Maribeth “Beth” Kirchhoff Crawford

Maribeth “Beth” Kirchhoff Crawford, 80, of Lawrence, Kansas, passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 14, 2023, at Neuvant House in Lawrence. A private celebration of Beth’s life will be held with her family and friends.

Beth was born on August 18, 1942, in Indianapolis, Indiana, the daughter of Edwin and Dorothy (Oldenburg) Kirchhoff. She was a performer from a young age; her love of singing, coupled with hours learning piano at her father’s side, blossomed into a lifelong love of music. Following graduation from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, she travelled throughout Europe and studied voice in Germany.  She was selected as a Professor of Voice at the University of Kansas, where she spent the rest of her career.

Beth was the Conductor of the Lawrence Civic Choir from 1976 to 1983. Combining her love of music and travel, Beth took the choir to Poland in 1980 to spread goodwill and friendship through music.

Beth met her husband, George J. Crawford, through the Lawrence Civic Choir. They were married in August of 1979, and spent many happy years performing together in Lawrence, Topeka, and Kansas City. Their love of music and each other was clear to anyone in attendance.

When not teaching her students, Beth enjoyed spending time in her gorgeous gardens, cheering on the Jayhawk basketball team, traveling and oil painting. Her eye for light and color was incredible.

Survivors include her children, George (Traci) Crawford, Carolyn (Kelly) Chase, Susan (Eric Scott) Crawford and grandchildren, Katie, Kasey, Heather, Travis, Alec, and Bailey.

Beth was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and sister, Candy Marks.

Our family is grateful beyond words to the staff of Neuvant House (who surely are angels in disguise) for the extraordinary care, love and friendship shown to Beth for the past seven years, and to Faith Hospice for their exceptional care and kindness in Beth’s final months. To see the staff of Neuvant and Faith caring for their residents is to see love in action.

Beth was laid to rest in Memorial Park Cemetery in Lawrence, Kansas, with George and her parents close by.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Beth’s name to The University of Kansas Music and Theatre Department, the Alzheimer’s Association, Doctors Without Borders or the Southern Poverty Law Center, and may be sent in the care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

For more information or to post a condolence go to warrenmcelwain.com.

1 Condolence

  1. Ruth Sarna on January 23, 2023 at 11:03 am

    Hello to Susan, Carolyn and George…..was saddened to read about the death of dear Beth.
    Your Dad and Beth were always a bright spot for music and gifted us with their singing at Trinity!
    I especially loved it when your Dad would chant the Psalm….he would “rock” the rafters!!!
    Beth did have a Stephen Minister from Trinity for several years and both your Dad and Beth were loved by so many!
    God’s extra love and His peace be with you!
    RUTH SARNA



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