Retired Champion International and International Paper Executive, Theodore Poole Crane, Jr. passed away peacefully on February 23, 2014 in Birmingham, Alabama after a long illness. He was 77. He was predeceased by his parents Theodore Poole Crane and Florence Morrow Crane, and Essie Porter Crane.
Mr. Crane is survived by his wife of 55 years, Barbara Adkins Crane, his son Theodore Poole Crane III (Tammy) of Montgomery Alabama, and his daughter Anne Lanier Crane Olmstead of Atlanta Georgia, and five grandchildren Tyler Patrick Crane, Travis North Crane, Frances Porter Crane, Patrick Ryan Olmstead, and William Crane Olmstead. He is also survived by his brother, Michael Lawrence Crane (Barbara) of North Carolina, many cousins, nieces and nephews in Birmingham, Montgomery, and throughout the US.
Mr. Crane was a graduate of Auburn University, June 1958 with a degree in Chemical Engineering. He served in the Army ROTC, and also attended the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He enjoyed a 45 year successful career with St. Regis Paper, Champion International, and International Paper when he retired as Executive Vice President for the company in 2000. He and his family lived in Suffern NY, Pensacola Florida, Jacksonville Florida, Stamford Connecticut, Newtown Connecticut, Greenville South Carolina, Waynesville North Carolina, and Birmingham Alabama.
Mr. Crane founded the Auburn University Pulp and Paper Foundation in 1988. He served as the first President and either as an officer or board member until his illness progressed in recent years. The Foundation has raised over $3 million and has awarded several hundred scholarships to students to the College of Engineering at Auburn University.
In 1989, Mr. Crane received the "Outstanding Alumni Award" from the College of Engineering at Auburn. He was elected and served on the Engineering Council in 1994. He received the "Distinguished Engineering Award" in 2003. He served on several boards including the Georgia Tech University Paper Research Foundation, Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI Fellow and former Chairman), Paper Industry Management Association (PIMA), West Florida Hospital, Junior Achievement, and was a Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow.
Mr. Crane was active at Canterbury United Methodist Church in Birmingham. He was a devout Christian and his faith was central to him. He served on the Church building committee, Church council, the Crawford Owen Sunday School class, and the Buddy Tingle Men's Bible Study class. He and his wife Barbara were always very active in their Church. While living in Pensacola, Florida they served as the Youth Group coordinators at First United Methodist Church for many years and were affectionately known as "Daddy and Mama Crane" to the entire Church and its youth.
Ted Crane loved his family and friends beyond measure. He was quick to smile and tell a story, and had much wisdom to share beyond his years. He was honest and true, and hard working. He would have done or given anything to anyone in need. He enjoyed traveling with his wife Barbara, and spending time with his grandchildren at the beach and at their home on the lake. He played golf, tennis, enjoyed time with friends, and loved Auburn football.
Visitation will be on Friday, February 28th at Canterbury United Methodist Church in Birmingham (Mountain Brook) from 10-11:30am in the Church parlor with a memorial service immediately following in the Church sanctuary at 11:30am. A private graveside service will follow the memorial service for family at Oakhill Cemetery in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Crane family would like to express their appreciation to the home health caregivers, Carla Harris and Gloria Powell who provided loving care and support to Mr. Crane during his illness. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Alzheimer's of Central Alabama (P.O. Box 2273, Birmingham, Alabama 35201), Canterbury United Methodist Church (350 Overbrook Road, Birmingham, Alabama 35213), and to the Samual Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University (345 West Magnolia Avenue, Auburn, Alabama 36849).