Obituary for \n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t George Ralph Crane\n\n\n\t\t\t\tGeorge Ralph Crane, 94, of Provo, Utah, retired US Air Force Lt. Colonel, aviator, and nuclear physicist, died 27 October 2019 in Provo, Utah, of natural causes.\n\n\tHe was born 13 September 1925 in Ovid, Idaho, to livestock rancher George Franklin Crane and Gladys Casty Peterson Crane. He grew up in Idaho’s Bear Lake Valley and married Gladys Irene Pfeiffer on 6 June 1948 in Challis, Idaho. Their marriage was later sealed on 5 September 1950 in the Idaho Falls Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.\n\n\tAt age 11, Ralph Crane, as he was known to his friends and family, lost his father to strep throat, and had to fend for himself, working as a camp jack with his uncles herding sheep. As the oldest male in the family, he sent virtually all of his earnings home to his mother and 5 siblings.\n\n\tWanting to serve his country, he joined the Army Air Corps at age 17½ in 1943 and went on to be a navigator/bombardier, fighting in the Pacific theater during WWII and in the Korean conflict. Colonel Crane received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of Idaho, Masters degree in Nuclear Physics from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and another Masters degree in Engineering Management from Syracuse University.\n\n\t\tCol Crane was the lead engineer in placing the first nuclear power generator in space (SNAP 10A). His designs went on to provide the power for the space exploration crafts Voyagers 1 and 2 to Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn, Uranus, and interstellar space; Galileo to Jupiter; Cassini to Saturn; and New Horizons to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. These have given NASA and the whole scientific world much new knowledge of our solar system and now into outer space. An Air Force General once questioned whether his multi-hundred watt thermonuclear generator would last 10 years. Col Crane guaranteed him that it would function at least 15 years. Voyager 1 and 2 have now been functioning for over 40 years. They continue to communicate with NASA daily.\n\nIn his later Air Force career, assigned to the Air Force Headquarters for Research and Development, Col Crane was recognized for his contributions to the development of our nation’s Advanced Airborne Command Post, the Worldwide Military Command and Control System, and the innovation of the Satellite Navigation and Positioning System (GPS).\n\n\tCol Crane was a driving force in the translation of physics concepts to practical solutions that enabled major advancements in our National Defense and scientific knowledge for mankind.\n\n\tGeorge Ralph Crane was faithful in his service to the Savior Jesus Christ and to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His callings have included YM Priests advisor, Stake Missionary, High Priest Group Leader, Stake Executive Secretary, Scoutmaster, and Bishop twice. He taught his sons to love and to serve the Lord.\n\n\tRalph Crane married Anne Dean in 1994 after the passing of Gladys. He was a good provider and caring father to Anne and her three youngest daughters. He and Anne served four Church Service Missions and two fulltime missions for the Church.\n\n\tRalph Crane was preceded in death by both his wives and three sisters. He is survived by his six sons and their wives: Gerald (Barbara), F. Michael (Becki), Curtis (Colleen), Marshall (Becky), Dustin (Cari), and Milan (Patricia). His posterity includes 34 grandchildren and 97 great grandchildren.\n\n\tHe is survived by Anne’s seven children: Wesley (Holly) Dean; Chandra Buchanan; Andre' (Dianne) Dean; Tanya (Lewi) Albán; DeAnna (Fred) Larson; Dora (Dan) Jensen; and Christy (Adam) Layton, and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.\n\nFuneral services will be held at 3 pm on Sat, 2 Nov 2019 at Nelson Family Mortuary, 4780 N Univ. Ave, Provo, preceded by a viewing at 2 pm. Full obituary at www.NelsonMortuary.com.