April 30, 1927 - July 11, 2022
Burial Date July 19, 2022
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Baptized into the hope of Christ’s Resurrection, Thomas J. Crane Jr., 95, passed away peacefully on July 11, 2022.
Tom was born in New York on April 30, 1927, to Thomas Crane and Rosemary Comaskey Crane. He is preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Sharon Crane; former spouse, Rachel Jennings Crane; a son, Timothy; and a daughter, Patricia. He is survived by his loving children: Thomas, Steven, Cynthia, Laura, and Matt; their spouses; his beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren; nieces; and nephews.
Tom dedicated his life in service to others and was always ready with advice or help. He loved getting to know people and knew everyone in his community.
A faithful Catholic and World War II Army and Air Force veteran, he spent 24 years in the Army and Air Force, serving in the latter as an aircraft navigator and intelligence officer. He particularly enjoyed being a navigator in B-52’s and other aircraft. He was devoted to his troops and prided himself on finding ways to get projects accomplished against the odds. He encouraged young people considering the military to go into the Air Force “because it was the greatest way to serve and there wasn’t anything you couldn’t do if you wanted to.”
He spent eight years as parish administrator at Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Aurora, Colorado. His proudest accomplishments included serving as one of the founders of St. Andrew’s House and the Queen of Peace Preschool, which he opened with friend and colleague, Geri Prager. He was also instrumental in the opening of Saint Simeon Catholic Cemetery, providing Catholics in the Southeastern Denver a place to lay loved ones to rest near to home.
Upon retirement from Queen of Peace, he continued his finance ministry with several Denver-area churches and religious communities that served the underprivileged. He used his skill in developing relationships to find creative ways to obtain historic property status to help communities maintain their beautiful buildings.
The Catholic Church recognized Dad’s service in 2000 when then-Archbishop of Denver Charles Chaput awarded him the Cross Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice, one of the highest honors the Pope can award to a lay person. It is given in recognition of sustained and exemplary witness to the Catholic faith and service to the church.
Tom was laid to rest at Saint Simeon Cemetery in Aurora, Colorado, alongside his wife, Sharon, and daughter, Patty. A Mass of Christian Burial was offered on Tuesday, July 19 at Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Aurora. The family suggests donations in Tom’s memory to Saint Simeon Cemetery by phone at (720) 943-6976 or by mail, 22001 East Highway 30, Aurora, Colorado, 80018.