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Published: Tuesday, 9/2/2014 - Updated: 3 months ago

James Crandall: 1936-2014; Firm leader built homes in Oregon and Toledo

BY RONEISHA MULLEN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
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James Marvin Crandall, a home builder and former member of the East Toledo Rockets and Toledo Barons hockey teams, died Saturday. He was 78.

He had been in declining health for the last five years, his wife, Joanne, said.

About age 13, Mr. Crandall went to work for the family business, Roy Crandall & Sons, started by his grandfather. Mr. Crandall took over in 1987 and renamed the company Crandall Builders.

The family built hundreds of homes in the Oregon and Toledo areas, including the Eggleston Meinert & Pavley Funeral Home.

He retired in 2001.

“In Oregon, you can’t go down a street that doesn’‍t have a home they built,” Ms. Crandall said. “If a home was Crandall built, it’s going to say it in the real estate listing. They took pride in what they did.”

Mr. Crandall was born July 3, 1936, in East Toledo to James S. and Julia Crandall and graduated from Clay High School in 1954. There, he played sports, including hockey.

After high school, he played for the East Toledo Rockets and Toledo Barons, a traveling hockey team, and later he played in recreational leagues.

“He grew up near Pearson Park, so as soon as the ice was solid, they were on it,” Ms. Crandall said.

“Once he got older, he played slow puck hockey with some of his buddies. And boy was it slow,” she said, laughing. “A bunch of old guys thinking they could still skate like Wayne Gretzky. That was something to see.”

Before his health started to decline, Mr. Crandall would serve one weekend a month in the Army Reserve.

Many of his other weekends were spent at car shows. An avid automobile racing fan and member of the Placers Car Club, he collected classic cars and spent many hours restoring them.

“Any classic Chevy or Buick you can think of, he probably had it at some point,” Ms. Crandall said. “It was a release for him, from all the work he did.”

Mr. Crandall was very social and had a large circle of friends, Ms. Crandall said.

“No matter where we lived, there was always somebody calling or stopping by to talk to Jim,” Ms. Crandall said. “He just had a bubbly personality.”

Surviving are his wife, the former Joanne Hecklinger; daughters, Joanne Wamer and Julie Ryan; son, James Crandall; stepson, Zoltan Ivan; sisters, Janet Romstadt and Jeannine Wilbarger, and six grandchildren.

The family will receive visitors from 2 to 9 p.m. today at Eggleston Meinert & Pavley Funeral Homes, Oregon Chapel. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the funeral home.

The family suggests tributes to the Toledo Humane Society or Planned Pethood.

Contact RoNeisha Mullen at: rmullen@theblade.com or 419-724-6133.



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