Jean M. Crawford dies; Arlington County official, activist

February 26, 2014

Jean M. Crawford, who was an Arlington County official, lawyer and women’s rights activist, died Feb. 5 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. She was 67.

She had complications from gastric bypass surgery, said a friend and colleague, Marianne Fowler.

Ms. Crawford, an Arlington resident, began her career as a legal editor for the Michie Co., a lawbook publisher in Charlottesville, in the early 1970s. After moving to Washington, she became the reproductive-rights director of the National Organization for Women in 1978.

That same year, she was arrested during a pro-Equal Rights Amendment demonstration at the Virginia State Capitol shortly after the amendment was narrowly defeated in a House of Delegates committee. The charges were later dismissed and the arrest expunged from Ms. Crawford’s record.

She then worked as a legal associate at the Alexandria law firm of Waite, Finch and Chamowitz before being appointed deputy commissioner of revenue of Arlington in 1984. She served 20 years in that position, then became legislative counsel in the office of County Manager Barbara Donnellan.

Jean Marshall Crawford, a New York City native, was raised in Crawfordsville, Ind. She was a 1968 graduate of Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky., and received a law degree from George Washington University in 1974.

She was past president of the board of directors of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington and former deputy treasurer and precinct captain of the Arlington Democratic Committee. She served on the National Organization for Women’s national board of directors and was president of its Virginia chapter.

Her marriage to Jon Clarke ended in divorce. Their daughter, Amy Clarke, died in 1978.

Survivors include her partner of 26 years, Jerry Hough of Arlington; her father, Kenneth Crawford of Crawfordsville; a brother; and a sister.

— Megan McDonough

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