Remembering A Life – And Its Lessons

Remembering A Life

Johnny Crawford was born on March 26, 1946.

A superior actor of TV, stage, musicals, and movies, he’s best known as Mark McCain, the son of “The Rifleman”.

A champion in several rodeo categories, his roping skills delighted and amazed fans throughout his life.

He served honorably in the Army from December 1965 – December 1967.

A versatile and talented singer, musician, and orchestra leader, he worked diligently to amass an unrivaled collection of original orchestrations from 1920’s and 1930’s music.

Along with all of his public accomplishments, he was a beloved son, brother, uncle, husband, and friend.

In his final years, he battled Alzheimer’s before he stepped into eternity on April 29, 2021.

Remembering A Life’s Lessons

I wasn’t fortunate to meet him in person, but I want to emulate some of his qualities:

— He pursued his dreams. He took his God-given talents and worked hard to achieve excellence.

— He gave his time, money, and talents to enrich the lives of others.

— The stories shared by people who knew him recount his joy and kindness and loving spirit.

The final lesson is perhaps the most important, and universal, reminder of all:

Regardless of how tragic the end is for someone, for every person I admire and lose, I must focus more on how they lived than how they died.

Because if I focus more on how they died, I choose to lose who they were while they lived. Their joy, their kindness, the love they showed to others.

And losing a person in that way, is the greatest tragedy anyone can suffer in this life.

So today, on the anniversary of his birth, I remember Johnny and how he lived.

And I’m so grateful he did.

Who do you want to remember, and what did you learn from them?

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Joni Vance is an award-winning author of fiction, essay, and poetry. She loves mystery, history, and how God reveals Himself every day.


May God reveal the mystery of His love in your life story.

4 thoughts on “Remembering A Life – And Its Lessons

  1. Nice post, Joni. Great lessons in his life for us all.

  2. I learned a lot through Laura Ingalls Wilder “Little House Books”. But who I would like to remember the most is her mother (Ma). I was taught “mothering advice” through what “Ma” said in Laura’s books. Things like “lest said, soonest mendest.” Or, “There is no great loss without some small gain.” She taught Laura and… therefore me… to— work hard, don’t take hand outs, do your best, dress nicely for the occasion, educate yourself, and be kind and thoughtful of others. And although she had very little money and security, and had to deal with a husband who constantly moved the family to follow his dreams, she had a firm faith in God that He would provide and she gave in to her husband’s wishes.

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