James (Jim) Walter Crane, 87, of Bessie, died Aug. 8, 2017. At his request, no service will be held.
Crane was born May 26, 1930, to Lydia Helen and Byron Elmo (B.E.) Crane in Hobart. His parents bought and began operating the Bessie Telephone Company in 1934, and his father served on the Bessie School Board and served two terms as mayor.
Crane attended Clinton High School and graduated in 1948. His English teacher helped him get a scholarship to the University of Denver, where he studied radio broadcasting.
His first job was as an usher at the Realto movie theater in Clinton when he was 16, and in the summer he would take two weeks off to help with harvest. While attending DU he worked downtown at a candy shop.
During his third year at DU he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and attended the Naval Air Cadet Program in Pensacola. Afterward he was sent to Corpus Christi, Texas, for advanced training. Upon completing his training for landing a single engine plane on Navy carrier ships, he was made a commissioned officer and assigned to Fleet Air Wing 14, Pacific Fleet, San Diego, Calif.
His Navy squadron’s mission was to conduct South China Sea blockade patrol in support of the Korean War. During his military career he also attended the Atomic Warfare School at Navy Island in San Francisco, Calif.
While on leave and visiting his parents in Bessie, he married JoLee Francis Sewell in 1953. The couple lived near the naval base in San Diego until he left the military in 1955.
After his discharge from the Navy, Crane had a successful career selling Fruehauf trailers in his assigned territory of New Mexico and west Texas. He lived in both Albuquerque and El Paso for many years.
Eventually he was promoted to branch manager and relocated to Dallas, where he worked until he retired. After retiring he returned to Bessie to care for his aging parents.
Like his father before him, Crane served as mayor of Bessie for two terms.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sons, Randall Joe and Richard Allan; and his ex-wife.
Survivors include his daughter, Jamie Ann Crane Morgan of Tulsa; and his grandson, Jason Luke Morgan of Norman.
Crane was baptized in the Methodist Church.