Harlingen: David Thomas Crowe, 75, passed away on Tuesday, June 7th, 2022, at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen. David was born on October 31st, 1946, to Lawrence and Johnnie (Miller) Crow in Anniston, Alabama. David's last name is slightly different from his parents' because the hospital made a data entry error, and Johnnie (David's mom) didn't want to get anyone in trouble about it. David was the youngest of seven children, David cared for his mom as she grew elderly, and they lived many years together.
David joined the United States Army before graduating high school. He served two tours in Vietnam. David served as a corpsman during his first tour and worked his way up to Specialty Forward Observer of his 1st battalion during his second tour. David continued his education after seven years of service, earning a GED first. David continued and earned a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Alabama and a Master's Degree from Baylor.
After graduating from college, David began a career as an Ophthalmic Technician and raised five daughters. While living in Orlando, David met Paula Murphy. They were married in 1984 and spent the rest of their lives together. David and Paula made a great team. They started an Ophthalmic Technician training program. David taught classes and did consulting work while Paula kept the books in order. David and Paula discovered the Rio Grande Valley in the mid 1980's but moved to Key Biscayne, Florida, in 1990. They found their way back to Harlingen a few years later, where they spent the rest of their lives.
David resumed his career at Thurmond Eye Center, which later became Gulf Coast Eye Institute. He worked for the next twenty-six years and had a stellar reputation. Most of David's colleagues and friends called him "Dr. Dave." He tried to retire several times. However, each attempt was futile as the doctors would persuade him to return. David finally retired in 2020, just before the pandemic.
David loved the ocean and traveling. Fortunately, he and Paula could take many vacations chosen because of the sea. They spent a couple of years living in Costa Rica, Florida, and many weekends at South Padre Island. In addition, David and Paula traveled to Italy. They visited Hawaii several times, and their favorite island was Kauai, where they made priceless memories.
David loved listening to Jimmy Buffet, playing cards and dice, and enjoying a rum and sprite with friends. He and Paula made lifelong friends they considered to be family. They nicknamed their group "The Courtyard," and the group stepped up to the plate and took special care of David when he became a widower unexpectedly.
David adored his grandchildren. He was honored to watch his grandson, Andrew, commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army. One of David's proudest moments was being the first enlisted to salute 2nd Lieutenant Andrew Eshelman, who presented his grandfather with the traditional "challenge coin.” David talked about his grandchildren often and was proud of their accomplishments.
David was a man of faith and a member of St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Harlingen for many years. He led by example, following in his mom's footsteps by showing genuine compassion for others. David worked hard and was dependable, organized, and loyal. He was also a lot of fun to be around.
David is preceded in death by his father, Lawrence, his mom, Johnnie, and his loving wife, Paula. Also preceding him in death are David's siblings, Richard, Johnnie, and Kenneth Crow, Joyce Smith and Ann Shaw, and niece Barbara (who David regarded like a sister).
David is survived by his daughters, Dawn Harris (Thomas Jr.) of Lake Forest Park, Washington; Dublyn Crowe, Danielle Crowe, and Desiree' Atkins all of Montgomery, Alabama; Stacy Crowe of Manhattan, sister, Peggy Adkins of Huntington, Indiana, grandchildren, Andrew Eshelman (Julie), Katie Reed (Willis), Amanda Kuhn (Ashley), Axel Crowe, Tucker Atkins, Shamus Atkins, great-granddaughter, Millie Rose Eshelman, mother of his children, Dolores Crowe, special nephews Ron and Don (regarded as siblings by David as they grew up together), and his very special group of friends aka "The Courtyard," Tom, Aaron, Shelly, Mike, Vickie, Trudy. Family friend Pam Fuller and her family. Many in Paula's family. As well as many cousins, nephews, and nieces.