Cardy was educated in the Radnor Township School District, attended Williams College earning a B.A. in English, and Johns Hopkins University receiving a M.A. in English Literature. He was a natural learner of people and cultures as he and his wife of 33 years traveled across the world’s seven continents. He especially relished the quirkiness of life, and his intellect and quick wit were boundless.
In his 32 years of work in the Radnor schools, Cardy taught English, creative writing, humanities, integrated studies and gifted education. But these were merely course titles. What he really taught were young people, mostly middle and high school, and he spent time throughout the district helping all students find sheer pleasure with written and spoken language. He was a story teller who could mesmerize even 7th graders, and all of this work with students led him to his professional writing.
The genre adolescent literature is sometimes called the problem novel. The challenge for the writer is how to navigate readers through teenage turmoil while instilling moral conviction and personal responsibility. Cardy thought, I live this every day, I should be able to write about it, and he did. The first draft of Bad Fall was completed in one month. It was picked up by Harper and Row and was a resounding success winning a New York Times Outstanding Children’s Book of the Year award. Three other adolescent novels followed and received rave literary reviews from the New York Times, The American Library Association, and the Horn Book to name a few. His Young Adult novels were translated into five languages.
Mr. Crawford also wrote travel articles that were published in The Chicago Tribune, and the Miami Herald. National Public Radio selected one of his short stories to be read aloud on Thanksgiving. He was honored to be asked to write the libretto for a cantata Of Arts and Elements for mixed choir, trumpets, piano, percussion, and strings, specially commissioned to dedicate the new Radnor High School auditorium and performing arts complex.
Taking a break from writing, Mr. Crawford was an accomplished artist, his oil and watercolor paintings frequently appearing in juried shows at Yellow Springs and Notre Dame Academy. He was a past Board Member of the Radnor Memorial Library and the Radnor Historical Society. In 2006, he was honored to be inducted in the Radnor Hall of Fame.
Cardy was someone with few constraints but always there was direction and purpose. There was humor that left you reeling, and intellect that drew on so many sources it caused one to ponder, “How did he know that?” There was no end to his need to explore and create, and always in some way to share and give back. But most memorable of all was that twinkle in his eye and his mischievous grin.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to The Radnor Historical Society, The Finley House, 113 West Beech Tree Lane, Wayne, PA 19087; or Doctors Without Borders, PO Box 5022, Hagerstown, MD 21741-9804.
A Celebration of Life service will be Monday March 6, 2023, 11:00 AM at Wayne Presbyterian Church, 125 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, PA 19087.
Followed by a reception in the Chapel.
Parking in the Public Lot behind the church is free for the service.
For anyone unable to attend the service, there is a live stream link provided below.