Bert Stephen Crane, Sr., passed away on Sunday at his home in Merced surrounded by loved ones. He was 84 years old.
Born in Turlock, Bert spent his childhood on the Sunrise Ranch in Livingston. He later graduated from Merced High School, attended Stanford University, and graduated from UC Davis with a BS in Ag Economics.
A 5th generation Agri-Business man, Bert continued the family tradition of raising cattle after graduating from college.
In the 1970s, Bert became interested in planting walnuts around his home, branching out over the years, and eventually processing and marketing walnuts domestically and overseas.
A charitable man, he dedicated his life to his community. He spent 60 years in service to dozens of causes. From local school boards to the Cattleman’s Association, he served his community in a variety of areas. He was a founding trustee of UC Merced, a member of the Merced Planning Commission for 28 years, and throughout his life he was associated with the Boy Scouts of America.
Dedicating over 50 years to Mercy Hospital, Bert served on the Lay Board, the Foundation Board, and as chairman of the Governing Board at Mercy. He made it his mission to see to it that Merced had a new, state-of-the-art hospital and cancer center for the community, now called Dignity Health.
Bert enjoyed outings with his family, especially his grandchildren. He appreciated his fellow BRIC members and Thursday lunches with his friends. In 1957, Bert married Nancy Magnuson at Central Presbyterian Church in Merced, where they have remained active members since their teenage years. Their three children are Bert A. Crane, Jr., Mary Crane Couchman (David), Karen Crane-McNab (Lloyd), and their seven grandchildren are Bert J. Crane, Benjamin C. Crane, Brian Andrew Couchman, Michelle Elizabeth Couchman, Bethany Anne Couchman, Iyesha Ann McNab, and Marta Anika McNab.
Bert is predeceased by his parents and brother James. He is survived by his three sisters, Sally Landels, Judy Payne, Barbara Callison, and their children.
The Crane family would like to thank Bert’s doctors, caregivers and Hospice for treating him with the greatest of care and dignity.
A Memorial Service for Bert will be held at 2 p.m. on Sat., Mar. 19, at Central Presbyterian Church in Merced. He will be laid to rest at Turlock Memorial Park.
Memorial donations may be offered to Central Presbyterian Church, 1920 Canal St., Merced, CA 95340, Mercy Medical Center Merced Foundation, 2740 M St., Merced, CA 95340, Yosemite Council Boy Scouts of America, 4031 Technology Dr., Modesto, CA 95356, or a charity of your choice.