With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around him, James "Jim" Crandall was a blessing to those around him. He was a true jokester who loved making others laugh, and his zest for life was contagious to all who were near. A loving husband and father, there was nothing that was more near and dear to Jim's heart than spending time with the ones he loved. A longtime resident of the community he loved, he was a stranger to none and a friend to all. Deeply loved, Jim will be forever missed.
The 1950s were an exciting time in America. Elvis Presley became a household name in the world of music while James Dean and Marilyn Monroe entertained us on the silver screen. Rosa Parks had sparked the flame of civil rights, and by the end of the decade we had welcomed Alaska and Hawaii as our 49th and 50th states. Amidst this eventful time was a time of great excitement in the lives of Joseph A. and Janice M. (Carpenter) Crandall as they were blessed with the birth of their first child, a son they named James L. on April 3, 1952, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was the oldest of the Crandall children that grew to include his eight siblings, Judy, Joseph, Jack, Jeff, Jerry, John, Jennie, and Jeanne. While growing up Jim enjoyed things like playing with the neighborhood friends, going fishing, riding bikes, and playing basketball. He was a student at local schools including South Side High School where he ran track for a few years.
New and exciting changes were in store for Jim when he met the young woman who would forever hold the key to his heart. Her name was Karen Yoder, and they met in Decatur while he was hanging out with some friends. There was an attraction between them that neither could deny, and it didn't take the couple long to fall in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Jim and Karen were married on May 30, 1970, at a Methodist church in Decatur. Together they welcomed three daughters, Amy, Carrie Anne, and Kristy, into their hearts and home. Tragedy struck the family when Carrie Anne passed away as a baby. By the time Amy and Kristy were teenagers, Jim and Karen made the decision to move from the south side of Fort Wayne to rural Whitely County in the mid-eighties. The girls weren't too sure about this and were convinced that they lived in the middle of nowhere!
Some of Jim's favorite memories were made while taking his family on vacations every year. He also enjoyed camping. Always the jokester, Jim was known for telling his family quite the story when he took them out to Coney Island in downtown Fort Wayne. As his story went, he was friends with the owner, which is why they were allowed to just walk through the back door, through the kitchen, and into the dining area. Eventually, Jim's family realized that anyone could enter the same way and began questioning his story. Later in life, Jim was filled with unspeakable joy to become a grandfather to his four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Throughout his life Jim was always doing something. He was known for his strong work ethic in everything he did including in his career. Jim worked in some various jobs including Dehner Construction. The bulk of his career was spent working at Food Marketing in Fort Wayne for 34 years before retiring in 2004. Always joking around, Jim had a nickname for his friends and coworkers. He liked fishing, golfing, and "farting around" in his garage. Jim was a proud member and former officer of Teamster Local 414 as well as a member of the American Legion, Post 241 in Waynedale.
Although James Crandall experienced so many of the best things that life has to offer, nothing was better than being surrounded by the love and companionship of his family and friends, especially around their pond. Quick witted and kind, Jim was the sort of person everyone wanted to be around. Life will never be the same without him here, but he leaves behind a timeless legacy that his loved ones will proudly carry on his footsteps. With a giving heart, Jim made the choice to help others in his death and donated to the Lion's Eye Bank to help two people have better vision.
James "Jim" L. Crandall, 66, of Columbia City, Indiana, passed away at 6:07 p.m. Friday, July 6, 2018, at Parkview Regional Medical Center. Survivors include his wife, Karen Crandall; daughters, Amy (Jeff) Centers, and Kristy (Heath) Willson, of Columbia City; sisters, Judy McGuire, of Defiance, OH, Jennie "Lu" (Bruce) LeSure and Jeanne (Tim) Doehrman, both of Fort Wayne; brothers, Joseph (Kathie) Crandall, of Van Wert, IA, Jeff Crandall, Jerry (Becky Pratt) Crandall and John Crandall, all of Fort Wayne; grandchildren, James and Heather Centers, Sydney (Andrew Gordon) and Haley Willson; and a great-granddaughter, Luna Sue "Luna Tuna." Jim was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Carrie Anne Crandall; and brother, Jack Crandall.
Visitation is 2-8 p.m. Thursday, July 19, 2018, at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Friday at the funeral home with Pastor Steve Johnson officiating. Burial will follow at Broxon Cemetery. Memorial gifts may be given in his memory to his family, the American Heart or American Diabetes Assoc. Visit www.demoneygrimes.com to send his family condolences online.
Amy, Jeff and family:
Our deepest sympathy to all of you. May God's love be with you. Treasure your memories.
Jack & Jane Helton
So very sorry to hear about Jim. He was like a big brother to me as I grew up with the Crandall family. God Bless the Crandall family I miss you all. Bryan Doreen Black Kennewick, Washington.
We are so very sorry for your loss. Chuck has so many fond memories about his cousin. Although we live in Ohio, Jim and Karen’s visits were always a treat! We pray all the good memories and the love of family will help you though this time. It’s not goodbye. It’s see ya later. Love to all the Crandall family. We love you. Chuck, Diana Gilliam and family.
Karen and family you are all in our thoughts and prayers❤️Many wonderful memories throughout the years. Love, Craig, Shelly, Connor and Rachel Hoffman
Karen and Crandall family praying for peace and comfort during your time of grieving. Sorry for your loss from the Lytle Family.
Karen,Amy & Kristy,& Jim's family. WE wanted you to know we have many fond memories. & good memories of the gatherings we had. Many times he always made us laugh! WE are thinking of all of you & praying this loss will get easier in time to come. He no longer suffers in terrible pain . love Ginny,Bruce & Annette
Fathers Day 2018
Dad... Words can never describe how much you will be missed and how much I love you. You left us with a lifetime of wonderful memories. You are always in my heart ❤❤
Until we are together again...
We have so many memories of a long and happy friendship. Janis & jack
May each of you find courage to face tomorrow as you rest in the knowledge that we truly care about each of your needs and that we will walk beside you in your journey of grief.
Randy Grimes, Brett Gerber and the Staff of DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home
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