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Bernard's Story

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Bernard (Bernie) Cranston, age 93, a long time Mankato resident, died at Brookdale Lowry in Denver on September 2, 2017.
Bernie was born on September 10, 1923 to Avery and Kathryn Cranston in Grey Eagle, Minnesota.
Bernie grew up on a farm near Grey Eagle, Minnesota. He attended the University of Minnesota, and Purdue and Columbia Universities as part of the naval officer's training program. He achieved the rank of lieutenant junior grade and served in the 6th Fleet in the Pacific during WWII. After the war, he returned to school and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Economics. Upon graduation, Bernie started a career teaching "ag econ" to high school students in Westbrook, Minnesota. This was where he met his wife of 66 years, Eunice Frederickson. They were married in Morgan, Minnesota in 1949. Bernie's second teaching job was in Stewart, Minnesota. In 1956 he moved to Mankato and began a successful insurance business which he continued until his retirement in 1985. In "retirement" Bernie sold real estate, conducted farm mediations, and remained active in community service and his church.
Bernie possessed a gregarious personality and made friends easily. Bernie's Navy experiences had a tremendous impact on his life and he often reminisced about his Navy days. Bernie was committed to community service and was active in March of Dimes, Habitat for Humanity, the Presbyterian church and local Republican party politics at various times during his life. Spending time with his grandchildren always brought a smile to his face. Bernie enjoyed traveling, boating, fishing, gardening, playing cards and listening to the Twins games on the radio. In his last years, he was a beloved resident of Brookdale Lowry memory care center where he became affectionately known as "el Commandante."
Bernie is survived by his son Michael of Irvine, CA, daughters Lori Roxbury and Jolene Cranston both of Denver, son-in-law Gary Roxbury of Denver, daughter-in-law JeeLoo Liu of Irvine, grandchildren Mary Engelken (nee Roxbury) and her husband Caleb, Brian Roxbury and fiancé Michelle of Fort Collins, CO, Collin Cranston of Los Angeles, Dillon Cranston of Irvine; and great grandson Everett Engleken of San Francisco. He is also survived by his sister Lenore Johnson of Anoka, and numerous nephews, nieces, and brothers and sisters-in-law.
Bernie is preceded in death by his wife Eunice, sister Clarita Knapp, brother Keith Cranston, brothers-in-law Milton Frederickson, Paul Leonard, Kenneth Frederickson, sisters-in-law Marion Frederickson and Sabina Cranston and nephews Timothy Frederickson and Donovan Raatz.
An 11:00 am Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, September 16th at the First Presbyterian Church, 220 E. Hickory St. in Mankato. The service will be preceded by a 10:00 am visitation, and followed by a lunch reception.
A full military honors ceremony will be held at the Ft. Logan Cemetery in Denver, Colorado on September 27th at 1:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Vine Faith in Action Mankato, MN.
Published on September 7, 2017
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