SALISBURY – Gary Lee Crandell, 74, of Salisbury, Maryland, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, June 3, 2021. Born in Cambridge, Maryland, on August 20, 1946, he was the son of the late Ivan W. Crandell, Sr. and Aileen Burton Crandell.
Gary was a graduate of Cambridge High School, class of 1964. On August 13, 1966, he married the former Sonia M. Cannon. He served in the Maryland National Guard with the Cambridge, Maryland, unit. After graduation, he worked briefly for Johnson Motors in Cambridge as a General Motors bookkeeper, and thereafter worked for E.I. DuPont in Seaford, Delaware. He commenced his longtime working career in the poultry industry in 1972 with Showell Farms and continued with several other poultry companies, including Golden Pride, Perdue Farms and Townsend Farms in Millsboro, Delaware, which was later purchased by Mountaire Farms, where he remained until his retirement in 2017. Throughout his career in the poultry industry, he built many lasting relationships with local poultry growers.
Gary took an active role in the lives of his two sons and became heavily involved in their activities. He served as president of the PTA for three local schools (Beaver Run Elementary, Wicomico Junior High and West Salisbury Elementary) where his sons attended, and also served as President of the Wi Hi Athletic Boosters. He managed several local baseball teams for Little League, Senior League and the Eastern Shore Baseball League. Gary was a certified U.S. Swimming Official and traveled throughout the east coast with his son officiating major swimming events as well as officiating local swimming and diving events for Salisbury University.
He was a member of Bethesda United Methodist Church in Salisbury, Maryland, serving on a number of committees as a member and also as chairperson throughout the years. Gary served as a Sunday school teacher and Sunday school superintendent. He was also a member of the Bethesda United Methodist Men and the Bethesda Kindred Group and cherished the friendships made as a result of his affiliation with these groups. Very close to his heart was participating in the Santa’s Angels program for approximately 25 years. Gary remained an active member until his decline in health.
Foremost in his life, Gary was devoted to his family as a husband, father, grandfather, brother-in-law and uncle. In addition to his family, he cared deeply about his friends, his church family, his golf buddies and his co-worker friends, all of whom remained there for him until the end.
Gary is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Sonia Cannon Crandell; two sons, Jeffrey L. Crandell and his wife, Tiffany, and J. Ryan Crandell and his wife, Jessica; four grandchildren, Maddox, Morgan, Tucker and Brinley; sister-in-law, Shelley Cannon McCollister, and her husband, Dennis; sister-in-law, Yoshiko Crandell; nephews and nieces, Matthew McCollister, and his wife, Chelseya, Lauren McCollister, Mike Crandell, Keiko Crandell and a great-nephew, Hudson McCollister.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Ivan W. Crandell, Jr.
The family would like to thank all the doctors, nurses and staff of the TidalHealth Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute in Ocean Pines and the Coastal Hospice nurses and staff for their kindness and compassionate care.
The funeral service will be held at Bethesda United Methodist Church, 406 N. Division Street, Salisbury, Maryland 21801, on Saturday, June 12, 2021, at 1 p.m. with Rev. Zachary Wheeler officiating. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow at the Dorchester Memorial Park, 5391 Aireys Road, Cambridge, Maryland 21613.
Pallbearers: Matthew McCollister, Todd Crandell, Brian Burton, James Phillips, Maurice Rayne and Mike West. Honorary pallbearers: Dennis McCollister, Robert Crandell, James Royal, Gene Massey, Robert Sharpe and Nevette Muir.
Memorial donations may be made to Bethesda United Methodist Church/Endowment Trust Fund, 406 N. Division Street, Salisbury, Maryland 21801; Coastal Hospice, P.O. Box 1733, Salisbury, Maryland 21802; or any organization of your choice.
Arrangements are in the care of Thomas Funeral Home, P.A., 700 Locust Street, Cambridge, Maryland 21613.
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