He was well liked and his ability to relate to people earned him the respect of professionals and adults. Back home in Cherokee, leaders in the community were approaching Mr. Crowe to run for Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in a few years. This vibrant Cherokee became a role model for other enrolled members
Mr. Crowe was killed instantly in an automobile accident on May 25, 1983 at the age of 36. His untimely death saddened the many people who loved and respected him. Although he is no longer with us, we want to keep his memory alive. We need to remember his life as a model for Cherokee enrolled members.
It has been a generation since Yogi, as he was known to all his friends, passed away. For someone who only lived 36 years, Yogi has certainly left a legacy that he never dreamed would happen.
Yogi, who was an enrolled member of he Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, grew up both in Sevier County, TN and Cherokee, NC, along with his siblings attended the Chilocco Boarding School in Oklahoma as a teenager. Yogi served in the armed forces during the Vietnam War and spent some time in that area of the world.
When Yogi was diagnosed with diabetes, he left the military, came back to Cherokee, and decided to further his education. After completing his bachelor’s degree, Yogi worked at several jobs but the desire for learning more was nagging at him.
Yogi applied and was accepted into the Master’s Program in Public Health at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Juggling work, graduate school and family responsibility wasn’t easy, but Yogi was not to be deterred. Yogi graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1982 and shortly thereafter became the Director of the American Indian Recruiting Program for the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. This job gave Yogi the opportunity to do what he wanted to do-encourage more Native American and especially Eastern Cherokee to attend graduate school.
Yogi was the driving force behind many Eastern Cherokees going to graduate school and finishing. His encouragements at many times kept students in school. Yogi was a person of many talents. He was an artist, good public speaker, mechanic and had the ability to work at many different jobs. At the time of his death, community leaders were encouraging Yogi to run for Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of
Cherokee Indians. Unfortunately, Yogi’s untimely death prevented this.
After Yogi’s death, some of his friends wanted to honor him in continuing the work he had started with encouraging tribal members to attend graduate and post-graduate school. The idea for the Richard (Yogi) Crowe Memorial Scholarship Fund was born and came into being in 1985. Never in his wildest dreams would Yogi have thought that the scholarship fund named in his honor would grow as it has and enable many tribal members to further their education.