DiscoverKingsport.com would like to honor Dan Crowe who passed away December 1, 2005. Part of my inspiration in the back of my heart was to develop this site to fulfill a regret I had in High School. Coach Crowe allowed me lots of out-of-class time to work on a video project about the history of Tennessee Eastman. It turned out that the school television equipment could not handle the project due to the new studio being constructed. I wanted to let him know that his influence as a teacher and a gentleman was not forgotten. You may read about Dan Crowe's influence in our community here.
Thank you Dan Crowe. I look forward to seeing you again.
Dan Crowe, 75, Kingsport.
KINGSPORT - Dan Crowe, retired teacher and former Dobyns-Bennett track and cross-country coach, died Thursday (Dec. 1, 2005) at the age of 75 in Holston Valley Medical Center.
An educator for 34 years, Crowe began his teaching career at the one-room Fairview School in Carter Country. The majority of his years as an educator were spent at Dobyns Bennett High School in the Social Studies Department where he introduced the study of local history into the curriculum. His innovative teaching techniques garnered him the 1985 East Tennessee Teacher of the Year Award and the Excellence in Teaching Award given by NBC and the Carnegie Foundation in 1989.
Crowe began coaching at Hampton High School in Carter County where he organized the school's first track team. Coach Crowe's lengthy and award winning career as track and cross-country coach at Dobyns-Bennett High school included three state championships. He was thrice honored as East Tennessee Track Coach of the Year. In 2004, he was inducted into the TSSAA Hall of Fame.
Crowe was also a noted local author and historian. His roots in the Horseshoe community of Carter County provided the backdrop for many of his writings and the source for the rich collection of oral histories he gathered from its residents. A U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War, Crowe's love of country was also reflected in his poetry.
Crowe was a member and deacon of the Siam Baptist Church in Elizabethton where he shared his gift for teaching by serving as a Sunday school teacher. A man of strong faith, he lived a life of quiet example.
He has been married to his wife, Wilma Lewis Crowe, for 49 years.
Dan was predeceased by his mother, Fannie Crowe.
Surviving are his wife, Wilma, of the home; his daughter and son-in-law, Dr. Gary and Judy Reedy (Clarks Summit, Pa.) and by his granddaughter Bailey Reedy (Crystal Lake, Pa). He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Geraldine Lewis Pierce and by her husband Paul and their daughter Jennifer, all of Elizabethton.
The family wishes to thank the numerous physicians and other health care professionals who attended to him during his years of declining health.
Calling hours are from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Saturday in the Riverside Chapel of Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton.
A Celebration of Life service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Riverside Chapel of the funeral home with Rev. Jack Roddy and Rev. Earl Golden officiating.
Immediately following the funeral, graveside services with military honors will be conducted at the Wilson Cemetery with Captain Lynn H. Folsom VFW Post No. 2166 providing military honors.
Music will be provided by bagpiper Howard Ensor.
Pallbearers will be members of the Upper Room Sunday School Class of Siam Baptist Church, Ray Garrison, Paul Pless, Doug Bailey and Andy Hood.
Honorary bearers will be Phil Ellis, Howard Matherly, Charles "Dude" LaPorte, Willie Church, Tom Coughenour, Ernie Dickson, Dr. Tom Rogers, Joe Reedy, Vaughn Randolf, Elmer Carden, Eddie Hardin, Hunter Estep, Roy Huskins, Bob May, F.M. Hill, Carroll Montgomery, Charles Lipford, deacons and friends of Siam Baptist Church, Companies E and F 1950 National Guard, Elizabethton High School Class of 1950, Upper East Tennessee Track Coaches' Association 1961-1979, teachers and staff of Dobyns-Bennett High School 1967-1989, and members of the 1958-1963 Hampton High School, 1963-1967 East Forsyth, and 1967-1979 Dobyns-Bennett High School track and cross-country teams.
The family requests that those desiring to make memorial contributions do so to Siam Baptist Church, 2414 Siam Road, Elizabethton, Tenn. 37643.
Online condolences may be sent to the family through the Tetrick website at www.tetrickfuneralhome.com.
Kingsport Times News
December 6, 2005
Coach, friend, poet Dan Crowe was a good man
By VINCE STATEN
There's an expression for a man who is accomplished in several diverse fields. He's called a Renaissance Man.
There's another expression for a man who lives life the way it ought to be lived, with respect for himself and others. He's called a Good Man.
That was Dan Crowe. Dan, who died last week, was a beloved coach, an esteemed math teacher, a respected poet and a genuine friend.
He taught math and coached track and cross-country at Dobyns-Bennett for a quarter century. But in his other life he was a writer who published books of poetry and of history.
Dan was buried Saturday in his native Carter County. He grew up in the Horseshoe Community there and made his native community the subject of a 1976 oral history book, "The Horseshoe People." He would always say those sketches of Granny Betsy, Aunt Amelia, Doc Raser and other Horseshoe-ians was his favorite of his many books.
Among the many who came to the service was one who wore his old letterman's jacket in tribute to his coach. Phil Kestner, who was a member of Crowe's first track team at D-B in 1966, praised him as a man who knew how to get the most out of teenage boys.
"And he did it without ever raising his voice."
Crowe's teams won three state championships in track and more than 90 other titles including 13 Big Ten championships.
Tom Coughenour, who coached with Crowe, remembered the human side of the man, of the times in Murfreesboro, when their teams competed in the state track meet.
"One night he was sleeping on a vibrator bed, and after he got to sleep, I put a quarter in the bed. It started vibrating and he jumped up, he thought it was an earthquake. The next year, he did the same thing to me, but I just said, man that feels good."
Not many coaches relax by writing poetry. Dan did. He even wrote an entire volume of track poetry, "Whiz Wheels and a Cat Called Quick."
Margy Clark says he wrote the best poetry she's ever read, and she graduated from Smith College.
Another who taught with Crowe, Sarah McKee, visited him three weeks ago and found him reading his Bible.
"What are you doing, Dan?" she asked.
"Cramming for my final," he replied.
BRIEF BUT ENDEARING
The title poem from Dan's first book of poetry, published in 1974, is a brief but endearing one:
"Poison ivy entangles
"The sweet apple tree
"Story of life."
Kingsport Times News
Date Published: May 30, 2004
Dan Crowe an uncommon blend of coach and writer
Author: NELLIE McNEIL
A coach and a poet, both in one, create an exception. That's what Coach Dan Crowe is - an exception.
Inducted into the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in March of this year, he joins ranks with legendary area coaches Charlie Bayless, Tom Coughenour, Buck Van Huss and Dickie Warren.
Crowe's real coaching career began in the mid-‘50s with his first teaching job in the two-room Fairview School in Carter County.
"The Fairview boys were not attending. So I had a place graded off. We made a basketball court, and they came to school," he said.
Coaching track, however, for 23 years, his last 13 at Dobyns-Bennett, put Crowe in the Hall of Fame.
An East Tennessee State University track star himself, Crowe coached his teams to more than 90 championships. The D-B record includes three state wins - 1971, 1972 and 1979 - as well as TSSAA, Big 10 Conference, District One, Southern Classic championships and more.
Darwin Bond, undefeated runner in 440 relays; Scat Springs, state high hurdles winner; Hal Miller, shot and discus champion; and John Mather, unequaled distance runner, are among his champs at D-B.
"It [induction in the Hall of Fame] was humbling and a little embarrassing. Many others were just as deserving. I thought of all the great athletes I'd had and former co-coaches and feeders from Sevier and Robinson. The success of the program was a blend of good coaches and great athletes," Crowe said.
His poetic side likewise has its roots in his home county. When Crowe was a student at Elizabethton Junior High, he won the Carter County Essay Contest. "That whetted my appetite for writing," he said.
Later, with a degree in English from ETSU, he turned his attention, as writers do, to the place he knew best - rural Carter County. Growing up in the Horseshoe community, "in the meander of the Watauga River," Crowe said, he found his subject.
His first publication, "History of Siam Baptist Church,'' his home church, "came from so many interesting stories in interviews," he said.
There he found his method. "I lean toward oral history. One story leads to another."
Gathering local history, thus, became Crowe's way, resulting in such regional histories as "Old Town and the Covered Bridge'' (1977), "The Horseshoe People'' (1981) and "Old Butler and Watauga Academy'' (1983).
All the time, squeezing the essence of the oral tradition, Crowe began to create poetry. "I don't know why. I just like words and want poetry to tell a story, not hide a story," he said.
Along with his narrative poetry, recounting East Tennessee lore and including his own observations, he focuses on universal themes in verse, "Poison Ivy Entangles the Sweet Apple Tree,'' for example.
From his coaching side, he also has made poems, rich in metaphor, about distance runners, discus throwers, shot putters and pole vaulters. "I don't know how it happened, but in the ‘70's so many athletes were allowed to compete after a long period of denial, and I was thinking like them: Ain't victory sweet?" he said.
Crowe, further, has been the consistently respected colleague of faculties and the beloved teacher of hundreds of students. Teacher of the Year every year for many students in his Local and Regional History Classes, he won many awards including an Excellence in Teaching presented by NBC and the Carnegie Foundation, particularly for his now legendary World War II History Days.
His students likewise, competing statewide and nationally, were recognized. "I emphasized primary source material,'' he said.
My own daughter, Crowe's student in the late ‘70s, for her history project, directed by this master teacher, borrowed a gas mask from Bud Edward's antique collection, interviewed a veteran of that war to keep the world safe for democracy and learned more than any textbook could have taught.
"Coach Crowe was so kind and so funny!" she recalls. "A man of few words. You listened when he spoke."