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Welcome to the memorial page for

Robert Crane

December 17, 1919 ~ January 17, 2017 (age 97)

The Piano Brothers

OBITUARY OF ROBERT CRANE JR

Robert (Bob) Crane Jr. of Heritage Village, Southbury, passed away at Waterbury Hospital on January 17 at the age of 97.  He was born to Robert Crane Sr. and Anna Richards Crane on December 17, 1919 in New York City.  Bob spent his childhood in Larchmont NY, and at his grandparent’s summer home in Litchfield CT.  He graduated from Loomis School in Windsor CT, and earned a B.A. in Physics from Williams College.

With the outbreak of World War II in 1941, Bob interrupted his college education to serve as a radio technician with the Radiation Laboratory in Boston, a part of MIT, working on newly developed RADAR and DOPPLER technologies.  He returned to Williams College after the war to complete his education, graduating in 1946. For most of his career, Bob was an experimental systems engineer focused on military, space and industrial equipment development programs. He held various positions with General Precision, Santa Barbara Research Center, and Raytheon.  He also owned his own company, Crane Electronics for three years.  In 1966, Bob joined Perkin Elmer in Wilton CT as a senior engineer, specializing in optical and laser technology, and played a significant role in the evolution of the Hubble Space Telescope.  Bob wrote a large number of technical reports and papers, and was awarded 17 patents on electronic, microwave and optical devices.  He retired from Perkin Elmer in 1985.

In his retirement years, Bob continued to pursue his scientific work as hobbies, volunteering his time to develop a water purification system for the University of North Carolina’s Marine Science Research Center in Wilmington NC.  He also authored a book called “The Wonders of Light” published in 2009.

As important as his work was to him, Bob was also a devoted son, brother, husband, father and grandfather.  He was predeceased by his parents and beloved brother Duncan, who died in World War II in the invasion of Okinawa.  He was also predeceased by two wives - Florence (Peggy) Newton, to whom he was married from 1943 to 1951 and had two children; and Nona Cecilia Moise, whom he met and married in 1952. Nona was his wife and best friend for 61 years until her death in 2013. Together, they made their home in a number of places – beginning their married life in Santa Barbara CA where their four children were born; later moving to Bedford MA, Westport CT, Ridgefield CT, Fairfield CT, Wilmington NC, and finally, Southbury CT.  

Bob will be sadly missed by his children and their spouses: Elizabeth Ann (Betsy) Valle and her husband Thomas of Portland OR; Duncan Wingate Crane and his wife Barbara of Northampton MA; Robert Crane III and his wife Karen of Trumbull, CT; Andrea Krawczuk and her husband Jon of San Leandro CA; Stuart McLaren Crane and his wife Rebecca of Torrance CA; and Douglas McMartin Crane and his wife Rita of Norwalk CT.  Bob also leaves 18 grandchildren: Mary, Woody, Sandra, Snow, Plum, Tansy, Matthew, Timothy, Joshua, Ryan, Daniel, Fletcher, Schuyler, Kyle, Melissa, Monica, Lena and Emily; and 10 great grandchildren.

Bob’s family would like to give a special thanks to his compassionate and dedicated caregivers – Eduardo and Camille – who provided him with comfort and companionship for the past six years.  Arrangements are in the care of Munson-Lovetere Funeral Home.  There are no calling hours.   A private family memorial service is planned for a later date.


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