Jon Phillip Crane of Pinehurst passed away on Saturday, May 8, 2021, in his home at the age of  84. 

Jon was born on January 7, 1937, in Sandwich, Illinois to the late Duvall and Elizabeth Baldry Crane.  Jon completed his undergraduate work at the University of Illinois and post-graduate work at Harvard University.   Following college, Jon spent three years in Europe with the United States Air Force security service.   Upon returning home, two very important things occurred in his life.   He met the love of his life, Jill Ann Portugal, and went to work for International Paper Company.   Jon and Jill married on May 11, 1963.  They became the parents of Michelle and Jon Crane II.  Their family grew to include two grandchildren, Jon III and Josie Elizabeth.   Jon spent twenty-five years with International Paper Company in various management positions culminating in corporate headquarters in New York City, which required many moves throughout the United States.   Upon leaving International Paper Company, Jon became President of Great Plains Packaging Company in Hastings, Nebraska.  He was instrumental in the merger and creation of the Gibraltar Packaging Group, where he served as President and Chief Operating Officer.  Jon and Jill moved to Pinehurst in 1995, and they became members of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.   Jon spent many years volunteering with the Moore Sandhills Coalition serving as a board member for ten years, including terms as Vice President and President.   He also served as Vice President of the board of directors of Manna.   He enjoyed golfing with the Titanium Whistles Golfing Group and was a long-time member of the ROMEO (retired old men eating out) group at McDonald’s.  His greatest enjoyment was time spent with his family.  His brother, Sidney Crane, preceded him in death on May 7, 2020. 

Jon is survived by his wife, Jill, of 57 years; daughter Michelle (Mike) Bragg of Rock Hill, SC; son Jon II (Pam) and two grandchildren (Jon III and Josie) of Columbia, SC; two brother-in-laws James Portugal and Robert (Jan) Portugal; sister-in-law Carlyene Crane; and several nieces and nephews.   He will be remembered as a fun-loving, always smiling father and grandfather until it was time for family visits to end, at which time he was famously known for his tearful goodbyes.  His family now mourns his passing and sends their tearful goodbyes to him.

A funeral mass will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pinehurst on Saturday, May 15, 2021, at 11:00 AM.  The family will receive friends at the church from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM.  A graveside service will follow in Pinelawn Cemetery with military honors.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Moore Sandhills Coalition for Human Care, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, or a charity of one’s choice.  

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