Bob Crowell remembered at Carson City ceremony
Hundreds of people gathered at City Hall to pay their respects to Carson City Mayor Robert Crowell who died early Saturday.
The mayor was transported from Reno and the procession, escorted by Carson City police and fire personnel, stopped in front of City Hall Saturday afternoon.
The mayor’s family gathered there and received a wreath from the Board of Supervisors and city staff, and the flag that was lowered as part of the memorial service.
A bells ceremony was held to honor Crowell, a Vietnam veteran and retired U.S. Navy captain.
“Bob was a gift to everyone,” Deacon Craig Lagier, chaplain, Carson City’s Sheriff’s Office, told those gathered. “He was the kind of person who when he didn’t even agree with you would listen to you.”
Crowell is survived by his wife of 49 years, Susan, and their four children, Brad, Caroline, David and Todd, and two grandchildren.
Crowell was first elected mayor in 2008.
“I took office on Jan. 5, 2009, just at the time the great recession was starting to kick into high gear,” Crowell said during his final state of the city address earlier this year. “The downtown area started to look bleak with the many closures. Some people told me they saw tumble weeds rolling down Carson Street.”
To weather the downturn, the city budget was reduced $10 million and staff by 12 percent. Then in 2011, three guardsmen and one civilian were shot and killed at the local IHOP restaurant, which Crowell said shook the community to the core.
Once the economy recovered, some of Carson City’s biggest public projects were constructed during Crowell’s tenure, including the $10 million downtown revitalization project, which narrowed Carson Street in the downtown core and built McFadden Plaza. The project earned him the 2015 DeBoer Award for Distinguished Leadership by an Elected Official from the Nevada Chapter of the American Planning Association as well as the Robert Broadbent Distinguished Service Award from the Nevada Chapter of the American Public Works Association.
The road work continues now with the South Carson Street project, funded in part with a $7.5 million federal grant that Crowell helped secure during two trips to the White House.
In 2016, when the downtown project broke ground, two major facilities were completed, the new animal shelter on Airport Road and the Multi-purpose Athletic Center on Russell Way.
Other projects launched under Crowell’s leadership were the $30 million rehab of the Water Resource Recovery Facility on 5th Street and the $32 million water pipeline from Minden to the Quill Water Treatment plant.
Crowell was born in Tonopah in 1945 and raised in Carson City. He earned his undergraduate degree in economics from Stanford University in 1967 and his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Hastings College of the Law in 1973.
Crowell’s law practice focused on government relations and legislative affairs and he is included in the Nevada Lobbyist Hall of Fame and received the State Bar of Nevada Presidential Award and served as president of the state bar.
He was retired from Kaempfer Crowell, a statewide law firm.
Crowell served in many ways over the years, including 11 years as a Carson City School Board trustee, twice as the board’s president; as a gubernatorial appointee to the Colorado River Commission, twice as its chairman; and on the boards of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce, Northern Nevada Development Authority, and the Rotary Club.
As the Carson City Board of Supervisors representative he also served on Nevada Association of Counties Board of Directors, the Board of Indigent Defense Services, and as the president of the Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities.
Crowell closed out his state of the city address in January with a sailor’s salutation he often used.
“Thank you again for the honor and opportunity to serve as your mayor,” Crowell said. “May our community always be blessed with fair winds and following seas.”
Tributes to Mayor Robert Crowell
“I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell. A native Nevadan, Vietnam Veteran, family man and dedicated public servant, Mayor Crowell truly embodied what it means to be a Nevadan. It would be impossible to overstate just how much he meant to his neighbors and all of the families in our state capital. Throughout his life, Bob served Nevadans with honesty and integrity, whether as president of the State Bar of Nevada or president of the Carson City School Board of Trustees. His work earned him multiple honors, including the Robert Broadbent Distinguished Service Award from the Nevada Chapter of the American Public Works Association the Participatory Democracy Award for 2018 from the Nevada Association of Counties and the State Bar of Nevada Presidential Award recognizing a member whose conduct, honesty and integrity represents the highest standards of the legal profession.” — Gov. Steve Sisolak
“I am deeply saddened to learn of Bob’s passing today. As a Vietnam Veteran, retired Navy Captain, and dedicated public servant with a lifetime of achievement, Bob served our country, the State of Nevada, and Carson with dignity, integrity, and honor. Bob was one of Carson’s and Nevada’s finest, and my thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time. He will be sorely missed.” — Congressman Mark Amodei.
“Mr. Crowell was a great man, a Veteran, a well respected attorney, and he served Carson City and the State of Nevada with the utmost integrity and grace. His professional and political accolades are too many to list, but we’ll mostly remember him for his friendship, compassion and thoughtfulness. Our thoughts are with Bob’s wife, Susan, and his children and grandchildren during this difficult time.” — Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve
“On behalf of Carson City, I extend condolences to the family of Mayor Bob Crowell who passed away earlier today. The Mayor’s family, his fellow Board members, City staff and all the residents of Carson City will undoubtedly miss him dearly. Between the Carson City School Board and the Mayor’s office, Mayor Crowell served 23 years in public service in the community he grew up in. He will be remembered for his leadership and dedication to the City he loved so much. Mayor
Crowell, who often referred to himself as the ‘Mayor of the greatest City in Nevada’, was a dedicated public servant who led Carson City through the great recession and promoted downtown redevelopment, all while working hard to build a wonderful community in which to live, work and play. We hope everyone will continue to celebrate his life and all that he accomplished for our great city.” — City Manager Nancy Paulson
“This is a very difficult time for Carson City. The passing of our
Mayor, Robert Crowell, is devastating for our citizens and for me as his successor. I know that in a few short months I will have to fill some very big shoes and I can only hope I live up to his lofty expectations. Bob Crowell was everything you would want in a Mayor. Compassionate, energetic, thoughtful and yes, authoritarian, when the situation called for it. Bob was a man of the people.” — Supervisor and Mayor Elect Lori Bagwell
“It is a sad day for the Capital City. Mayor Bob was the finest
person I have had the privilege of working alongside. He lived and breathed Carson City, was Carson’s best cheerleader and advocate. On top of that he was a truly honorable and humble person and I am so appreciative of having him as the Mayor these last twelve years. He will be missed so much it is indescribable.” — Supervisor and Mayor Pro Tem Brad Bonkowski
“Our community has suffered a great loss. Mayor Crowell was
such a statesman, and so dedicated to this community and its citizens. Carson City is a better place because of Bob, and we will miss him deeply.” — Supervisor Stacey Giomi
“Mayor Crowell was a good politician and a great mayor who
served his community well.” — Supervisor John Barrette
“I have known Mayor Crowell for 18 years and have always appreciated his kind nature and ability to bring people together even in a time when there is so much unrest. He served as my Chamber Chairman of the Board between 2006-2008. He shepherded this city through one of the largest redevelopment projects ever and made us all #CarsonProud. This mayor will be long remembered for his grace and dignity and will be sorely missed.” — Ronni Hannaman, executive director, Carson City Chamber of Commerce