Bruce J. Crandall, 83, entered heaven’s gate on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. He passed peacefully surrounded by family. Bruce was born on October 4, 1934, at home in Fayette, Iowa. He was born to Grace (Swale) and Theodore Crandall. He was the middle child of seven children. Bruce graduated from West Union High School in 1953. He enjoyed playing football and basketball during high school. Following high school, he was employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, D.C. for a year. He began his college career at Upper Iowa University transferring to Iowa State Teachers College in 1956. Bruce served in the army and was stationed in Okinawa from 1958-1959. He was a proud graduate of the University of Iowa where he received a business degree (accounting) in 1961. In 1972, he earned a degree from the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin. Bruce’s banking career began at Merchants National Bank in Cedar Rapids in 1962. He joined First National Bank in West Union in 1964. He became President of FNB in West Union in 1985 and retired after 40 years at the bank in 2004.
Bruce believed in hard work. During high school he mixed cement, set pins at the bowling alley, had a paper route and delivered milk. In college, he worked on the third shift as a drill press operator at John Deere in order to pay for school. He was living proof that those who are willing to work can be successful.
On August 17, 1957, Bruce married his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Marjorie Ann (Foote). They were married for 60 years. They had four children: Jill, John, Jane and Jack. Bruce’s greatest love was his family. He was the perfect husband, father, grandpa, great-grandpa, brother, uncle and friend. He loved spending time with his family – especially the traditional trip to Potato Lake (and later Eagle Lake) each year. Bruce also enjoyed golf, spending winters in Orange Beach, Disney World, and watching Iowa Hawkeye football and basketball.
Bruce also had a huge heart for his country and his community. He proudly flew the nation’s flag in front of his house and often wore an Uncle Sam suit each July 4th in order to honor his country. Bruce served his community in many organizations, often taking leadership positions. He served as the City Treasurer for 14 years. He was the President of the West Union Country Club, member on the North Fayette School Board, a West Union Ambassador, a Lion, a Jaycee, a Mason, a Shriner, and a West Union Boy Scout leader. He was also a member of the West Union Industrial Development Corporation which was instrumental in bringing in new business and jobs to West Union. He was a member of the United Methodist Church and served as its treasurer for many years. In 1975 he organized a fund drive to build a new Methodist Church after the old church was destroyed by fire. Bruce received the Friend of Education Award for his work with Dollars for Scholars in 1988 and it was one of his most treasured honors.
Bruce had great vision and he wanted West Union to be an attractive place for young families to raise their children. He established an annual Kids’ Fishing Derby at Volga Lake in 1984. However, his proudest accomplishment was the West Union Recreation Center. Though many thought his idea for the park was insurmountable, he pressed forward. He negotiated to purchase the 40 acres that house the park in 1999. Today, the park is home to soccer fields, baseball fields, basketball courts, a walking trail, fishing lake, playgrounds and shelters where families can meet and enjoy one another. From his back deck or from his golf cart, Bruce loved to watch children and adults playing at the park. In 2000, Bruce was named as West Union’s Citizen of the Year for his vision of West Union in the new millennium.
Bruce’s loving family includes his wife, Marge, children: Jill (Art) Cox of Columbia, Missouri, John (Sue) of Apple Valley, Minnesota, Jane (Tim) Zuck of Appleton, Wisconsin, and Jack (Amy) of De Pere, Wisconsin. He had twelve grandchildren: Jordan (Ashley) Cox, Taylor and Carter Cox, Shaelee Crandall, Kate, Bennett, and Wilson Zuck, Jessie, Jennie, Josie, Michael and Max Crandall. He had four great-grandchildren: Carson, Blake, Lucas and Wilson Cox. He is also survived by brothers, Larry (Dianne) and Dean (Norma) Crandall and sister, Carolyn Russell, sisters-in-law, Sue Crandall, Florence Crandall and Donna Crandall, as well as, numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding Bruce in death were his parents, Grace and Theo Crandall; parents-in-law, Maxine and S.M.(Bud) Foote; brothers, Eldon, Ron, and Dan Crandall; sister-in-law, Marilyn Darnall, and brothers-in-law, Max Darnall and Robert Russell.
A celebration of Bruce’s life will be at 11:00 am on Saturday, December 16, 2017 at the United Methodist Church in West Union, Iowa.
Visitation will be Friday, December 15, from 5-7 pm at the United Methodist Church, West Union, Iowa and one hour before services at the church on Saturday.
Burial will follow at West Union Cemetery, West Union, Iowa with Military Rites.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial gifts in Bruce’s honor to the West Union Recreation Foundation or the United Methodist Church. Memorials may be sent in care of the family, 115 Union Ridge Drive, West Union, IA. 52175
Burnham-Wood-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, West Union, Iowa is helping the family with the arrangements.