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Serving up honors

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

Cemetery staff, outgoing chamber president among honorees at annual breakfast event

By William T. Perkins, Petoskey News-Review

Published December 11, 2019

PETOSKEY - The Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce recognized an array of contributions to the local business community — and the community in general—on Tuesday, during the annual Breakfast for Champions. About 500 people attended the awards breakfast, which took place at Odawa Casino.

Greenwood Cemetery and its staff received one of the program’s high-profile honors, the Chairman’s Award, in recognition of extensive archival work. Karl Crawford, superintendent of the Petoskey cemetery, accepted the award.

“You may be thinking ‘Why are we giving this award to a cemetery?’ But ... they are so deserving,” said Margaret Bowers, chairperson for the Petoskey chamber’s board of directors.

Karl Crawford accepts the Chairman's Award at the 2019 Breakfast of Champions (News-Review photo by William T. Perkins)

“Greenwood is a beautiful park that serves as a final resting place for many of our citizens, but it is much more than that.”

Crawford began scanning historical obituaries in 2005, and has been working with the News-Review for years to digitize its archive of newspapers and photos dating back to 1875. “One of my jobs is reading newspapers, so where do you start except in the 1870s?” Crawford joked.

“So, that’s where I started.”

He remarked that, while looking back through archival documents, he noticed that other communities from that time period often tried to be the “next Chicago,” or “next Detroit.”

“Petoskey just wanted to be the best Petoskey it could be, and Greenwood Cemetery has just wanted to be a part of that: Just being the best Greenwood Cemetery we could be,” he said.

Complete article can be found at

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