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Laurene (Laurie) Kay Crandall, 75, of Charlevoix, died peacefully with her ‘boys’ at her side, on January 26, 2023 in Petoskey. She was born on February 23, 1947 in Charlevoix to Keith and Jeanne (Goble) Miles. Laurie grew up a tomboy in a tight-knit community of friends and family. After graduating from Charlevoix High School in 1965, her first focus was starting a family of her own, marrying Daniel Swanson in 1968 and having sons Bryan and Craig Swanson in 1969 and 1971, respectively.
One of Laurie’s favorite quotes, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans” by John Lennon, aptly describes her life from then on, beginning in 1973 with the newly-emerging cultural practices of divorce and single motherhood. From 1982 to 1986, she was married to Charlevoix native and Vietnam War veteran Ronald Crandall.
Following her lifelong values of compassion, personal sacrifice, and helping others, Laurie worked in the field of public health, starting as a candy striper, several years as a nurse aide, and finally retiring as a geriatric charge nurse from Grandvue MCF. Laurie lived a life dedicated to helping others. She comforted and humanized the sick and dying. She treated patients with respect and genuinely loving care. In her words, “a nurse is who I am, not what I do”.
She served on the board of directors for the Charlevoix Housing Commission for many years, two of which as its President. During her years living at Pine River Place, Laurie was always ‘on-call’ to serve as unofficial nurse, providing medical advice and first aid care for many residents. She also greatly enjoyed meeting with her ‘coffee clatch’ of former nursing home colleagues. And she loved music and dancing more than anything, especially to her favorite band Aerosmith.
She was preceded in death by her parents Jeanne (1990) and Keith (2008); her husbands Danny and Ron (both in 2015, both of Charlevoix); her sister Kathy Blechel of Charlevoix, who sadly died only 30 hours before her; and maternal first cousin Kay Jean Deadman of Traverse City (2021). Surviving are her sons Bryan (Dar) Swanson of East Jordan and Craig (Laura) Swanson of Charlevoix; her grandsons Jacob, Daryan, and Alex Swanson of East Jordan and Riley Doberstein of Copemish; her precious granddaughter Emma Sophia Swanson (a.k.a. Sophia Peters) of Houghton Lake; stepsons Zacharie Jacques and Brendan Jacques (a.k.a. Brendan Kitchen); nephew Scott Blechel of Charlevoix; niece Lyndsay (Skye) Blechel of Oxford; numerous paternal cousins, in particular David Miles of Charlevoix, to whom she was especially close; maternal cousins William and Charles Deadman of Traverse City; many wonderful friends from her apartment community; and lifelong friend Doug Johnson of Charlevoix.
Laurie Crandall touched the lives of so many, sometimes deeply. If you are one of these folks, please show your appreciation for her life by being kind to others, by practicing empathy and understanding, and by spending time with those you love. As she said, “Things are nothing. People are everything.”
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, February 11th, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Community Room at Pine River Place, 210 West Garfield Street, Charlevoix.
Please donate generously in Laurie’s name to the Charlevoix Historical Society and/or Grandvue Medical Care Facility in East Jordan.
Arrangements have been handled by the Charlevoix Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes.
Saturday, February 11, 2023
3:00 - 6:00pm (Eastern time)
Pine River Place
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