Leon M. Crowl was born in Scott, Kansas on October 8, 1937 and died of natural causes at his home in Port Townsend on April 9, 2019. He lived in Coos Bay, Oregon as a young man, studied German, music and creative writing in Los Angeles at University of California, served in the USAF, worked for Southern Pacific Railroad in San Francisco and eventually found his way back to the Northwest where he felt most at home.
He bought his first Hasselblad in 1965 and that quickly launched an interest in photojournalism, including travel and documentary. Eventually, nature and environmental interests inspired by such artists as Ansel Adams and the West Coast School of art photography became a major focus and continued to evolve over the decades with explorations into color and digital collage incorporating past and present work. He was able to show his work in both solo and group exhibitions on the West Coast including San Francisco, Carmel, Eugene, Portland and Port Townsend.
He moved to Port Townsend and started doing business as Studio Seven in 1983. His first location was on Sims Way and shortly thereafter opened Studio Seven frame and photography studio on Lawrence Street. This remained his business until his death. Poor health limited his abilities to continue framing but he loved his routine, morning coffee, lunch from Aldrich’s and continual work with new ideas. He was well known for his finely crafted photography and established many long lasting relationships with artists through his framing and photography printing business. He was respected for a job well done and is missed by the Uptown community, those who knew him and were familiar with his work.
A new tree is planted in front of the Studio Seven building as a tribute to his years of service to this community, his love of music and the arts. Some of his photographs were donated to the Jefferson County Historical Society, Port Townsend School of the Arts and the annual Edensaw Community Cancer Foundation.
He was predeceased by his mother Kathryn Nottingham and father Wayne Crowl.