Peter was born on Sept. 29, 1922, in Ithaca, N.Y. He was preceded in death by his parents, Professor Carl Crandall and Edna Northrop Crandall. He graduated from Ithaca High School in 1942, and also attended both Cornell and Drake Universities. He served proudly in the United States Army from February 1943 to January 1946. As part of the 77th Army Division, Peter landed on Okinawa to participate in the last great battle of the Second World War.
“I went into to the war as a boy and survived as a man,” he said. Peter was awarded the Bronze Star for his service as a combat medic.
One of the greatest governing aspects of Peter’s multi-faceted life was his sense of curiosity. The autobiography he had begun to write might well be titled, Moon Rocks to Mill Stones. Peter worked in a high-security lab as a research engineer at North American Rockwell Science Center in Thousand Oaks, Calif. His job included examining “lunar return materials” (moon rocks), and he was published in The Review of Scientific Instruments in 1969.
In search of gemstones for lab work, Peter made his way to Southern Oregon in 1970. He also thought a real estate investment in the area might be a good idea. And, thereby, the groundwork was laid for a major change in his life. Peter had always been fascinated by old mills. As a child, he and his father had fished for trout around many of the old, abandoned grist mills in central New York State. The real estate agent Peter consulted about a possible local investment just happened to mention that the 100-year-old, water-powered flour mill in Eagle Point was for sale. Peter bought it. That very weekend. He left his job in Southern California and his previous vision for the future. Peter became a miller with Cora by his side. It was work they happily pursued for the next 33 years at the Butte Creek Mill.
There will be a celebration of Peter Crandall’s amazing life on Nov. 20, 2009, at 2:00 p.m. at the First Church of the Nazarene, 1974 East McAndrews Rd., Medford, Oregon 97504. Memorial donations may be made to the church (541-779-7777) or to Providence Hospice (541-732-6500)