The Rev. David R. Crowle, 88, husband of Susan M. (Garner) Crowle, completed his earthly journey and joined with the fellowship of the saints Monday evening, September 9, at the Lehigh
Valley Hospital Cedar Crest. David was born August 4, 1931 to the late Benjamin and Anna (Hall) Crowle in Williamsport, PA, and was raised in Delaware County, PA. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his four children, Benjamin Crowle (Doreen), Stephen Crowle (Barb), Elizabeth Marquell and Emilie Atkinson, grandchildren Rachel, Brennan, Jennipher, Amanda and Tom, and seven great grandchildren. In addition to his parents, David was preceded in death by his sisters Leah Masteller, Myrtle James and Ruth Geenway, a brother Robert and infant grandson, Jordan Christian Crowle.
His education in the (now) Interboro schools led to an early interest in the sciences. He pursued one year of classes at the Penn State satellite campus in Swarthmore, studying Nuclear Physics. However, his devotion to his church, and a strong sense of calling to the pastoral ministry led him to transfer to Elon College in North Carolina to complete his undergraduate studies. He then attended the Graduate School of Theology at Oberlin College, Ohio. He was ordained and began his ministry in Litchfield, Michigan. In 1960, he returned to Pennsylvania and led churches in Philadelphia and Norristown, before moving into social service work with a church agency serving the developmentally disabled for four years. During this time, he served as an interim pastor to a number of UCC churches in Montgomery and Chester counties.
A return to the full-time ministry began in 1978 with a call to First UCC Royersford. In 1987,David moved on to St. John’s UCC in Schuylkill Haven, where he remained until retirement in 1996. His “retirement” was very busy, as he served as full-time interim at St. John’s, Tamaqua, St. Paul’s (Summer Hill), Zion’s (Red Church), St. John ELCA & UCC, Auburn and Faith Reformed UCC, Landingville. In addition to short-term substituting in most of the Schuylkill Association UCC churches, he was also stated supply or Eucharistic minister at St. John’s, Orwigsburg, and churches in Frackville, St. Clair, Newtown, Shenandoah, New Ringgold and the Lewistown Valley.
David loved the ministry and the people of the congregations that he served. He had a gift for helping congregations to develop their particular talents and to find their best mission for their communities. Service to others and reaching out to the local communities to fill needs was a hallmark of his ministry, and many of the service programs he helped to develop in the various communities where he worked are still thriving today. A humble leader, he was quick to give the people of the congregations credit for the successes they shared.
David loved the outdoors and camping, spending many vacations visiting historical parks and national monuments towing his pop-up camper. He enjoyed a small sailing boat on local lakes for many years. Making an annual trek to the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary trails to observe the migrations was a joy until declining health prohibited the hikes.
In addition to his children, David loved each of the 15 “furbabies” he and Sue rescued and shared life with. Animal rescue and animal welfare were very important to David, especially the many Shar-Pei who blessed our lives.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, September 19th at First United Church of Christ, Schuylkill Haven with Rev. Shawn D. Van Dyke and John Ries officiating. Memorial Gathering starts at 10:30 .
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hamilton-Breiner Funeral Home, Inc. 116 South Liberty Street Orwigsburg, PA 17961.
Hamilton-Breiner Funeral Home, Inc.
116 South Liberty street, Orwigsburg PA 17961