Charles B. Crane

Image of Charles B. Crane

Charles Crane

Charles (Charlie) Crane’s courageous life ended on November 29, 2017 surrounded by family.  Charlie was born in 1936, spent his childhood in North Tonawanda, New York and graduated from high school in Redwood City, California, where he was known to occasionally sneak into Stanford stadium to catch a football game.

Charlie returned to the east coast for college, graduating from Cornell University in 1958 where he was a member of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity.  During college he met  Stephenie (Stevie) Dilworth and they married in 1960.  Charlie and Stevie first made their home in San Francisco, then in 1962 moved to the Bellevue neighborhood of Newport Hills where they raised four children.  Charlie enjoyed playing tennis, running 10K races, and joining his friends for pickleball.  He was a stickler with the rules during backyard games of croquet (some would say he made up the rules …).

Charlie had a long career in the financial services business, first at Fireman’s Fund Insurance in San Francisco, and then for over three decades at Marsh & McLennan insurance brokerage in Seattle where he rose to Senior Vice President before retiring in 1997.  At his retirement party colleagues referred to him as “the Jimmy Stewart of the insurance business,”  reflecting his integrity and kindness that inspired the loyalty and trust of coworkers and clients alike.

In 2013 upon Stevie’s death, Charlie moved to a retirement community on Mercer Island.  There you could find him sparking a discussion at Current Events, enjoying his many new friends, and sometimes joining a group of Newport Hills dads (now granddads) for coffee.  Charlie was admired in his later years for his amazingly positive attitude despite significant physical challenges.

Charlie was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Louise Crane, and his wife of 53 years, Stevie.  Charlie is survived by his brother Bill, his children and their spouses, Susan (Bob), Charlie (Kathi), Debbie (Bert) and Betsy (Jim), and his five-in-a-row grandchildren: Nick, Paige, Charlie J., Melina and Max.

Memorial service will be held Thursday December 21, 2017 at 11 am, at St. Madeleine Sophie Church, 4400 – 130th Place SE, Bellevue.  In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to a charity of your choice.


7 Responses to “Charles B. Crane”

  • Rev Dr Robert D. Nicholson says:

    I am grateful to have visited with Charlie after reading about his incident with Aljoya Mercer Island in the Seattle Times and on KOMO TV. His
    composure, courage and skill of communication in challenging a serious problem that seriously affected his well being I found courageous and commendable. That led to being included his family circle especially this past Thanksgiving that was a blessing to me as I am alone my wife having recently died and grown children away.

    “We commend Charlie to you, O God, where light abounds and peace abides. Give him joy in his reunion with his beloved Stevie. May we continue to live with energy and imagination in the legacy of his life, his love and his leadership. May your guiding hand rest upon us all as we anticipate your coming to us again soon in this Christmastide. Amen” -RDN

  • Jeanne (Peck) Mazzoni says:

    To my students, Debbie and Betsy, and to all of your family members who loved both Stevie and Charlie ~
    I am thinking about your loss, and hoping you are helping each other to be strong and are talking together about the many wonderful times you enjoyed with your parents throughout the years. We are never prepared to lose a parent, and in your hearts they will always be there with you.

  • Daniel Ashburn says:

    Charlie Crane was my friend and mentor. Over the 17 years I worked with him at Marsh & McLennan, he taught me the greatest lessons of human interaction – both personally and professionally – by his actions. He would always take time out of his day to listen to a colleague or subordinate and give his undivided attention and thoughtful considerations of issues brought to him. His interest in his friends an colleagues did not end when he retired, as some of us would visit him periodically while living at the assisted living facility. He would always ask about his former colleagues at Marsh and recall the people and events we shared over a long and successful career. While I would strive to emulate Charlie, he set the bar pretty high and I always would know when I was not achieving it. However, I felt I was a better broker and a better man for having known and worked with Charlie and will miss his smile and always positive attitude. God bless you Charlie, for the significant contribution you made to our company, our community and the world. May your soul and the soul of all the faithful departed rest in peace.

  • Sandy Dillmann says:

    Charlie and I were Marsh colleagues for three decades. I echo Dan’s comments, and he really was to a lot of us the Jimmy Stewart of our office. Respected, admired and trusted by all.

    After retirement, about once a month, Stevie, Charlie, our friend Ray Carol Griffin and myself would meet at Goldbergs NY Deli in Factoria for lunch as we all loved the soup and pastrami sandwiches. They do not take reservations, but I learned to always call ahead and let them know the four of us were coming, Ray Carol in a wheel chair, Charlie with his cane and Stevie not well, I did not want them to have to stand in line. The restaurant would always take my request to save a table and seat us right away. We had a lot of good times and great laughs. All 3 have gone to heaven in the arms of the angels and I will always miss them but I have my great memories.

  • Gary A. Baxter says:

    I had the pleasure of knowing Charlie for the last forty years of his life: first as a broker to my former employer, Weyerhaeuser Company, and second as my neighbor in Newport Hills.

    During his twenty years serving the Weyerhaeuser account, we bestowed an award to him as “Benchmark Broker” (the only such prestigious award ever presented) as he always conducted himself in a professional manner and was deeply concerned about the welfare of Weyerhaeuser – not simply selling insurance products.

    As a neighbor, we participated in many 10k, and longer, runs as well as attended numerous Husky and Seahawk games. It was always a pleasure to be with him and enjoy his sense of humor.

    Charlie, my friend, I will miss you and think of you often.

  • Lindsay Kaplan, Norm and Tamar Eisen says:

    We feel very fortunate that we got to know both Charlie and Stevie through our friendship with Debbie and Bert. We miss them both very much!
    Lots of love,
    Lindsay, Norm and Tamar

  • Mike Main says:

    Charlie was a mentor and role model to me in my career in risk management. More than that, he was a great friend and a man of indisputable integrity. Once, on a trip to Toronto, I mentioned to him that my little girl had hidden a stuffed Koala bear in my suitcase. Ever since then, when we travelled to meet with insurance underwriters, he always asked me if I had a Koala in my suitcase. That “personal touch” was a demonstration of the sincerity that Charlie exemplified in his personal and business life, and I have never forgotten it.

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