Mourners will gather Saturday at St. Maximilian Kolbe Roman Catholic Church in Scarborough to honor and celebrate the life of Beverly Crawford, a co-owner of Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home and longtime bookkeeper at O’Donal’s Nursery in Gorham who generously gave to others.

She died Tuesday after a yearlong battle with cancer.

Mrs. Crawford was remembered by family and friends this week as a woman of quiet elegance, strong faith and fearless determination.

Almost 20 years after graduating from Old Town High School, she graduated with honors from the University of Maine in 1990 with a degree in accounting. She began her accounting career at a firm in Windham, and later worked in the corporate office for Amato’s. For many years, she worked as a bookkeeper at O’Donal’s Nursery in Gorham.

In 2001, the Crawfords purchased Conroy-Tully Funeral Home. There, she worked as an accountant and bookkeeper. She continued working for O’Donal’s on a part-time basis.

Her husband, Christopher Crawford, said Friday that she worked behind the scenes to make sure their employees were paid and contracts were honored.

“She was the glue that held this place together,” he said. “She was very even and calm. The employees loved her.”

Mrs. Crawford also took on projects including the funeral home’s annual holiday giving program and the annual Memorial Day outdoor Mass at Calvary Cemetery in South Portland.

“The Tully family distributed gifts to a lot of people in the community. Beverly continued that tradition,” her husband said. “She made sure each package was wrapped and they all had a bow. She had such attention to detail.”

Mrs. Crawford carried herself in that way through all aspects of her life. She was married to her husband almost 33 years. Together, they raised a son, Randy Ouellette of South Portland.

Her husband commented on her grades in college – she got A’s and one B – and her ability to juggle school, work and being a mother and wife. He said their home was always clean, meals were served on time, and their laundry was always done.

“I was the most blessed person in the world,” he said. “I can’t say I’m the easiest person to live with and she was the most gracious person.”

Mrs. Crawford was a regular at performances of the Portland Symphony Orchestra. She was also a passionate Boston sports fan and a season ticket holder of the Portland Red Claws basketball team.

“She was kind of shy and quiet, but when I took her to a sporting event, her true self would come out,” her husband said, chuckling. “If someone jumped up in front of her, she would holler at them to sit down. It was like she was a different person.”

Mrs. Crawford’s faith was an important part of her life. She was a longtime member of St. Maximilian Kolbe and a former Eucharistic minister.

“The power of prayer was a big thing in her world,” her husband said.

Mrs. Crawford’s faith sustained her throughout her battle with cancer. She was diagnosed with lung cancer less than a year ago. She had 12 rounds of chemotherapy and tried trial drugs.

Her brother, Leo LaPlante of South Portland and Sarasota, Florida, remembered the day they sat down to talk about her diagnosis.

“We sat in her living room,” LaPlante recalled. “She said, ‘There will be no more long faces or tears shed. I’m going to beat this thing and fight it.’ I admired her strength, her faith, and determination to accomplished obstacles.”

Her husband said she remained positive throughout her illness and worked until a few days before she died.

“She was not going to give up. She fought like no one I have ever seen,” he said.

Mrs. Crawford’s brother will deliver the eulogy during the funeral Mass. Her car will be in the funeral procession. In the back seat, will be her yellow Labrador retriever, Willow.

“Willow went everywhere with her,” her husband said. “When Beverly died, I said, ‘Give Mama a kiss.’ Willow did. She’s been lethargic after that.”

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