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Don Crabill, RIP

Updated: Aug 1, 2020

The Dawson family is sad to report that our longtime colleague Don Crabill passed away unexpectedly but peacefully on September 27th. He was surrounded by his family.

Born in Warsaw, Indiana, on December 24, 1931, Don’s childhood was defined by World War II. His teenage years were spent in post-war Bremen, Germany. His father worked for the US Army to help rebuild Germany’s education system. Those experiences left an indelible mark on Don, inspiring his service to his country and his dedication to making the world a better place.

Don was a serious and principled man. A graduate of Columbia University, he served his country for four years as a Naval officer in the Mediterranean fleet. He reached the top rank of the Civil Service before he turning 40, serving five presidents in the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) and the Executive Office of the President. Don’s service included 17 years as OMB’s Deputy Associate Director of Natural Resources.

Don was especially proud of his role as the principal Presidential staff member for the civilian space program. He helped write the option paper for President Kennedy’s decision to send a man to the moon and President Kennedy’s speech announcing that decision to the Nation.

As Don would say, “As a bureaucrat, I will not be remembered. It is important for a good bureaucrat not to leave fingerprints – and I have been successful in that. My legacy is my family.” And Don left legacy of love, goodwill, laughter and joy. In short, he loved life and was a committed to the important things. A Servant of the Lord, he will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

To Don’s wonderful wife Mary, the Dawson team extends its sincerest condolences. Rest in peace, Don.  We’ll miss you more than words can say.


The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dawson & Associates.


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