Charles Crank II

Memorial Service

10:00 am
Saturday, June 22, 2024
Oak Ridge Cemetery
Highway CC
Elsberry, Missouri, United States

Obituary of Charles M. Crank II

Charles Mountjoy Crank II of San Antonio, Texas, passed away on January 10, 2024 at the age of 75. Better known as Chuck, or sometimes Charlie, he was born in Louisiana, Mo., on September 20, 1948 to Charles “Spot” M. and Margaret Barnett Crank, and grew up in the Annada, Mo., area, where his parents farmed. Chuck helped his dad on the farm and hauled hay in the summer. He spent his free time reading in cornfields, developing his lifelong love of learning and a deep connection to the land. He attended Missouri Boys State in high school and graduated valedictorian from Clopton High School, Clarksville, Mo., class of 1966. Chuck attended Princeton University where he made lifelong friends and studied sociology. He graduated cum laude in 1970 to the hum of the cicadas immortalized in honorary degree recipient Bob Dylan’s “Day of the Locusts.” His career in insurance began in St. Louis where he worked for Travelers. He soon transferred to San Antonio, the city he would make his home. He joined USAA, where he would spend the rest of his career. He enjoyed his work but was glad to meet his longtime goal of retiring early, to spend more time on his hobbies. Every fall he traveled to visit family and friends and hike the woods and fields of the family farm near Annada. He found and collected arrowheads and photographed the autumn leaves. One year, after bringing home a few interesting tree branches from the woods near the farm, he rediscovered his childhood hobby of woodcarving, or as he sometimes called it, “whittling.” He spent hours in his recliner chiseling and sanding those branches into walking sticks that doubled as works of sculpture. This artistic aptitude, though somewhat of a surprise to his family, won awards at USAA’s employee amateur art contests for several years in a row. Chuck loved to read, and he maintained an impressive collection of volumes on history, war, religion, philosophy and archaeology, many of which he actually finished, but all of which he loved. Those who knew him will remember his gentle nature, quick wit, wry sense of humor and his ability to engage in conversation with everyone. He was so fortunate to be cared for in his later years by John and Elizabeth Negrila, who became family. Chuck is survived by his former spouse, Susan Matthiessen Crank of San Antonio; their daughter, Dr. Michelle Crank (Dave Levinthal) and grandson, Thomas Levinthal, of Washington, D.C.; sisters Barbara Palmer and Connie Price, both of Lawrence, KS, and Kris Ogilvie (Gene), Basehor, KS; four nephews, two great nephews, two great nieces and many cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; paternal grandparents Jim Tom and Kate Eastin Crank; and maternal grandparents Clete and Mabel Bray Barnett. A memorial service will take place at Oak Ridge Cemetery, Elsberry, Mo., on June 22, 2024 at 10 a.m.. Donations may be sent to the Wounded Warrior Project or Oak Ridge Cemetery, 623 Highway CC, Elsberry, MO, 63343.
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