Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Stephanie Crow Sept. 16, 1947 - June 22, 2017 Tough and Sweet, Lived Life as She Wanted

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Stephanie Crow Sept. 16, 1947 - June 22, 2017 Tough and Sweet, Lived Life as She Wanted

Article excerpt

Whatever else can be said about Stephanie Crow, she "left this world as she lived her life - on her own terms," said her daughter Yvonne Firczak.

"If you looked in Wikipedia for stubborn, there's a picture of my mother," she said. "Then, my brother underneath."

Ms. Crow's epic will propelled her through a tough childhood, three marriages, and numerous jobs taken in service of raising three kids, often by herself.

"She did what she wanted. Good or bad, she did what she wanted," Ms. Firczak said.

On June 22, at 69, her mother died surrounded by what made her happiest in her life - her family.

Ms. Crow grew up in McKees Rocks and married her high school sweetheart, with whom she had two children, Yvonne and David. The couple separated when the kids were still young and for much of their lives, Ms. Crow was a single mother, working several jobs to make ends meet. Her second marriage brought another child, Karl, and three stepchildren, although she never used the word "step."

Her resume is an eclectic mix of tough jobs, united by a motherly touch: paramedic, cleaner, Access driver, supermarket meat cutter.

When Ms. Firczak was in high school, Ms. Crow enrolled in college to become a pharmacist, but her job wouldn't accommodate her class schedule, and she never finished.

Health problems, including a heart condition, forced Ms. Crow to retire when she was in her late 40s. But she found it hard to sit still. So she volunteered at the library, at polling places and packing food at a pantry.

"She was the most busy retired person you'd ever seen," Ms. Firczak said.

By that time, she had married Al Crow, her happiest and longest lasting union, which was cut short when Mr. Crow died in 2005.

"They sort of, like, completed each other," said Judy McCrum, Ms. Crow's daughter-in-law who called Ms. Crow "mom" and Mr. …

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