Crawford MacCullough Judge, M.D.
Crawford Judge came into this world on June 26, 1927, and left it peacefully on his 94th birthday, June 26, 2021. His life was rich with love, with service to others, and with all the things that matter.
He was a loving husband to his loving wife, Joan, an extraordinary father to his three sons (and daughters-in-law), a supportive grandfather and great-grandfather to his five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, a wonderful uncle to his nieces and nephews, and a loyal friend to many.
Crawford was born of Canadian parents in Long Beach, California, where his father was working at the time. The family returned to Winnipeg, Manitoba, where he grew up enjoying the outdoors and youthful adventures with his two older brothers. At the age of 17, as Canada was coming out of the Depression and the end of World War II, Crawford began his university education at the University of Manitoba. In 1946, after only two years of university, he enrolled in medical school with many veterans from the war, from whom he learned much. One of his jobs as a young physician, which he recalled fondly, was a stint in northern Manitoba in the small town of The Pas. Among other tasks, he travelled alone for 400 miles on a one-man rail car to provide care for the people living and working on the shore of Hudson Bay. Once, a lone wolf bounded next to him for miles, only to satisfy its curiosity Crawford would say.
Crawford, then a newly-minted doctor in Winnipeg, and Joan, a newly-minted nurse from St. John’s, Newfoundland, fell in love in the early 1950’s. When Crawford went to England for his residency, he was able to convince Joan to join him there. They were married, fortunately for all of us, on July 4, 1953. After staying and working in England for three years, they returned home to Winnipeg and both went to work at the General Hospital.
These early years were the start to a gratifying career as a physician and scientist (Internal Medicine, Intensive Care, and Pulmonology). In 1957, Crawford was recruited, as were many Canadian doctors at the time, to join Kaiser Permanente Medical Group in Fontana, California. This offer was not only promising professionally, but also provided a golden opportunity to move from the frigid winters of Winnipeg to the idyllic climate and environment of Southern California, which at the time was filled with orange groves instead of traffic. Crawford and Joan made a life there, raised their sons, and gathered lifelong friends. Crawford worked for Kaiser Permanente until he retired. He loved his work and his colleagues, the climate, the San Gabriel and Sierra Nevada Mountains, the beach, the desert, and skiing on mountains (instead of the banks of the Red River in Manitoba) without driving home through the snow. Joan and Crawford continued living in California until their 2011 move from Claremont to Moscow, Idaho.
In his work, Crawford was devoted to providing the best care possible to his patients. He advanced standards for critical care at the hospital. He established a Pulmonary Department and a Respiratory Rehabilitation Unit. He mentored and taught many physicians, nurses, and technicians. He improved the lives of countless patients.
When he was not working, Crawford was with his family, generally engaged in activity and adventure. He was always an athlete. In his youth, he was a gymnast and long after those early years would entertain us by walking around the living room on his hands. He was a skilled and graceful diver, swimmer, cyclist, runner, skier, hiker, and golfer.
A naturalist from a young age, he took us to the mountains, to the forests, to the beaches, to wild places. He showed us flowing water, falling snow, and the movements in the night sky. He named the plants, the trees, the flowers, the birds, and the mammals, large and small. After retirement, and sometimes before, Crawford and Joan travelled the country and the world to find birds and experience the planet’s beauty, from the Aleutian Islands to Newfoundland, and from Ecuador to New Guinea. They both compiled impressive bird lists.
Crawford had a curious and analytic mind, and was a lover of knowledge. He was an advocate for education, accessible healthcare, justice for all, and clean air, clean water, and all things wild. He enjoyed growing things, including native plants and a variety of citrus and other fruit trees.
He supported, guided, encouraged, and loved his three sons and was proud of the people they became. He taught us values and ethics by word, by expectation, and by example. Our gratitude to him and for him transcends generations.
Despite his many successes, he never sought recognition. He preferred the simple pleasures of life, maintained his humility and keen sense of humor, and was always kind and thoughtful. Despite the challenges he faced and we faced in these last years, his kind nature endured.
We are thankful for the care of the nurses and caregivers at Bishop Place and Hospice, especially with the additional challenges posed during the peak of the pandemic and then through Crawford’s last weeks. We will be forever grateful for your genuine loving care for him. He obviously touched your lives and you his. You all touched our hearts as well.
Crawford is survived by his devoted wife Joan Marie Judge; his sons John Judge (Mary Ann) and Brian Judge (Christine); daughter-in-law Betsy Spencer Judge, who was married to Randy Judge, his beloved son who died in 2011; grandchildren Luke Judge (Telli Robinson- Judge), Jenna Judge (Andy Francis), Kaitlyn Judge, Carson Judge, and Krista Judge; and great grandchildren Cyrus Judge and Isabella Judge; along with numerous nieces and nephews and their children and grandchildren across the U.S. and Canada. Crawford’s brothers, Frank and John, who also lived amazing lives, died earlier.
Crawford did not want a service, so the family will celebrate his life in random gatherings and memories that will forever live in our hearts. In his memory, he would only wish that we all treat each other with kindness and try to make the world a better place.