Dorothy Naylor-Crowder

Naylor-Crowder, Dorothy Virginia

May 3, 1923 – March 14, 2019


Dorothy died peacefully in her sleep on the afternoon of March 14, 2019 at the age of 95.   

Dorothy is survived by her ten children and step-children, together with their spouses:  Eric Naylor and Katherine Garant, Ann Naylor and Nancy Sanders, Mark and Donna Naylor, Lisa Naylor and Lori Bielefeld, Craig and Danielle Crowder, Roland and Faye Crowder, Don and Cheryl Crowder, Lynn Crowder and Peter Neice, Bruce and Lucie Crowder, Keith and Penny Crowder.  Dorothy is also survived by fourteen grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren and several other children who have called her “Grandma Dot” over the years.  Dorothy’s family also includes her siblings and their spouses Don and Elaine Vanstone, Grace and Ed Lee, JoAnne and the late Bob Vanstone, as well as her treasured Lee, Hird and Vanstone nieces and nephews.

Dorothy was pre-deceased by her first husband William (Bill) Naylor in 1972 and her second husband Wayne Crowder in 1979 as well as her second child, who died soon after birth in 1952.  Dorothy’s parents were Perry and Mildred Vanstone. She loved them deeply and cared for them both for many years prior to their deaths in 1992 and 2001.

Dorothy Virginia Vanstone was born in Windsor in 1923 and grew up in Walkerville. As a teenager, she moved to a farm in Essex with her family. She attended business college and then at the age of twenty enlisted in the military.  Dorothy served her country, with the rank of Leading Aircraft Woman, in the Royal Canadian Airforce Women’s Division between August 1943 and April 1945.   Although the Second World War was a time of great loss, many of Dorothy’s fondest memories and most cherished friendships developed during those years. She appreciated having the opportunity to travel, to learn about her country firsthand, and to experience many adventures while living on the east coast of Canada.

After returning to Essex and her beloved United Church Young People’s group, Dorothy married Bill Naylor in 1948. Together they raised their family while she supported him in his business.  After being widowed in 1972, Dorothy loved and married again in 1976 to her long-time friend Wayne Crowder, welcoming his children into her life.

Dorothy remained deeply invested in her large family and keeping up with everyone’s lives until the very end of her life. She had a keen mind, a memory for detail, a love of poetry and correct grammar.  Friends and family alike, have appreciated Dorothy’s generosity, her inner strength and her deep abiding friendship.  She volunteered for and gave generously to a variety of charitable organizations that served to mitigate the effects of poverty and to enhance people’s lives through camping, spirituality and cancer care.   She sponsored children overseas, supported new Canadian’s immigration efforts and worried about the environment long before it was more common for citizens to think and act globally.

Dorothy was a woman of faith who believed deeply in a loving and compassionate God. She also believed in social justice, recycling and the CBC!  In addition to her family, her great joys in life included the time she spent with her many dear friends, her involvement in the United Church, making music, playing Bridge, the taste of Vernors, and paddling a canoe.

During the last month of her life Dorothy was rarely alone as family and friends, young and old, came to spend time in her company.  Her eyes would light up in recognition and happiness every time a new visitor entered her room. She sometimes asked a visiting friend to say a prayer with her or just to hold her hand.  Dorothy leaves us rich in love, memories and values.  She will be greatly missed and remembered with love.  

The family wishes to thank June, one of Mom’s long time PSW’s for her care and very special friendship.  We are also grateful to the staff of Chartwell Royal Oak in Kingsville for their care.

Cremation has taken place.  A memorial service and reception will be held at Essex United Church on Saturday April 20th, 2019 at 2:00 pm. 

Donations in Dorothy’s memory may be made to GessTwood United Church Camp, The United Church Mission and Service Fund or The Downtown Mission of Windsor by contacting Reid Funeral Home & Reception Centre, 87 Maidstone Ave., E., Essex (519-776-4233).   Condolences and cherished memories can be shared online at