From the Santa Barbara Free Press
Rev. Dr. John Alexie “Lex” Crane died on August 7, 2015 at the age of 93. Lex was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on January 14, 1922 to John A. and Minnie E. Crane. He graduated from the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in 1939, and served in the U.S. army in the South Pacific and Europe from 1942 to 1945. He was severely wounded during the Battle of the Bulge. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1949 and a Master of Arts in Creative Writing in 1950 from Johns Hopkins University; a Master of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry in 1951; and a Master of Arts in Social Psychology from the University of California in 1971.
Rev. Crane was ordained by the First Unitarian Church in Vancouver, BC in 1952 and served thirty-six years in parish ministry. He served as minister to the Unitarian Church of Vancouver and Community Church of Park Forest, Illinois from 1951 to 1958; the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara from 1958 to 1977; and the Jefferson Unitarian Church of Golden, Colorado from 1977 to 1981. He was then called to the UU Church of Yakima, and served there until his retirement in 1987, at which time he was voted Minister Emeritus to the UU Church of Yakima. He spent the next fifteen years serving various interim ministries in Southern California. In 2002, he was voted Minister Emeritus to the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, CA.
Lex authored several publications including the booklet “Developing an Extended Family Program” (1972); the books Keeping in Touch: Self, Sex and Society (1975); Love, Sex and the Human Condition: Getting a Life (2006); A New Perspective on the Philosophy of UU Religion (2008); To the Best of My Recollection … a memoir (2012) as well as numerous articles and scholarly papers.
Between interim ministries, Lex and his wife, Ginny, traveled throughout the world. They ventured to Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Most notable of those travels was a semester abroad with Santa Barbara City College to China in 1989 where they were witness to the student protests at Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
Lex is survived by his wife Virginia Lee Crane, his sons John Crane III (Jack), and Douglas L. Crane married to Lisa Babashoff, his step-daughter Claire Beery married to William Haigwood, his step-son Evan Blickenstaff, and his step-son Eric Blickenstaff married to Cynthia Kasabian. He is also survived by grandchildren Molly and Allie; Alex and Kirra; Willow, Mira and Zoë; John and Alex; and two great-grandchildren. Lex was preceded in death by his son David L. Crane.
A memorial in Lex’s honor will be held on November 22, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, located at 1535 Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara, California, 93101.
Two of Lex’s sermons here.
He wrote the foreword to my bible book here.
RIP, old friend.