Robert D. “Bob” Crane, age 85 of West Lebanon, died at 8:00 a.m. EST on Friday, November 21, 2008 at Lafayette Home Hospital.
Bob was born in Attica, IN on June 8, 1923. He was the son of V.O. and Irene (Julian) Crane. He was raised in East Chicago, Indiana and graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1941 and entered army service on February 25, 1943.
Bob was sent to Camp McCall in North Carolina where he became part of the 188th Glider Infantry Regiment, which was part of the 11th Airborne Division. This division was later converted from glider troops to paratroopers. The 11th Airborne took part in the invasion of Leyte in the Philippines and helped secure this island. They then took part in the liberation of the island of Luzon and the Philippines capital of Manila. After the Philippines were secured, the 11th Airborne was sent to Okinawa where it prepared for the invasion of Japan. When the Japanese surrendered, the 11th Airborne were among the first troops to occupy Japan. After attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant and serving three years, Bob was discharged January 6, 1946.
Bob married Barbara J. Cassel on November 2, 1947 in Crown Point, IN. She survives. After the war, Bob became part owner of the Carbondale Tavern in the 1950’s. He then worked for the Indiana Department of Revenue. He was appointed Postmaster in West Lebanon where he retired in 1990. He was a member of the Trinity Presbyterian Church West Lebanon and sang in the choir. He was a member of the West Lebanon Lions Club and the Retired Postmasters. He enjoyed bird watching, gardening, and working in his yard. Bob was an avid sports fan. He especially loved his family.
Surviving with his wife, Barbara, are, 3 children, Leslie Claypool (husband: Gary) of Lafayette, IN, Robert Joel Crane (wife: Leigh Ann) of Lapel, IN, and Lindsay Crane (wife: Rachael) of Covington; 3 brothers, Billy J. Crane (wife: Barbara) of Lafayette, Ronald Crane (wife: Norma) of Williamsport, and Phillip Crane (wife: Mary) of Lafayette; 5 grandchildren, Angela Sewell (husband: Gary) of Gotha, FL, Deborah Leser (husband: Larry) of Greenwood, IN, Robert Lloyd Crane of Ball State University, Isabella and Gabrielle Crane of Covington; 5 great-grandchildren, Ryan, Travis, and Elijah Leser, Nathan Service, and Kaitlyn Sewell. Bob was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Daniel and Timothy Crane.
Visitation will be at Grady Funeral Home in West Lebanon on Sunday, November 23, 2008 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. EST. Services will be there in the chapel on Monday, November 24, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. EST with Rev. Roger McDaniel officiating. Interment will be at Rainsville Cemetery with full military honors. Memorial contributions may be made to the Trinity Presbyterian Church West Lebanon.