Colonel Robert Cranston went to Fiddler's Green on Sunday, Feb. 17. He peacefully slipped away in his home surrounded by those who loved him most. His death was the result of heart surgery at the UVA Hospital in November. He fought a long and courageous battle, but finally surrendered to the complications of the surgery. He will be sadly missed by friends and family and all whose life he touched so graciously. Bob was born in London in 1919 to George Cranston, a Scotsman fighting for the Canadian Forces and Louise, a nurse in the English Military Hospital, who died within 6 months of his birth from Tuberculosis. He was raised in South End on Sea and by age 14 had joined his father's family in Canada. He later followed his father to Fort Worth, TX and began working in radio broadcasting, eventually transcending to a career spanning several decades after joining the military in World War II
. Bob's exemplary military career began in the Texas calvary. Bob then enlisted in the Army
Signal Core and went aground at Normandy on Dday 2. After WW II, his military career focused on establishing The Armed Forces Network Europe. He also worked with US President Eisenhower as Press Secretary to form NATO in Paris and during his bid for the White House. He went on to spend his military career in The Armed Forces Television and Radio in Europe, Los Angeles, the Pentagon and New York City. Once retiring from the US Army, he continued the same work as a civilian at the Pentagon. In 1982, he retired from the Pentagon, moved to Smith Mountain Lake and realized his zest for life on the lake and the surrounding community. He became involved in local and state Republican politics. He served 6 years as the local county chairman for the GOP and several terms as vice chairman for the 5th Congressional District. He belonged to the Ruritan Club and was a charter member of The Bedford Humane Society and Military Officers Association. Bob often spoke to local historical societies, churches, and civic groups sharing his experiences. He served many years as President of the Lake Area Wine Club and enjoyed cooking and entertaining. He is survived by his wife of 19 years, Sandra Kaye Cranston, his sister, Pat Cranston of Seattle, WA., an aunt, Katherine Wylie of Oakville, Canada, daughters Elaine Rumana and husband Bob of Siesta Key, FL, Dr. Jennifer Burgart and husband Jay of Linville, NC., Marya Anderson and husband Matt, Lynchburg, and Elizabeth Young and husband Scott of Newport News, grandchildren, Carson and Maria Anderson, and many special friends and neighbors. He also leaves canine friends, Molly, Jake, and Cinnamon and Dander the cat. Also his comrades from the SHAPE Officers Association and the AFRTS blogs will miss his clever wit and vast stores of knowledge. The family will receive friends from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. At Burch-Messier Chapel, 1235 Walnut Street in Bedford on Thursday, Feb. 21, followed by a Celebration of Life at Saunders Volunteer Fire House on Friday from 3 to 5. Interment at Arlington National Cemetery will follow sometime in the coming months. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.burch-messier.com
. The family requests that donations in Colonel Cranston's honor be sent to Bedford Humane Society, 829 Ole Turnpike Rd, Bedford, VA 24523.