HELLO, OCALA! Meet your neighbor: Amalia Kane-Crawford
Amalia Kane-Crawford at her Oak Run home in Ocala on Monday, April 3, 2023. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2023.
Adventure, thrills, terror, challenges, and drama are some of the words that might begin to describe the life of Amalia Kane-Crawford. Add to those words, world traveler, educated, creative, innovative, and accomplished and you will have a small insight into her life.
“God has literally saved my life so many times and gives me spiritual lessons,” Kane-Crawford said, then added, “Nothing happens by accident. There are supreme messages and purposes (in life) many of us don’t recognize or don’t understand.”
The southwest Ocala resident was born in Baltimore on Jan. 9, 1938, “on President Nixon’s birthday.” Her parents are of Sardinian and German descent. Her mother was an accomplished musician who taught in public schools. Her father was a volunteer fireman in addition to being a teacher in vocational schools and principal in the public school system.
Kane-Crawford’s parents had four children, all of whom are well-educated. Her brother Paul has a doctorate degree in forestry and is a retired colonel in the Army Reserves living in Buffalo, Wyoming. Her younger sister Gloria Albrecht, who lives in Detroit, holds a doctor of theology degree. Kane-Crawford has a twin sister, Roberta (Bobbie) Conti, who holds a nursing doctorate degree. She lives in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Kane-Crawford is a registered nurse, having graduated from the Bon Se Cours School of Nursing in Baltimore. She earned a master’s degree in health administration and has spent 69 years as a nurse, she proudly noted. She has held several prestigious positions in the nursing field over the years.
Kane-Crawford lived next door to and went to school with Richard Kane from the time she was 11 years old. They grew up and married and began a life of adventure. He was employed with Pan American World Airlines in a ground operations administrative position. Through their 30-year marriage, the couple had four children. Because of work promotions, the family lived in many areas of the world, including Paris; Guadeloupe, in the French West Indies; and the French Polynesian island of Tahiti. He also traveled to Liberia for a time.
Some of those places were pleasant, although challenging because of language and customs barriers, and it meant raising small children in sometimes scary situations with no relatives or friends nearby. Kane-Crawford estimates the family moved 14 or 15 times for her husband’s job transfers, first within the United States and then to foreign outposts.
He was usually busy and occupied at his job, while she was often isolated and caring for their children. In that time frame, government rules, languages, ways of life, schools, and foods were all very different cultures from the United States.
“I learned much in the different cultures. I like people and have an instinct with people,” she said.
Their four children include Julie O’Keefe, who lives in Newnan, Georgia, with her husband, Robert, and their two children, daughter Shannon, who lives in Colorado, and son Nicholas, who is a history teacher in Arkansas.
Son Sean Kane lives in Plantation, Florida, and is employed as a home inspector. His wife, Josephine, works for American Express. They have a daughter Kristina, who is an RN and lives in Plantation, and a son Matthew Kane, who lives in Hollywood, Florida and works for the U.S. Postal Service.
Son Paul Kane lives in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and is a manager for Federal Express (FedEx). His wife, Karolyn, is a manager for Wegman Foods. They have three children: daughter Lilliene Caskey of Myrtle Beach, North Carolina; son Logan of Philadelphia, and son Liam of Mechanicsburg.
Daughter Cynthia Provin, of Lighthouse Point, Florida, is married to Scott, who was on the University of Miami football team and now works as a bank recruiter. The couple has two boys, Zachary who works in technology in Boston, and Sean, who will graduate in May from Florida State University. Cindy, as she is called, was the only Kane offspring to be born outside of the United States, in Guadeloupe.
Rounding out the family are two great-grandchildren.
In Guadeloupe, the couple and their children were the only Americans on the island, where the inhabitants spoke French Creole. Kane-Crawford said she became aware of the dark world of the voodoo culture and said she was bodily threatened by the gardener, who screamed at and cursed at her, and threatened her life with a machete and that of the baby (Cindy) she carried. She said she was afraid for herself and her children and went to a library and took out a book on voodoo and studied it. Finally, out of desperation, she said, while he stuck his machete under her chin, she confronted the gardener to his face with a cross, a Bible, and the name of Jesus, and he fled.
They were in that country four years and at one time were without electricity for nine months following a hurricane. It was not an easy life in that locale.
After 30 years of marriage, the two divorced.
Amalia married Allen Crawford, and they had a 28-year marriage until his death in 2017. He had been employed as a special agent for the U.S. Department of Justice, investigating fraud in home nursing care in Florida within Medicaid and Medicare, and met Amalia, who at the time was employed as the director of nurses in a home care agency. They talked occasionally on the telephone about business for about 10 years during his investigations.
“He had a wonderful voice,” she said with a smile. They worked together professionally for nine years before dating, and then married.
Kane-Crawford moved to Ocala in 2019. Her children told her to pick a place she liked that would be central to all of them, and within easy travel to all.
“Ocala people are friendly,” she said.
She stays active in the community as an ambassador for the Elder Options program and is the recording secretary for the Oak Run Democratic Club.
“I want to help keep America a democracy,” she said. “There is more to living in America than party affiliations. I want to do what’s best for America.”
Kane-Crawford has written a book highlighting her exciting life stories and experiences, “Living in Multiple Worlds: My Reality,” which can be found on Amazon.com.