Bill's life will be celebrated during a memorial service to be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Crookston, MN.
William Owen 'Bill' Crane, age 78, of rural Eldred, MN, and a former longtime Crookston, MN resident and businessman, died Thursday afternoon, May 16, 2013, at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks.
Bill was born on March 21, 1935 at Winona, MN, the son of William and Otelia (Quamme) Crane. As an infant he moved with his family to Crookston, where he grew up and was confirmed at the Evangelical Covenant Church. Bill's education began as a member of the first ever lst grade class at Eugene Field Elementary School. He graduated from Central High School with the Class of 1953. While in high school Bill played baseball and football, delivered newspapers in Sampson's Addition, and started working at Northern Hardware and Plumbing.
After graduation he continued his employment with Northern Plumbing, while also enlisting in the Minnesota National Guard. He served with the Guard from 1953-61, and was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant.
On July 25, 1959 Bill was united in marriage to Marilyn Yvonne Mellom at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Crookston. Their marriage was blessed by the births of two children, Dan and Diane.
Bill later began working for Associated Plumbing in Crookston. In 1965 he established his own business, Crane Plumbing and Heating. With Marilyn at his side, assisting as needed, Bill operated his very successful business until 1990. For the next five years he served as the Maintenance Supervisor for American Crystal Sugar in Crookston, before becoming Field Supervisor for Industrial Contract Services of Grand Forks. Very sadly, Marilyn passed away on August 16, 2007 after a lengthy illness. Bill retired from ICS in 2012 due to his own declining health.
He was a devoted member of Trinity Lutheran Church and a former president of the congregation. He was a member of the UMC Athletic Boosters, and a member and past president of the Crookston Jaycees and Chamber of Commerce. Bill was a 49-year member of Eagles Aerie #873, and belonged to the Crookston Masonic Lodge-Pierson Chapter, and Kem Temple Shrine of Grand Forks. As a young man Bill enjoyed racing stock cars. But after a rather serious crash during one of his races, Marilyn told him it was either "me or racing." Bill made the intelligent choice, and the result was a happy life. He also found a new way to channel some of his boundless energy by restoring early model Fords. Bill and Marilyn were both avid bowlers, and participated in a mixed doubles league together, while also bowling in their own leagues. Over the years Bill enjoyed golfing, deer hunting with friends, and company fishing trips to Caribou Lake in Ontario, Canada. Bill and Marilyn were very active in the Pirate Boosters and Blue Line Club, and for several years Bill worked the penalty box for Pirate Hockey home games; only locking his son, Dan, up once. Bill and Marilyn enjoyed traveling throughout the United States, while also making trips to Europe, Mexico, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. Bill's greatest joy was always his family. He was very proud of Dan and Brenda, and Diane and Rick, and enjoyed nothing more than keeping up with his granddaughters’ successes in sports and other activities. Bill had many great friends and he will truly be missed by all who shared in his life.
Loving family members include his son and daughter-in-law, Dan and Brenda Crane of Crookston, MN; daughter, Diane Crane, and her special friend, Rick Halverson, of Minneapolis, MN; three granddaughters, Elizabeth, Caitlin (fiance', Max LaCoursiere), and Madison Crane; two sisters-in-law and two brothers-in-law: Lois Miller of Oxbow, Sask., Canada, Carole and Bill Nelson of East Grand Forks, MN, and Ralph Mellom of Greenville, SC; and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
In addition to Marilyn, his beloved wife of forty-eight years, Bill was preceded in death by his parents, William and Otelia; and an infant brother. May God bless Bill's memory.
Bill's life will be celebrated during a memorial service to be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Crookston, MN, with The Rev. Jo Gast, officiating. Visitation with family will be at the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home on Tuesday from 5-7:00 p.m., with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service, and also at the church for one hour prior to the funeral. Interment will be in the Oakdale Cemetery in Crookston, with Military Honors provided by the Crookston Veterans Council.
Online registry: stenshoelhouske.com