Published by Vassar-Rawls Funeral Home & Crematory - Lewiston, Idaho
David Freeman Crane, 90, passed away Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012, at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston.
Dave was born July 4, 1921, on a small farm two miles northwest of Winchester. He was the ninth and youngest child of Frank and Jessie Adams Crane.
He attended school at Winchester and graduated from high school in 1940. In spring of 1937 he enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps and spent the summer at Camp F-109, French Creek, east of Riggins, on the Salmon River and returned to school in the fall. He worked at the Winchester Mill after high school for one year.
In 1941, after the start of World War II, he went to an aircraft mechanics trade school in Burbank, Calif., and worked for a short time for Lockheed Air Craft Corp. in Los Angeles. Later he was transferred to Boeing Aircraft in Seattle and continued to work there until going on active duty as an aviation cadet. Upon completion he received his commission and pilot's wings at Luke Field, Ariz., and shipped out to Oahu, Hawaii, flying P-40 pursuit planes. He later transferred to flying B-25 medium bombers, flying combat missions from the Gilbert Islands in the south Pacific to the southern Japanese island of Kyushu and Shanghai on the mainland of China. He flew with the 48th Bomb Squadron. Citations received in combat included Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Presidential Citation and Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal and four Bronze Stars.
In 1942, Dave married Gladys Samsel in Tacoma and together raised three children until her death in 1962. He married Lola Decicio; they later divorced.
He married Nettie Zellerhoff Burnett in 1982 and resided in Lewiston until his death. He was employed by Lewiston Plumbing Heating and Sheet Metal Co. as service manager. Later by Hughes and Company in Spokane and returned to Lewiston and worked for Material Distributors for 11 years and retired in 1984.
Dave was a gardener, a builder, a carpenter, a plumber and could fix anything. He will be remembered for his famous sourdough waffles, his Tom and Jerry batter, haircuts for the kids and grandkids and mostly for his love of his family.
Dave loved the mountains, nature and animals. In 1983 he set up a mobile home on property in the Redbird area of Waha. He cleared the land and some trees and set up a spring water system. He enjoyed his retreat and his many interesting experiences there. Dave was an active member of the Orchards Christian Church. He was also a life member of the Elks Lodge.
Dave is survived by his wife, Nettie; daughter Gladys and Bill Scrimsher of Colville, Wash.; sons David E. and Colleen of Culdesac, and Rick and Coralee (Cookie) of Lewiston; his extended family, Rick and Linda Burnett of Lewiston, Ann and Kelly McEachran of Albuquerque, N.M., Kathy and Jim Christianson of Vancover, Wash., Kelli and Jim Brigham of Cleveland, Tenn.; 10 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and seven step-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Jessie Crane; infant brother Alfred; brothers Bill Crane, George Crane and Kent Crane; sisters Martha Norbo, Ester Pflugrath, Virginia Steever, Lou Hayward and Alice Barnett-Warren.
Viewing will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday and funeral services are at 1 p.m. Saturday at Vassar-Rawls Funeral Home, 920 21st Ave, Lewiston. Burial will be following the service at Normal Hill Cemetery, 1122 Seventh Ave., Lewiston. Reception to follow at St. James Church, 1519 Ripon, Lewiston.
The family suggests memorials be made to the Orchards Christian Church, 731 Warner Ave., Lewiston or the Winchester Museum.