Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Richard Crane operated restaurants, camera shop

WWII veteran spent years researching genealogy

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HYDE PARK - Richard Sill Crane, a retired businessman and World War II veteran, died Saturday at the Dupree Community Center of complications from a head injury he sustained early last year. The Hyde Park resident was 84.

Born in Cincinnati in 1920, Mr. Crane grew up in Clifton and graduated from Hughes High School. He attended the University of Cincinnati before entering the Army at the onset of World War II. Serving as a captain with the Air Corps, he saw action in the Northern Solomon Islands, the Philippines and the Bismarck Archipelago in New Guinea.

He received four battle stars along with Asiatic Pacific and Philippine Liberation ribbons.

After the war, he resumed his education at Miami University, where he was a member of Sigma Chi and Omicron Delta Kappa. He graduated in 1946 and continued with the Air Force Reserves for many years, rising to the rank of colonel.

Mr. Crane worked in the sales departments at Procter & Gamble and Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Co. before moving to Cerro Aluminum Co., where he was made Cincinnati regional sales manager in 1962.

During the early 1960s he ran two downtown restaurants: The Coffee Shop, which was a breakfast and lunch business on the ground floor of the Cincinnati Bell building; and Lloyd's One East, a stylish eatery that was in the Provident Bank building, according to Steve Shanesy of Wyoming, who is married to one of Mr. Crane's nieces.

In another venture, Mr. Crane operated a camera store in Swifton Shopping Center.

In 1972, Mr. Crane's daughter, Sylvia Brooks Crane, 19, died when the tube attached to her respirator disconnected while she was in the hospital for treatment of a respiratory illness.

Two years later, Mr. Crane closed his businesses here and moved his family to the San Francisco area, where he was the publisher of two community newspapers. Over the Christmas holiday in 1974, his teenage son, Stuart, died in a scuba-diving accident.

Mr. Crane returned to Cincinnati about three years later.

He spent many of his final years researching his genealogy. Mr. Crane was a member of the Society of the Cincinnatus, an organization of members who can trace their ancestry to officers who served under Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Mr. Crane was a member and former governor of the Society of Colonial Wars, State of Ohio.

He was also a member of the English Speaking Union, the Madisonville-Madeira Lodge No. 419 F&AM and the Scottish Rite.

Survivors include his former wife, Nancy Crane of Nevada City, Calif.; and nieces and nephews.

The funeral is 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Calvary Episcopal Church, 3766 Clifton Ave. in Clifton. Burial will be in Spring Grove Cemetery after the service. Friends may call on the family at the home of Kit Anderson in Wyoming at noon Wednesday.

Memorials: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Development Office, 3333 Burnet Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio 45229-3039.

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Richard Crane operated restaurants, camera shop