Jameson Crane, philanthropist and businessman, dies at 95

Jameson “Jim” Crane Sr., former director of Crane Plastics, died Wednesday at his home in Bexley.

Crane, 95, ran the family business from 1992 until his retirement in 2003 and is the namesake of the Jameson Crane Sports Medicine Institute at Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University. The institute was established in 2016 with a $ 10 million donation from three generations of the Crane family, known to be local philanthropists.

“I can’t imagine a better community partner than the Crane family in general, and Jameson in particular,” said Dr Christopher Kaeding, executive director of sports medicine at the institute, earlier this year, according to an article. of Ohio State University on the five activities of the institute. -Birthday. “Their partnership and generosity is at the heart of our ability to expand this program and make an impact in so many lives. “

Born March 14, 1926, Crane was a graduate of Ohio State in 1947 and his obituary describes him as “adored for his awesome charm, good looks, loving and fun personality, sportsmanship, and genuine pleasure for all people in whom ‘he has encountered. throughout life. “

Crane met his 59-year-old wife, who died in 2007, Ann Burba Crane, while she was in college. They married in 1948 and had four children together.

He remarried five years ago to Laura Dehlendorf. His two older siblings, Betty Crane Wayman and Robert “Bob” Crane Jr., and their spouses predeceased him, including his sister-in-law Loann Crane, a well-known philanthropist, who died in November at the age 96.

In 1947, Crane’s father, Robert Sellers Crane, founded the Taytec Corporation, which became Crane Plastics. Crane began working there in 1960; the business is now run by members of the third and fourth generation of the family.

Throughout his life, Crane served the community by serving on several boards of directors, including those of the United Way, St. Alban Episcopal Church, the Columbus School for Girls, and the Nationwide Children’s Hospital. He and his wife Ann have traveled the world, playing golf, in their later years.

Crane’s family lost everything during the Depression as a child, according to his obituary, and that shaped his life and was a big reason he was committed to helping others.

“It had a big effect on my dad,” said his son, Michael Crane, 68. “One thing it did for Dad, it had a big impact on his modesty knowing that your fortunes can change at any time.

“Both my Uncle Bob and my dad, that got them to be pretty conservative in their outlook.”

Michael Crane said the Elder Crane was a wonderful father.

“It’s pretty amazing, so many people have told me over time that he is one of the nicest people they have ever met,” he said. “He really helped create such a wonderful culture, by being so caring.”

Tanny Crane, President and CEO of the Crane Group, was the niece of Jameson Crane.

“Her legacy is, I would say, her concern for our associates more than anything else,” she said. “He never forgot a name, ever.”

She said that in the community he was the most charismatic and caring person we’ve ever met.

“He was a bit of the old school. He believed everyone deserved a chance. He believed in everyone’s good,” she said.

Even after he finally retired in 2003, he entered the office every day until the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Tanny Crane joked that his name was the CMO – “The Chief of intervention, ”she said.

“It has been invaluable to all of our associates,” she said.

Jameson Crane attended Upper Arlington High School, where he played football, basketball and track and field. He enlisted in the US Navy after graduating in 1944, then moved to the state of Ohio at the end of World War II. There he played football and held the title for three years, according to his obituary.

Former Columbus Mayor Greg Lashutka said he has had a connection to Jameson Crane since they both played soccer in Ohio state.

“He was one of the best guys ever. He and his brother Bob were two patriarchs who made Columbus great,” Lashutka said.

Lashutka said he sought advice from Crane while in public service and in private.

“He understood right and wrong. He understood what hard work meant,” he said.

Arrangements are being made by the Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Service and a memorial service will be scheduled in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations in Crane’s memory from the Columbus Foundation’s Gifts of Kindness Fund; the episcopal church of Saint-Alban; or a charity of the donor’s choice.

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