By Jennifer Decker
The Guest Book is expired.
FREMONT — Kenny Crandall delighted in pulling pranks on people like when Jimmy Carter became U.S. president. As longtime Fremont postmaster, Kenny put peanuts in mailboxes to commemorate Carter's election.
That humor was one of many things Kenny was well known for in addition to integrity, community service, sincerity, decency and readiness to lend a hand. His family said his biggest legacy was leaving heart prints around his beloved little town of Fremont.
Kenny, 85, died May 30, 2014, at Parkview Regional Medical Center, Fort Wayne.
He was appointed Fremont postmaster in 1965 retiring 25 years later in 1990 after 25 years. As postmaster, he ran the show doing a little bit of everything from writing a budget to sorting mail.
"Dad thoroughly enjoyed his 25 years as postmaster and liked interacting with the town's people," said his son-in-law, Scott Tsuleff, in the eulogy the family wrote. "He weighed babies on the scale and brought home live animals that came in the mail until the owner could get them. We had chicks, ducks and even a baby alligator, which mom wasn't too thrilled about."
Kenny was born in Fremont Feb. 18, 1929, to Robert and Izora (Bressler) Crandall.
Kenny graduated from Fremont High School in 1947. He then joined the U.S. Marine Reserves in 1946. From 1950-52, he proudly served with the 1st Marine Infantry Division during the Korean War and was in the drum and bugle corps. Kenny credited his years in the Marine Corps in shaping his character. He remained an active reservist into the 1960s. Kenny was a 62-year member of the Fremont American Legion Post 257, where he served as a past commander and with the honor guard.
"He served in the honor guard. He leaned against a wall to shoot his gun," one of his daughters, Lori Crandall, said, adding he was unable to stand.
After the service and more than 60 years ago, Kenny and June married. Their three daughters are Suellen Crandall, Lori and Jenneth Tsuleff. They also have three grandchildren.
"He loved people and he couldn't work at a job without them," June said, adding Kenny once had the chance to move with his family to Cleveland and turned it down, not wanting to leave his Fremont hometown. "The Marines taught him he could do anything he wanted to do."
And that he did.
Kenny shared greatly in the lives of his daughters and grandchildren attending their school functions. He built the family's home in 1962 teaching his daughters to use power tools for projects.
"I'll remember him for always being there," Jenneth said. "We were all girls and he went to Brownies. He never missed our events or my children's even though he had to drive to Fort Wayne."
But nothing seemed to upset Kenny.
"Nothing ever seemed to rile him," said Suellen. "I'd break a part on the tractor and he'd say, 'OK.'"
Kenny served as a longtime member of the Steuben County Council from 1991-2002. Upon his retirement he was the only Democrat ever elected to that position. His family said it never mattered what the political party of others was, he enjoyed mingling with everyone.
A lifetime Fremont resident, he was a past president of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce and chaired the Fremont Bicentennial Committee in 1995. He was a member of the Fremont Planning Commission and the Fremont Historical Society.
June said Kenny had his bucket list that included a wish to go on a hot-air balloon ride. That wish was granted on his 80th birthday, which he delighted in. June said the balloon's pilot graciously accommodated Kenny and his mobility issues.
Memorials may be made to the Fremont United Methodist Church or the Fremont American Legion Post 257 Honor Guard.
Published in KPCNews on July 6, 2014