Senator Chester J. Crandell, 68, of Heber suddenly passed away on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, from injuries he sustained in a horse riding accident. Services were held Aug. 9 at the Heber Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The concluding service and interment immediately followed at the Heber Cemetery.
He was born to Harold Jay and Charlotte Ann (Despain) Crandell in Holbrook on June 19, 1946.
Chester was a lifelong member of the LDS church and served as a missionary for the church in the Central Atlantic States Mission, serving in North Carolina from 1965 to 1967. During this time, he met the love of his life, Alice Day Harrison. When he returned to Arizona following his mission, Chester and Alice were married in the Mesa Arizona Temple. Throughout his life, he served in various church callings and always did so with a willing spirit, magnifying his callings. Some of his church callings included serving in the Stake Young Men’s presidency, serving as the ward mission leader and he was also the Gospel Doctrine teacher for several years. He loved preparing the lessons he shared with his ward family for, in so doing, his personal relationship with the Savior was strengthened. Chester also had the opportunity to serve as a bishop in North Carolina as well as in Heber.
He had a deep and abiding love for God and country. Chester served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2011 to 2012, at which time he was elected to the Arizona State Senate. He was serving as a state senator at the time of his death.
Senator Crandell knew the value of having a good education and received a master’s degree in education. He was a high school educator for many years. While teaching in North Carolina, he was the FFA coach and was able to take his school’s FFA program to Kansas City for the Nationals. Back in Arizona, Senator Crandell continued to teach. He served for a period of time as school superintendent and was greatly involved with the county’s NAVIT program. Throughout his teaching career, Senator Crandell volunteered as a coach for numerous school sports programs.
A true cowboy at heart, Senator Crandell was a fifth generation Arizonan, following a long line of successful Arizona cattle ranchers. Ranching was a huge part of his life, and he was a longtime member of Arizona Cattle Growers Association and was well respected within the ranching community. As a “real” cowboy, Senator Crandell always enjoyed a good game of horseshoes.
Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Alice Crandell of Heber; children, Leamon Jay “L.J.” (Amanda) Crandell of Heber, Troy (Jenny) Crandell of Mesa, Leon (Amy) Crandell of Litchfield Park, Marcie (Daniel) Franco of Heber, Charlene (Colby) Mills of Snowflake, Jonathan (Mandi) Crandell of Haughton, La., Caroline (Fred) Crum of Jacksonville, N.C., Andrew (Mandy) Crandell of Heber and Katie (Kyle) Kartchner of Midway, Utah; 36 grandchildren with three on the way; his parents, Harold and Charlotte of Heber; and four sisters, Margaret Ann (James) Rhineheart of Show Low, Claudia Cochran of Overgaard, Yevet (Reginald) Tenney of Taylor and Mary Jane (Gerald) Williams of Rexburg, Idaho.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Bobby Crandell in 2004; and a brother-in-law, Roger Cochran in 2001.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Chester’s name to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Mission Fund or the Perpetual Education Fund, c/o Heber 2nd Ward, P.O. Box 354, Heber, Ariz. 85928.
Owens Livingston Mortuary of Show Low was in charge of the arrangements.