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Richard Lawrence Crews (July 11, 1937 - March 7, 2012) was born in Greenwich Village, but grew up in Scarsdale, NY. Richard excelled at school, graduating from Williams College (magna cum laude, 1959), and Harvard Medical School (1963) with a specialization in psychiatry. After Harvard, he first discovered the S.F. Bay Area during his residency at Letterman Army Hospital. A few years later an opportunity to become Chief of Psychiatry and Neurology pulled him and his new family--wife Joyce and step-daughter Bess to Fort Bragg, NC. In 1971, he returned to the beauty of the Bay Area (now with a family of three including his newborn son Andrew) where he spent most of the rest of his life.

Living in Mill Valley, Richard continued to practice psychiatry, but gradually found he had lost faith and interest in what he called "western medicine". Over the next decade, he explored alternative medicine. He worked with the Creative Living Center, and took a major roll at the Wholistic Health and Nutrition Center. At WHN, he practiced wholistic health, taught nutrition and developed courses on nutrition at several educational institutions. During this time, he also discovered and mastered homeopathy, which was a passion of his for the rest of his life. In 1978 he co-founded, and was president of Columbia Pacific Univ. in San Rafael. In addition to guiding CPU's course as a growing business and university, he wrote study programs, policy manuals, reports and evaluations for legislation in higher education. He would remain with CPU until it closed in the 1990's, after losing a long battle with the state on what was then a radical, non-traditional method of education.

Richard had a very active retirement. He moved to Texas for a few years, and worked with the First Millennial Foundation studying self-sufficient living practices in SEE-1, Space Environments Ecovillage (as part of the first step towards colonizing the solar system). In 2004, he moved back to the Bay Area to be close to his son, Andrew. Here his retirement was filled with projects, including acting, singing, tutoring, blogging about the world, and in 2010, he worked on the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury. He is survived by his son, Andrew, former wife and later close friend Joyce, step-daughter Bess and sister Dorothy.

There was a memorial gathering June 9, 2012 from 2-4:00 PM at the Homestead Valley Community Center, 315 Montford Ave in Mill Valley.

  • Published in Marin Independent Journal on June 6, 2012

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