Loss of an Illustrious Member of the Roundtable

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dick Crews, one of the most prominent members of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable. Dick served as president of the Roundtable in 1998-1999, and he was the longtime moderator of the annual debate that now bears his name. But Dick was much more than that. For many years, Dick was a guiding force for the Roundtable, and everyone who joined the Roundtable prior to Dick moving away from Cleveland can rightly credit him with being welcomed into the group. Dick’s amiable encouragement was the impetus for numerous new members to become fully invested in the Roundtable, to become actively involved in our organization, and to willingly contribute to the Roundtable’s success through their efforts.

Dick Crews

Roundtable member William Vodrey, who succeeded Dick as moderator of the debate, wrote a memorial resolution to honor Dick. William read the resolution at the February 2023 meeting of the Roundtable, which, fittingly, was the 2023 Dick Crews Debate. Roundtable President Lily Korte and Roundtable Secretary Gene Claridge signed the resolution, which was adopted unanimously by the members in attendance at the meeting. The members in attendance then voted unanimously to accept a proposal by Mike Wells to change the name of the Dick Crews Debate to the Dick Crews Memorial Debate.

William’s resolution reads as follows.


WHEREAS Richard Reuel “Dick” Crews (1941-2023) has recently died, and

WHEREAS he was long a valued and integral member of this Roundtable, and

WHEREAS he served in a variety of roles in the leadership of this Roundtable, including as President from 1999 through 2000, and

WHEREAS he established the annual debate on Civil War historical topics which continues to this very day and will continue to do so, we hope, for many years to come, and

WHEREAS the aforementioned annual debate now bears his name, an honor which the membership decided upon by unanimous vote, and

WHEREAS he played a key role in seeing that women were welcomed into this Roundtable, not just as guests but as full-fledged members, despite strong opposition from some members, and

WHEREAS Dick’s bold laugh, good cheer, passionate love of history and dashing figure in blue wool always made his presence known, and

WHEREAS he leaves behind his beloved wife Barbara and his likewise history-loving son Clay, and

WHEREAS the members of the Roundtable now extend our heartfelt condolences and best wishes to his widow and son, and

WHEREAS we miss Dick Crews very much and wish to show our sincere appreciation for his memory,

NOW, THEREFORE, this memorial resolution is hereby adopted by unanimous vote of the Roundtable membership.

Done under our hands this 8th day of February, 2023, in the 247th year of the independence of the United States and the 158th year since the triumph of the Union in the War of the Rebellion.

The 2022 Roundtable field trip to the Shenandoah Valley: Dick’s last field trip
Dick is in the red jacket on the left end of the second row from the bottom.

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