April 25, 1937 ~ November 6, 2023
Asheville, North Carolina
Resided in: Asheville, North Carolina
Samuel Jerome Crow, known to all as Jerry, can best be described with three simple words: true Southern gentleman. Friends, family, and acquaintances were all treated with the same quiet courtesy, generosity and deference that is the hallmark of the Southern gentleman. He followed the rules of civility and always walked a guest to her car, never sat down at the table until all the women were seated and insisted on walking on the street side of the sidewalk whenever he was walking with his wife. He had impeccable manners and was equally impeccable in his dress, always pressed and starched. He loved his country and often flew the American flag. He impressed these lessons upon his children and grandchildren, often with humorous results. Humor is another hallmark of the Southern gentleman, and Jerry always had a sly wit and a twinkle in his eye. He delighted his grandchildren with scary bedtime stories and often surprised them with outlandish costumes. He was a marvelous story teller and observer of those around him. Yes, Jerry Crow was a true Southern gentleman, and the themes of God, family and country were strong throughout his life.
Jerry was born on April 25, 1937, in Asheville, NC, to Dr. Samuel Leslie Crow and Elizabeth Mathews Crow. He grew up in Beaver Lake just a few blocks from the old Beaver Lake Golf course. His life-long love affair with golf began when he found a few old clubs belonging to his dad, walked over to the course and began teaching himself to play. He got help from other golfers and soon became a caddie and then Caddiemaster.
At Lee Edwards High School, Jerry played on both the golf and basketball teams. He then attended Emory University, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta. A fraternity brother asked Jerry to be part of his wedding in Coral Gables, Florida, and that is where he met the love of his life, Rosemary Laney. He was immediately smitten and made the long drive from Asheville to Coral Gables many times. When Jerry went to Wake Forest University Law School, he and Rosemary were married after his first year. After graduating and passing the Bar, he received his commission to the Judge Advocate General’s Corp of the U. S. Army. He and Rosemary set off for Fort Ord, California, on the Monterey Peninsula where they started a family with the birth of their son, Sam. Jerry was thrilled to find himself in “Golf Country”, with Pebble Beach and Cypress Point nearby. For three years, he had the joy of being a Marshall at the Crosby Pro Am Golf Tournament at Pebble Beach.
Despite his proximity to world-class golf courses and beautiful weather, Jerry’s heart called him home to Asheville. He remained in Asheville the rest of his life, growing his family with the birth of daughter, Leslie, and his private practice. His empathetic nature made him perfectly suited for the job, and his clients were grateful for his honesty, integrity and generous spirit.
He immersed himself in his community, family life and church. He served as President of the Buncombe County Bar and served on the Ethics Committee and the Disciplinary Hearing Commission of the North Carolina State Bar. He was President of the Young Democrats, on the Board of the Community Foundation and a member of the Rhododendron Brigade. Jerry often told the story of attending a Billy Graham tent revival as a teenager and how that event impacted the rest of his life. He and Rosemary joined Trinity Episcopal Church in 1967, where he served on the Vestry and as Junior Warden, as well as on the Search Committee for a new Rector. He became a lector and chalice bearer, also serving in these roles at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Delray, Florida.
Jerry loved the outdoors, whether he was sitting in a tree stand before dawn at Seniard Creek, watching the forest come alive and hoping a deer would appear, or taking photographs of the sun setting over his beloved Blue Ridge Mountains. Another favorite pastime was hiking with his family and enjoying a picnic on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Friendships were an especially important part of Jerry’s life, many of these coming from his passions for golf and hunting. He loved winter duck hunting excursions to Mattamuskeet and looked forward to the annual Labor Day dove hunt, where he was often joined by his son, Sam. As a member of the Biltmore Forest Country Club, Jerry co-founded the Jeff Sweetser Memorial Golf Tournament in 1995. Played every year on Memorial Day weekend, it has become a highlight of the club’s calendar. He also chaired the U.S. Women’s Amateur Tournament, a major national success for the Biltmore Club. He served as club president and on the Board of Governors. He also made sure each of his five grandchildren had a golf club in hand before they could walk.
Jerry’s grandchildren were the delight of his life. To them, he was “Pops”, full of mischief and fun. There were ice cream cones, made-up games like “pool balls”, and outings to Seniard Creek, where he taught them to fish and shoot skeet. He loved watching sports with his grand-children and competing in the family’s Fantasy Football League. He attended numerous games, recitals and matches, always beaming with pride and offering words of encouragement.
Jerry died peacefully on November, 6, surrounded by his beloved wife, children and grandchildren. Outside his window, a beautiful sunset colored the sky, reminding us of how many sunsets he had photographed. He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Rosemary Laney Crow, his sister, Barbara Crow Rivers of Charlotte, North Carolina, his children, Sam Crow and his wife Sharon of Winchester, Virginia, and Leslie Flanagan and her husband Patrick, of Charlotte, North Carolina, along with five adoring grandchildren, Houghton Flanagan, Laney Flanagan, Eliza Flanagan, Bennett Crow and his wife, Maggie, and Rosemary Crow.
A celebration of life will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, November 18, 2023 at Trinity Episcopal Church, Asheville, NC. A reception will follow in the church’s Parish Hall. Memorial gifts in honor of Jerry’s life can be made to Pisgah Legal Services, PO Box 2276, Asheville, NC 28802.
Groce Funeral Home’s Lake Julian team is assisting the family.