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In Memoriam: Helen Crawford

Campus remembers retired residence life secretary Helen Crawford

Helen Leodas Crawford, a retired member of the Residence Life and Housing staff at the University of Delaware, died peacefully of heart failure on Dec. 1, 2016, in Arlington, Massachusetts, where she had been living for the last year. She was 92.

She worked in Student Affairs at the University for many years, retiring as executive secretary in housing and residence life.

Kathleen Kerr, executive director of Residence Life and Housing, said, “When I started at the University in 1990, Helen was the secretary for David Butler, who was then director of Housing and Residence Life. A kind and funny individual, Helen was a great asset to the department, and I always enjoyed my interactions with her. I know her many friends on the campus join me in extending condolences to her family.”

Mrs. Crawford was married to John Stephens (Steve) Crawford, who taught art history at UD for 30 years. Endlessly curious, after they retired, the Crawfords “went back to school” and took classes in a wide range of subjects each semester at the University. Dr. Crawford died in October 2015.

Born Helen Leodas in New York City on Feb. 3, 1924, she was raised along with her brother, Costa Leodas, in Manhattan. She attended the Horace Mann School and later Barnard College.

Mrs. Crawford was a formidable tennis player and an accomplished classical pianist well into her 60s. Independently, she studied modern Greek and could be found reading the Iliad, with Greek/English dictionary in hand.

Before her marriage, she worked in banks in both New York and Boston, where she was living when she met Dr. Crawford. She was close to her brother’s family, spending summers in New Hampshire with her nieces throughout their childhoods.

Mrs. Crawford is survived by her niece, Katina Leodas, and son Nico of Arlington, Massachusetts; a second niece, Avra Leodas, and her husband, John Tinker, of Santa Fe, New Mexico; and, Avra’s daughter, Melina Leodas-Whelan, of Denver, Colorado.

Her life will be celebrated at private family events in New York and Boston.


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