Ray Crane, 73, of Belgrade, passed away June 15, 2013 after a valiant battle with lung disease. He was born in Bozeman on New Year's Eve, 1939, to Marvin and Elsie (Callantine) Crane. He attended Bozeman schools and was a member of the first graduating class from Bozeman High School. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, proudly serving from 1958-1962. After working a short time in the Grand Canyon for the National Park Service, he returned to Bozeman where he resided (Belgrade) until his passing. A mechanic by trade, he worked various jobs over the years including owning and operating his own diesel repair shop for several years. He worked many years as a mechanic and shop manager at Allied Waste in Bozeman until his retirement. Some of his past and most recent passions included stock car racing at the Hub of the Valley Speedway, of which he was a founding member, camping on the Madison, NASCAR racing, and enjoying a cold brew with friends. His family became his most important passion and he dearly loved spending time with his children, grandchildren, and great-grand children.
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He was preceded in death by his parents, and brother, James. He is survived, and will be deeply missed by: his daughters, Ginger (Mark) VanOrden of Belgrade, Traci Crane of Lewistown, Deena Crane of Beaverton, Ore., Tanya (Pat Koelzer) Crane of Belgrade; son, James Crane of Belgrade; grandchildren, Cody VanOrden, Jessica VanOrden, Laci (Eric Bush) Crane, Bridget Crane, Brandon Shockey; great-grandchildren, Allie, Rori, Rodney, Dakota, Kagen; and caring friend and companion, Leah York and her children and grandchildren.
A service with full military honors will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 23, 2013 in front of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Sunset Hills Cemetery followed by a reception at the Lindley Park Pavilion.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from June 19 to June 20, 2013