We’ve received word that lifelong Highland Park resident Margaret Crow died Friday evening. Through C. Pharr & Co., her family issued the following obituary:
Margaret Doggett Crow, wife of Trammell Crow, the Dallas-based commercial real estate developer and the founder of the Trammell Crow Company and Trammell Crow Residential, died April 11, 2014, at approximately 7 p.m. She was 94.
Born in Dallas on May 17, 1919, Mrs. Crow was the only child of prosperous Dallas merchant E. B. Doggett and his wife, Lillian. She was a proud graduate of the Hockaday School for Girls, class of 1937. Margaret tragically lost her parents at the early age of 19 when they were killed in an automobile accident traveling home to Dallas after a visiting her at the University of Texas.
After a Hockaday-sponsored tour of Europe, she and her classmates were part of an event that made history at the beginning of World War II. On Sept. 3, 1939, the SS Athena was torpedoed and sunk by the Germans off the British coast, and Margaret and her friends had to be rescued from lifeboats hours later as they drifted in the Atlantic.
Margaret and her husband, Trammell, a commissioned naval officer, were married on Aug. 15, 1942. Shortly thereafter, Trammell began a career in commercial real estate that would eventually lead to the creation of the Trammell Crow Company, which became the largest diversified commercial real estate company in the United States and the world. Margaret and Trammell had a wonderful family of six children. As Trammell grew the business, Margaret excelled in her many roles as hostess extraordinaire, friend, civic leader, mother, and wife. Together they attended state dinners at the White House as the guests of five different presidents. They welcomed many world leaders, foreign dignitaries, business associates, and close friends into their home throughout the years. Impressively, Margaret had only one phone number for the entire 94 years of life and lived in only two homes three blocks apart in Highland Park.
She and Trammell traveled the world, going to remote and exotic places. Be it to China in the 1970s or sailing to remote Greek isles, hiking in Canada or deep into Africa, they were always up for adventure and exploration. The world was their oyster.
While much of Mrs. Crow’s work went unpublicized, one of her most notable achievements was also her favorite. Stemming from their mutual love of travel, Mrs. Crow and her husband developed a passion for fine foreign art and made numerous acquisitions during their frequent excursions around the world. Having developed a particular appreciation for Asian art, in 1998 the Crows made it possible for the public to enjoy their substantial collection by dedicating the Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art. The museum is located in the Arts District of downtown Dallas near the Dallas Museum of Art.
Mrs. Crow was also active throughout her life in supporting a variety of charitable, civic, and educational causes in Dallas and abroad. At various times in her life, she served on the University of Texas System Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee, the University of Texas College of Fine Arts Advisory Council, the University of Texas College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Council, the Hockaday School board of trustees (life member), the Texas Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra board, and the Visiting Nurses Association board. Mrs. Crow was also a member of the Highland Park United Methodist Church, the Junior League of Dallas, the Dallas Woman’s Club, the Dallas Garden Club, the Founders Garden Club of Dallas, the Daughters of the American Colonists, and the Daughters of the American Revolution.
“If but one word could be used to describe Margaret it would be ‘lady,'” said Jim Carreker, a former CEO of Trammell Crow Company and Wyndham Hotels and a longtime family friend. “She embodied every aspect of the word; she was educated, gracious, and tirelessly supportive of her family and her community. Margaret will surely be missed, but just as surely, she will never be forgotten.”
Mrs. Crow was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, Trammell Crow on Jan. 14, 2009, and her oldest son, Robert Crow, on April 16, 2011. She is survived by five children: Howard Crow; Harlan Crow and his wife, Katherine; Trammell S. Crow; Lucy Billingsley, and her husband Henry; and Stuart Crow and his wife, Shirley; daughter-in-law Nancy Crow; 17 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
A public memorial service is planned at the Highland Park United Methodist Church, at a date and time to be determined. The Crow family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Margaret and Trammell Crow Chair for Alzheimer’s and Geriatric Research at Southwestern Medical Foundation in Dallas, the Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, or the Hockaday School.