Saturday, December 23, 2017

Patti Jo Duncan Crawford Passes Away

Patti Jo Duncan Crawford of Shawnee, Kansas, passed away at her home, on December 19, 2017, due to complications of rheumatoid arthritis. She was born May 28, 1941, in Kansas City, Missouri, to Lester LeRoy and Dorothy Creason Duncan. Before moving back to the Kansas City area in 1949, she lived with her parents in Oklahoma City, OK, Minneapolis, MN, and Los Angeles, CA.

She attended Roesland Grade School and graduated in the first class of Shawnee Mission North in 1959, where she was editor of the year book. She attended Stanford University and graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in zoology. She was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. Later she received her nursing degree from Johnson County Community College and worked in the allergy clinic at Children’s Mercy Hospital for 6 years. On July 16, of 1975 she married Samuel J. Crawford. Together they formed Crawford and Kinder, a building company, and for 9 years she had a house painting business employing the neighborhood high school and college students.

In 1975-76, they lived in Germany for a year with their sons Kurt & Kyle, who were 9 and 6 at the time. They spent that summer traveling and camping all over Europe. Her love for horses began in 1978 when her son Kurt bought his first horse, Butterscotch. This was the beginning of what was to become her life’s passion in the world of endurance riding and racing. She eventually owned as many as eight horses. She was a member of the equine associations AERC, OCER, & MOTDRA. Some of her favorite memories were of the Great Santa Fe Trail Ride, a 500 mile ride from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Hillsdale, Kansas; riding in the Pan American Championship in Woodstock, Vermont; being on the organizing committee for the 1996 World Championship for endurance held in Junction City, KS and especially organizing and finding trail for the 100 mile ride to open the American Royal on their 100th anniversary. Patti and Sam built a second home in Arkansas where they hosted many endurance rides and racing events, and had great fun with their kids and grandkids. Patti loved to spend time on her horse marking and clearing trails for events. But the most fun she had was competing in the 50 and 100 mile rides with her faithful loving sherpa, Sam. She enjoyed playing Bridge, Gin Rummy, and other challenging games. She loved all animals, and saved many in need.

She is preceded in death by her parents, and son Kyle Robert Niemackl (2009). She is remembered by her husband Sam of 42 superb years, her sister Judith Duncan Stanton (Roger) of Prairie Village, KS; son Kurt William Niemackl (Aimey) of Lenexa, KS; Sam’s children Kimberly Jensen (Dave) of Overland Park, KS, and their children Mallory, Lauren, and Sarah; Stephanie Sitko (Phil) of Corona, CA, and their children McKenna and Hayden, and Weston Crawford (Mary) of Seattle, WA; and her grandchildren Nick, Maddie, Jason and Joseph Niemackl of Lenexa, KS, and Allison and Mason Niemackl of Shawnee, KS; Kyle’s widow Vanessa Hamm; and cousins, nieces and nephews. Also special to her is a “daughter” Kirsi Vaarama, of Helsinki, Finland, her husband Juha and their children Roope and Ronja.


A memorial celebration will be held at Old Mission United Methodist Church, on Wednesday, December 27, @ 2:00 pm, where she has been a member since 1950. Reception to follow.

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