Cover photo for John William Crane's Obituary
John William Crane Profile Photo

John William Crane

November 13, 1940 — February 22, 2024

Mt. Pleasant

John William Crane

John W. Crane

Devoted husband, world-class parent, compassionate businessman, avid golfer.

John W. Crane, 83, of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, but for many years a resident of Lowell, MA and Rye Beach, NH, passed away peacefully on Thursday, February 22, 2024, at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC after a brief illness.

A well-known member of the Greater Lowell community, John was the retired co-owner and operator of the O’Donnell Funeral Home in Lowell, MA and the Pelham Funeral Home in Pelham, NH for many years. Additionally, he was an adjunct professor of Funeral Management at Mount Ida College in Newton, MA.

It is often said that funeral directors are “the last guys to let you down.” That phrase summed up John Crane perfectly as his unique gift was caring for others. His compassion and dedication to those he helped in times of grief was just as genuine as the joy and love he shared with his own family and friends. His generous spirit, unflagging kindness, and openness to the stories of everyone he met created personal connections that were sometimes momentary but, most often, lifelong.

The youngest son of a physician, John’s life was dedicated to service, starting with his time in the US Navy and followed by support of many local organizations such as the Coalition for a Better Acre, Academy of Notre Dame, Seafarers Association and East Cooper Meals on Wheels. He was also honored to be appointed to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Funeral Directors and Embalming from 1988 – 1993. Also, John served on the Massachusetts Funeral Directors Association, serving as President in 2000 – 2001.

He was the loving husband, for over 58 years, of M. Patricia “Pat” (O’Donnell) Crane, who survives him. John and Pat were known for always putting family first. “Baba” as he was affectionately known in the family, was the first one to hit the dance floor, order ice cream, taste-test Christmas cookies, hit golf balls, and let the grandkids drive his prized yellow Thunderbird. He captured all these moments, and many others, for the Crane family with his passion for photography, which he handed down to his children and grandchildren.

One of John’s greatest joys was playing golf, which he played collegiately and subsequently won many tournaments, particularly in competitive senior events. His skill as a player that, sadly, was not handed down to his children was only exceeded by his enjoyment teaching the game and looping with his family. He also cherished being a member of Vesper Country Club for many years and then Abenaqui Country Club, just down the street from the Drake House in Rye Beach, NH, where he and Pat summered for the last 12 years.

John also enjoyed skiing, travel, cooking, reading, sudoku puzzles, playing bridge, and puttering around the house. He could fix just about anything and shared his interests with friends and family whenever possible. John’s life was truly lived to the fullest.

Born in Holden, Massachusetts, November 13, 1940, the son of the late Dr. Edward J. Crane M.D. and the late Louise (Dumont) Crane. Faith was central to John, as a communicant of the Immaculate Conception Church in Lowell, MA, St. Theresa’s Church in Rye Beach, NH and Saint Benedict’s Church in Mt. Pleasant, SC. John attended Holden schools and was a graduate of St. John’s Prep in Danvers, MA, Class of 1958. He went on to graduate from Providence College with a Bachelor of Science in 1962.

In addition to his wife, Pat, John is survived by his son Chip Crane and his wife Kimberly of Mt. Pleasant, SC; his daughter Catherine Halloran and her husband Frank of Westfield, NJ; his son Stephen and his wife Kelli of Rye Beach, NH; his grandsons William Crane, TJ Halloran, Jack Crane and Liam Halloran; and his granddaughters Morgan Halloran, Catherine Crane, Langley Crane, and Cooper Crane.

He is also survived by his sister Helen “Tookie” Van Son of Huntingtown, Maryland; brother-in-law James Keenan of Lowell, MA; sister-in-law Ruthie Crane of Hollis, NH; sister-in-law Peggy (O’Donnell) Lawlor and her husband Jim of Waterbury, CT; brother-in-law Jim O’Donnell and his wife Patricia of Lowell, MA; his godsons Edward “Ted” Crane III of Venice, FL and Mark Leahey of Washington, DC; and many beloved nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his siblings Mary Lou Crane Keenan and Atty. Edward Crane Jr.; his in-laws Jimmy and Kay O’Donnell, George Van Son, and Polly O’Donnell.

Funeral arrangements will occur both in Mount Pleasant, SC and in Lowell, MA. In South Carolina, friends may call at the J. HENRY STUHR FUNERAL HOME at 1494 Mathis Ferry Rd in Mount Pleasant on Tuesday February 27, 2024, from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. 

Subsequently in Massachusetts, friends may call at the O’DONNELL FUNERAL HOME at 276 PAWTUCKET ST. in Lowell on Friday March 1, 2024, from 3:00 to 7:00 P.M. His Funeral Mass will take place on Saturday at IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHURCH in LOWELL, MA, at 11:00 A.M.

Those wishing may make contributions in his memory to East Cooper Meals on Wheels ( or to the Lowell General Hospital Cancer Center (

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John William Crane, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Tuesday, February 27, 2024

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, March 1, 2024

3:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

O'Donnell Funeral Home

276 Pawtucket Street, Lowell, MA

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, March 2, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

The Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

144 E Merrimack St., Lowell, MA 01852

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 1297

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree