Donald Francis Crane II, a charismatic gentleman best known for the unconditional love he had for his children, died on Oct. 30, 2018, after a 10-year battle against multiple cancers in Charleston, South Carolina. He was 61.
Born with ordained independence in Waterbury, Connecticut, to Don and Jeanne Crane, he traded his senior year at Kaynor Technical School for a military adventure in Germany in 1975. As a sergeant in the Air Defense Artillery, he routinely spied across enemy lines and at one point was caught by a local farmer where he proceeded to charm his way back to safety, but only after a few nips of the local schnapps.
He preferred books over movies and comedy over music. He earned a pilotís license, a black belt in karate and was an expert marksman. His best defense, however, was his captivating smile and his charming personality. Always the life of the party, he commanded the room by his engaging energy and handsome looks. He could get away with saying anything to anyone. He used these assets to build his company, DC Marketing.
He had a restless and mysterious soul, claiming home in Seattle, Washington, Greenville, South Carolina, and in his happiest place, on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho, where he owned the Avalanche Bar and Restaurant in downtown Sandpoint.
Life is not what you build for yourself but how you react to what you canít control, and Don showed his true character during his battle against cancer by never giving up, denying the pain to the extent possible, and shielding his family from the agony he held inside.
He is predeceased by his father, Donald Francis Crane Sr.; and his grandparents, Alfred and Gertrude Crane, and Homer and Cecile Bernier. In his wake he leaves behind a large, heartbroken family, including his mother, Jeanne Bernier Derwin of Gainesville, Georgia; his children, Jessica Richard of Munich, Germany, her partner Michael Hillenbrand and their children Mila Maria and Juna Rosa, Donald Francis Crane III, and stepsons, Zachery Crane and Joshua Crane, each from Greenville; his siblings Jeff Crane, his wife Diane, four children and two grandchildren, Tim Crane, his wife Vicki and two children, Kevin Crane, his wife Rose, four children and six grandchildren, Jeanne Blanchard, her partner Mark, three children and eight grandchildren, Michael Crane, his partner Rebecca and two children, Tricia Thomas, her husband Johnny and four children, Peggy Calvani, her husband Chris and two children; his stepmother Patricia, Lenti-Crane; as well as several cousins and hundreds of good friends.
In lieu of flowers, contributions toward funeral expenses can be sent to a fund at gofundme.com/donald-crane-funeral-expenses. Please leave contact information for an invitation to a forthcoming celebration of Donís life to be held in Sandpoint.