A lifelong resident of Youngstown, Dee was born the third of seven children to William and Mary Jennings. She is a 1962 graduate of Youngstown City Schools and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Youngstown State University in 1968.
Dee is the mother of her son De Wayne Jennings and her stepdaughter, Joan Crawford. She is the widow of Boyd C. Crawford, the grandmother of three and the great-grandmother of two.
Following her education, Dee held a number of positions throughout Youngstown. She has worked as a youth leader for the Associate Neighborhood Centers, A group leader with the Mahoning County Juvenile Court, and a Caseworker for the Mahoning County Welfare Department. She has also held the position of Director of Planning and Allocations for the Youngstown-Mahoning Valley United Way, the Minority Coordinator for Youngstown State University’s Center for Urban Studies, and the Director for the Mahoning County Department of Job and Family Services and Child Support.
Dee is a fixture throughout the community serving on numerous committees and boards including Mahoning County Children Services, the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, East Ohio Gas Roundtable, Human Services Advisory, the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County and as President of the Youngstown State University Board of Trustees and many others.
Through her involvement in the Youngstown community, Dee has received a number of awards and recognitions. She has received honors from Keep Hope Alive Academic Achievement, the State of Ohio Senate, the Athena Awards and was once named the YWCA Woman of the Year.