Thomas R. Crank Sr.; 77
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Fitchburg High teacher/Athletic Director
FITCHBURG -- Thomas R. Crank Sr., 77, retired longtime Fitchburg High Teacher and Athletic Director, died Tuesday, March 12, in the Highlands Long term Care Center, surrounded by his loving family, after a long illness.
He leaves his loving wife of 55 years, Mary E. (Connolly) Crank; two sons, Thomas R. Crank Jr., of Westminster, MA, and his daughters, Ashley Crank of Westminster and Cayla Crank of Fitchburg, and Kevin M. Crank, and his wife, Nikole, of Winchester, VA and their two sons, Scott T., and Simon M. Crank, both of Winchester; one daughter, Patricia A. Comiskey, and her husband, Peter, of Fitchburg, and their children, Kelsey M. and Kyle Comiskey, both of Fitchburg; two brothers, Benny Crank, and his wife, Janice, of Bear Creek, NC and Lane Crank, and his wife, Satoe, of Huntington Beach, CA; and many loving nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and cousins. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend to all.
Thomas was a 1955 graduate of Dublin High School, Texas. He then served in the U.S. Navy, as a Hospital Corpsman HP3 in CA, from 1955 to 1958, where he met his wife, Mary.
He began his education at West Texas State College, where he majored in Secondary Education and Physical Education. He later earned his Master's/CAGS from Fitchburg State University.
In 1962, Thomas began his long career in teaching and coaching. First, he taught Physical Education and Science at Summitt School in Amarillo, TX, then on to Price Catholic High School, where he coached football, basketball, and track. He also taught Physical Education, Biology, Algebra, and was a Guidance Counselor. After moving to Fitchburg in 1967, he began teaching Biology at Fitchburg High School. In addition, he was the assistant football coach, under Marco Landon, for many years. He later would be appointed Athletic Director for the Fitchburg School System. He also coached Football at Fitchburg State University. In addition, he was President of the Fitchburg Teacher's Association. During his teaching career he was a member of the Mass Teacher's Association and Mass Athletic Director's Association.
Thomas loved to spend his extra time in his woodworking shop, where he put his skills to work. During this time, you could find his craftsmanship at the Settle Shop in Townsend, MA.
After retirement, Thomas spent the next ten years bringing joy to children all over New England. During the Christmas season, he took on the role of Santa in the Malls of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. He and his wife, Mary, enjoyed their vacation home in Wells, ME. He loved sitting on the back porch, reading in the sun, taking his grandkids to the beach, eating lobster, or just enjoying their time together. He enjoyed taking long rides, fishing, hunting, listening to country music, watching football, playing games, and spending time with his family.
He was born in Stephenville, TX, on August 15, 1935, a son of the late Eugene V., and M. Leola (Patton) Crank.
The family would like to extend their gratitude and special thanks to both the Highlands in Fitchburg for their loving care and support during his stay, and to the Manor on the Hill, for their loving service and care.
CRANK -- His Funeral will be celebrated on Saturday, March 16, from the Smith-Mallahy-Masciarelli and Fitchburg Chapel of the Sawyer-Miller-Masciarelli Funeral Home, 243 Water St., Fitchburg, with a Mass at 11:00 a.m. in St. Anthony di Padua Church, 84 Salem St., Fitchburg. Interment will be at a later date in the Massachusetts Veterans Cemetery in Winchendon, MA. Calling hours at the Funeral Home are on Friday, March 15, from 4 to 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Groden Center for Autism, C/O Kayla Kelly, 610 Manton Ave., Providence, RI 02909 or may be left at the Funeral Home. See www.masciarellifamilyfuneralhomes.net for further information.
Smith-Mallahy-Masciarelli Funeral Home
243 Water Street Fitchburg, MA 01420
Published in Sentinel & Enterprise on Mar. 14, 2013