“If I can help somebody as I travel along life’s way then my living shall not be in vain.”
Song by: Mahalia Jackson
B.J. (Barry Jereau Crawford Jr) wanted to help other young people along their way. He wanted to help by being an example of how they could live life without swearing, drinking, drugs or smoking.
B.J. knew his living would not be in vain if his example could reach across generations to the young and the old, to parents and peers, to friends and family.
He did this by keeping a high G.P.A. in school, by being a voracious reader (he read over 300 books), by being a tutor and mentor, by being a family advocate, and by being a good friend.
So smart. So kind. So loving. B.J.’s beautiful soul was on display in most everything he did. He seemed to live his life in service of others.
And though he’s gone now, taken from this earth by a tragic car accident at 22 years old, a wonderful memory of a smile that would light up a room, his dynamic personality, and how very, very special he was, remain.
During his Eulogy the pastor said the obvious: we won’t get to see B.J. receive the Pulitzer Prize or receive the Valedictorian honor from his college class, but we all know he would have.
Wise beyond his years, he wrote his mission statement to guide his life:
I will dream big and reach my goals.
I will be proud of who I am, what I have and what I
yet, I know the best is yet to come.
I will encourage the ones that need encouragement
And absorb knowledge from the ones that inspire
and motivate me.
I will master the craft that I have chosen to
and also try to know a little bit about everything so I
can be a
well rounded individual.
I will be independent, yet not afraid to trust in other
being charitable will be a virtue, not a burden.
Work and responsibility will always come before
pleasure and fun.
When in doubt, I’ll go with my gut instinct.
I will only listen to words of enlightenment and
foolish, negative hearsay.
I pity the messenger who is a person that is unsure
I will choose my path wisely and be sure to finish
what I start; however,
I will know when to fold a bad hand.
I pride myself on being an enjoyable person to be
I will have enough understanding of my peers not to
I will succeed at all of the above, for I truly believe
We’ve started a memorial fund in B.J.’s loving memory. We wish his quest to help other young people travel along their way toward excellence and becoming productive people in society never ends.
So each year, in B.J.’s name, we will offer multiple scholarships and financial assistance to deserving students.
Will you help us in this important work? To donate click on the link below.
Make a Donation
When we have enough donations, we will start a nonprofit foundation in B.J.’s name to continue his vision of helping others travel along their way.