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Dr. Rex Crawley of Moon found calling in education

| Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Dr. Rex Crawley, feature obit.

With a wealth of education, numerous leadership roles and an active interest in the black community, Dr. Rex Crawley used his life experience to help others.

“He was positive, committed and intellectual,” said his wife, Dr. Daria Crawley.

Dr. Rex L. Crawley of Moon died of complications from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on Nov. 25, 2013, at UPMC Shadyside. He was 49.

A native of Steubenville, Ohio, Dr. Crawley held a bachelor's degree in political science, a master's degree in public administration and a doctorate in intercultural communications from Ohio University.

He was a loyal, 28-year member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, serving as president of the graduate chapter in Pittsburgh and president of the Kappa Scholarship Endowment Fund of Western Pennsylvania. He also was a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity.

A professor at Robert Morris University's School of Communication and Information Systems, Dr. Crawley founded and co-directed the Black Male Leadership and Development Institute, a year-round program for high school students that focuses on education, ethics and other topics. He also developed Uzuri Think Tank, a research center that studies black male academic success and excellence.

While battling cancer, Dr. Crawley blogged about his experience.

“Regardless of the outcome, (he felt like) it was his job to educate others and use his situation to help someone else,” said friend Todd Rogers of Bowie, Md.

A member of Triumph Baptist Church, Dr. Crawley served on the National Marrow Donors Program board and as president of Jefferson County's American Cancer Society in his hometown.

“His spirit touched so many people, and there's a lot of people out there who will carry that on,” said friend Colleen McMullen of Pittsburgh.

In addition to his wife, Dr. Crawley is survived by two sons, Xavier and Vaughan; his parents, Marie and James Crawley; sister Helen Austin and her husband, Rufus; sister Sylvia Milbry and her husband, Reginald; and a niece, Kayla.

A viewing will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday in Triumph Baptist Church, 1293 Mt. Nebo Road, with a Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity Inc. ceremony at 6 p.m. and a Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Chapter Invisible ceremony at 7:11 p.m. Both ceremonies are open to the public. An additional viewing will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday in Calvary Church, 255 N. Fifth St., Steubenville, Ohio, with a home-going service from noon to 2 p.m.

Nicole Chynoweth is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2862 or nchynoweth@tribweb.com.

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