr. Bentley and his team in Halifax, for their help throughout mom's cancer battle.  To Sarah Bussey, Nurse Practitioner and team of Kearney Lake Clinic,  Frances was grateful to have you as her NP and thought the Kearney Lake Clinic was a model for efficient medical care.

We would like to thank the nurses of the Victorian Order of Nurses; Caroline, Tiffany, and Sherry for your compassion, tenacity, kindness, competence and promptness.

Frances is survived by her children, Harold Crawley, Michael Crawley (Suzanne), Michele Bowes, Adelle Watt (Kirk); and by her grandchildren, Benjamin, Liam, Finnegan, Jack, Luke and Adrian Harold and Carly Watt who absolutely adored her; siblings, Paul McGoey (Marie), Helen Gibson (Ian), Joan Hardy (Allan), Janet McGoey, Louise McGoey McCallum (Peter), Dr. Brian McGoey (Elizabeth), Christine McGoey (Michael), Steven McGoey, Jon McGoey (Dawn); and by many nieces and nephews. Frances is also survived by her in-laws, Patricia Gillis (Gordie), Theresa Dubois (Hughie), Katherine Hanley (John), Irene Jones (Rick) and brother-in-law, William “Bill” Crawley (Connie) and their children.

Frances was predeceased by her grandmother, Mrs. Christine Johnson Waugh; parents, Dr. Paul Francis and Dr. Janet (Waugh) McGoey; elder sister, Mary McGoey; and by her beloved husband and the center of our world, Harold, in 2018.

Arrangements for cremation have been entrusted to DeMont Family Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 419 Albert St., Windsor (902-798-8317). There will be no visitation at Frances's request. A funeral mass will be said for Frances in St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Windsor, by Father John McPherson, at a later date. Donations in memory of Mom may be made to one of her favourite charities: Feed Nova Scotia (902-457-1900), 67 Wright Ave., Dartmouth, NS B3B 1H2; the Salvation Army, (1-800-725-2769); The War Amps, (1-800-250‑3030); the SPCA, (1-844-835-4798); Hants Community Hospital Foundation, 89 Payzant Dr., Windsor, NS B0N 2T0 or St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, PO Box 184, Windsor, NS B0N 2T0. Messages of condolence may be sent to the family by visiting: www.demontfamilyfuneralhome.ca


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