Gary Curtis Crandall, 76, of Marinette, Wis., passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, after an over 20-year struggle with cancer and a complicating heart condition. He was born June 23, 1944, in Stanwood, Mich., in the lower peninsula, to Charles and Delma (Hollenbeck) Crandall.
Gary spent his early life on the family farm and was a graduate of Morley-Stanwood High School. He went on to attend the University of Michigan and transferred to Ferris State University where he graduated in 1968. In 1967, Gary was married to the former Sallie McDuffie of Big Rapids, Mich. Gary was a talented “jack of all trades” and before earning his teaching degree, he put himself through college working in maintenance in the Ferris dorms. He also spent a summer with the Michigan Highway Department, worked as the boss in a neighboring cherry orchard and after his marriage, worked with the Michigan-Wisconsin gas line. With his father, he built two houses for his oldest brother and later spent several summers building houses as a summer job during his teaching years. Carpentry was his second job for many years and he loved it and was good at it. Later, he shared his knowledge with his son-in-law and grandsons, working happily together on many projects. He’d also worked on construction on the High Falls flowage and later tended bar for 25 summers at Renee’s Dining Room (Popp’s), west of Crivitz, Wis., where he was affectionately known as “coach.” The couple had moved to Crivitz in 1969 when he accepted a teaching position at Crivitz High School. Gary spent a 33-year career as a math teacher and coach of football and track at Crivitz, retiring in 2002. He and Sallie had built a home in Marinette and moved from Crivitz in 2000.
Gary left retirement to teach at Marinette Catholic Central High School from 2002 until 2007. In 2002, he was appointed to the administrative council at Central and was in charge of the physical plant and student activities as well as athletic director. As part of the administrative council, he was a recipient of the prestigious Touhey Award from the Marinette Catholic Central High School Foundation. He returned to the now St. Thomas Aquinas Academy in 2011, again teaching math until illness forced his retirement. Gary was instrumental in developing the athletic partnership between STAA and Lena High School. He taught a total of 12 years at Central/STAA and completed a 45-year career in education. Earlier this year, Gary was a recipient of funds raised in an M&O Conference Volleyball cancer awareness fundraiser. This year STAA was given the opportunity to choose a designee and Gary, as a former M&O coach for Crivitz, was presented the funding award at a STAA/Crivitz basketball game. It was well known with some joking and good humor that Gary was a big fan of all Michigan sports, especially the Detroit Lions! He also recalled being scouted by the Tigers as a teenager. In his 20s to 40s he was an avid bowler and in league play at the Wausaukee Bowl after moving to Wisconsin and was an enthused golfer all of his adult years, winning several trophies until sadly, health prevented him from playing.
Gary is survived by his wife, Sallie; one daughter, Amy (Tom) Walk of Marinette; one son, Curt (Jasmine) Crandall of Oconomowoc, Wis.; four grandsons: Justin, Adam (Erin), Travis and Jason Walk; three great-granddaughters: Mirra, Marley and Maddie; two sisters-in-law: Agnes Crandall of California and Debbie Crandall, of lower Michigan; cousins and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his mother and father-in-law, Bonnie and Bill McDuffie; and siblings: Gordon, Herbert and Donald Crandall and Barbara Jean (Bill) Wilkinson.
A visitation will be held at Hansen-Onion-Martell Funeral Home on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, from 3 until 6 p.m. Due to Covid-19, use of face coverings and appropriate social distancing will be practiced. A memorial celebration of Gary’s life is being planned for early summer 2021.
Gary requested that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the DAV, PO Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301 or www.dav.org, or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Pl., Memphis, TN 38105, or www.stjude.org are suggested.