It was always going to be on Mother Crane’s time. Right up until her passing, this remained true. Carol Virginia Crane was born on September 13, 1932 in Denver, Colorado to Herman and Wilma Gassert and passed away July 31, 2022. Carol grew up in Denver with her sister Marilyn and told amazing stories about her father “acquiring” milk for the girls during the Great Depression, hearing about the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and seeing the Beatles land at Stapleton Airfield where her father was manager. She graduated from Denver South High in 1950.
Eventually, she made her way to CSU, and we enjoyed her stories of how she would have to stop in Louisville to top off the oil in her car “Shasta” during her trips from Denver. (Shasta have oil, Shasta have gas…) Carol was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, and although she never graduated, this is where she met many lifelong friends.
She also met a young rancher, a Sig Ep at CSU, named Jack Crane. They were married in 1952 and split time on Robbers Roost Ranch in Medicine Bow, Wyoming and their home in Fort Collins where they raised their family. We can only imagine the adventures the two shared in their early married years.
There was also no shortage of friends and travels during these years. The kitchen and living room at the ranch was often full of friends sharing old stories and libations. These were many of our fondest memories as kids, and we are grateful to have had connections to so many families. The ranch was a staple in our family and Mom played her part to make it run. Most years involved a trip to wherever the Woolgrowers Convention was being held with friends and family. She also made a girls trip to the northeast, and visited Hawaii, Mexico, and Grand Cayman, to name a few.
After losing her beloved Jack in 1987, Mom had to reinvent herself. She prided herself on her independence.. Many evenings involved popcorn, an apple, M&M’s and whichever favorite show was on that night. She spent countless hours volunteering at PVH and enjoyed doing her part to help. She loved all things involving gardening and plants and had quite the green
thumb. In addition, Carol was a voracious reader and crossworder until her eyes failed her.
If we could say one thing about mom, it would be that she was fiercely family to a fault. She dedicated her entire life to raising her children and worked tirelessly to make each holiday special and meaningful. This was no small task as there were a lot of us. If she had a nickel for every rodeo, parade, horseshow, wrestling or tennis match, and countless other events she attended she, well, would have a lot of nickels.
She is survived by her children Frosty (Linda) of Elk Mountain, WY, Jeff (Lisa) of Wheatland, WY, Kimberly of Fort Collins, and Justin (Quincy) also of Fort Collins. Grandchildren include Steve Sterling (Scott), Mitch Deter, Ainsley Adams (Noah), Rachel and Wyatt Crane, and Jack Crane, four great-grandchildren, step-grandchildren Theresa DeWitt, Scott Hinkhouse and Carrie Lane, and the “adopted” Crane’s Fred Colter and Rhonda Cook Foley. She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Marilyn, “Cap” - her husband Jack, son Steve, and a son lost at birth.
We would like to thank the folks that took such great care of her at Collinwood Assisted Living, especially Reyna and Rebecca. Thank you. Thank you as well to the tireless folks at Columbine West.
Happy Trails, Mother Crane. We love you.
You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Carol Virginia Crane