At Home With Jolane & Kevin Crawford

Posted July 18, 2014

“Live well. Laugh often. Love much.”

Those are the words inscribed above the family room in the La Costa home of Jolane and Kevin Crawford. They are not just words the Crawfords read every day; they are words they live by. Kevin, the longtime Carlsbad Fire Chief, now heads up the United Way of San Diego County, led a capital campaign for Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, and has served on the boards of many nonprofits. The Salvation Army recognized Jolane, the director of business development and client relations for Schubach Aviation, as a 2014 Woman of Dedication for her philanthropic work.

Their comfortable Tuscan-style home is decorated in a rich palette of gold and burgundy with faux finishes throughout and photos everywhere of their “blended” family — what Jolane calls the Brady Bunch — her two sons, his two daughters, now all in their 20s, along with three grandchildren, and another on the way. Jolane and Kevin met in 1992 when their children were in elementary school together. Many years later, they reconnected, and bound by “a history of trust,” eventually married.

Kevin

The staircase of the Tuscan-style home leads to a billiard room decorated with sports memorabilia

They love casual barbecues with their family, gathering around the outdoor fireplace and kitchen, with a dining table that seats ten. Upstairs, a home theatre is in the works, and there’s a billiard room decorated with sports memorabilia and jerseys from such athletes as former Padres All-Star Adrian Gonzalez and former Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer. Jolane helped to raise funds for the nonprofit Jammer Family Foundation to benefit a variety of causes.

Philanthropy is a bond the Crawfords share and believe in deeply. Now the high profile leader of the United Way, Kevin regards the 100-year-old organization as “the integral agency that is tackling some of the great social ills that we all face,” including education, sustainable income, health, and homelessness. “We see ourselves,” he says, “as the ones who bring people together.”

Kevin

The dining room is often filled with the Crawfords’ four grown children and three grandchildren

Jolane, meanwhile, is especially committed to children’s causes, foremost among them, Rady Children’s Hospital, San Pasqual Academy for foster youth, and Promises2Kids, which works to prevent child abuse and neglect. “Anything that has to do with children, that’s where my heart is,” she says.

Kevin believes that “particular events” in life compel people to give back, to make communities better today, and for the generations to come. That pivotal event for him was 9/11. In the wake of the terrorist attack, he led a task force to New York City to aid in recovery efforts. Surveying “the whole mass of destruction,” he recalls,
“I was actually stopped in my tracks. I was overwhelmed with this great sense of vulnerability. I didn’t feel safe in my country.” At the same time, he also felt a deep appreciation for those who have come before, those who have fought and died, to secure our nation’s freedoms.

Kevin

Jolane and Kevin Crawford at home in La Costa

Ever since that experience, Kevin has come to believe that our country and our community only get better because of those who give “above and beyond.” When Jolane and I are done living on this earth, I want us both to say we really seriously made this place better for the next generation.”      Andrea Naversen

Kevin

The expansive outdoor living room is the focal point of family entertaining

Photography by Vincent Knakal