Leo Kendall Crane, 84, was quietly and peacefully called home on Monday, September 30, due to a massive heart attack. As he had said many times over the past few years… ”I’m tired, I hurt all the time and I just wish I could be done.” He passed on his pontoon boat at Rooney Creek near his beloved cabins with his dog at his side. Leo was born in Pocatello, Idaho on June 3, 1935 to Lloyd Crane and Ethel Munn Crane.
After graduating from Pocatello High School in 1953, he married Renae Smith, lived in Arbon Valley and enjoyed farming. They had two children and were divorced after eight years. He later married Zola (divorced after eight years), Elaine (divorced after six years), and Virginia (divorced after five years). Leo married Deloris (Dee) Johnston in August of 1993 and had lived in Orofino since 1978.
Having purchased Clearwater Outfitters in North Idaho in 1964, he remained an outfitter until his passing. The hunting, fishing, packing and guiding lifestyle was the kind of work he loved and he did it well! Operating Clearwater Outfitters in the Mallard Larkin Pioneer Area until 2005 when he sold the backcountry portion of his license and started Lake-n-Leather Outfitters where he operated on the lower Smith Ridge and Dworshak Reservoir. He was a lifetime member of the Idaho Outfitters & Guides Association, served over 10 years on the Clearwater Basin Collaborative, served 12 years on Idaho Outfitters & Guides Licensing Board (appointed by three different governors) and was the longest licensed outfitter in the State of Idaho serving the public for 55 years.
He was a member of the Twin Ridge Fire District and helped cook rib-eye steaks at Orofino’s annual Spring Roundup for 15 years.
Survivors include his Wife: Dee (Deloris) Crane Children: Scott Crane (Mary) and Jenny Crane Grunke (James) all of Boise, ID and Todd Johnston (Angie) of Clarkston, WA. Sister: Arlene Crane Pearson (Lew) of Meadow Vista, CA.
Grandchildren: Amy Crane Winkler, Jacob Crane (Kellee), Noah Crane (Jessica), Tara Ridinger Wenzel (Fred), Jordan Ridinger, Leah Grunke, Rebecca Johnston and Alyssa Johnston. Great-Grandchildren: Kendyl, Naomi and Colby Winkler, Greyson Crane, Deacon and Amity Crane, Joseph and Rebecca Wenzel and Alex Rich.
A well respected man, Leo was from the ‘old school’. He told many wonderful stories of his life experiences and was often a man of few words that those around him ‘listened’ to. This ‘Man of the Mountains’ had a kind and generous heart that will be missed by all who knew and loved him. While we thank God for the blessing of having him in our lives, Heaven has received another special ‘cowboy angel’ to watch over those he left behind.
A Celebration of Life will be held later this Fall after the hunting seasons are over.