There are some people who come into our lives and leave an imprint so profound that it affects us as long as we live. Ramona Faught Crane was one of these people.
Ramona was born in St. George, Utah, but was raised in Mesquite. She met her first husband, Dennis Whitmore, during her junior year of high school and they were married on December 14, 1962. They had three children, Denna, Bryant, and Henry. Their family then moved to Overton. After six years of marriage, they got divorced and Ramona married Claude Crane on September 27, 1969. This also brought Claude’s son, Morton, into her family, and Ramona and Claude later had their son, Wesley.
During the funeral services held earlier this month on January 8th, her loving family members shared stories of how she made a difference in their lives, as well as the lives of her friends and neighbors. They talked about her dancing in parking lots with her husband Claude, quilting and crocheting various projects, Christmas morning waffles, her famous cinnamon rolls, and her abilities to find a way for essential oils to cure any ailment. But most importantly were the details that were seen in every story shared: The times that she used her talents and gifts to help and serve others, the way she taught her family to learn and to work hard and to forgive, and how she always believed in and supported the people she loved. She lived a Christ-like life and taught the people around her by example.
Ramona was always a big part of the community. She enjoyed cooking and found a position working with the Clark County School District in our local school’s cafeterias, where she served students for over thirty years. Many people may remember her from her time there, where she served the students of Moapa Valley High School, Grant M. Bowler Elementary, and Perkins Elementary. She continued to use these skills outside of her career and would help provide food for different church or social events.
Denna Anderson, Ramona’s daughter, remembers how much her stepfather loved horses and how Ramona would always get involved and help out with different events. “We would have Gymkhanas and Little Britches Rodeos…she was very involved in that and the cook shack and helping kids with their horses.”
There were a few things that Ramona was well-known for in our small community, and her cinnamon rolls were one of them. She was always baking these sweet treats and would use them for all sorts of fundraising activities for her family. Her family members recalled the dozens and dozens of cinnamon rolls that would come rolling out of her oven. “She would hear of somebody who wanted to go on a trip somewhere or needed… really anything,” Denna explained. She knew how to take her gift and knowledge of baking and turn it into something that could bless the lives of everyone around her.
Another way many people remember Ramona is through the beautiful quilts she would make. Denna shared another story of when her mom created a quilt for a couple of girls who had made it to rodeo nationals and needed a way to fund their trip. “My mom without even telling [her] anything sewed together this big Levi quilt, and my mom has a friend who embroider[s]… and so they did a few different things like racing, barrels, and put some different things. Mom tied it off and took it to [her] and said ‘I want you to use this for your girls to raise some money’ so they sold raffle tickets and raised some money.”
Many kids in the community may remember Ramona as the “Pocket Lady.” During the Halloween carnival at the old gym each year, Ramona would come decked in an elaborate dress full of colorful, surprise-filled pockets. Denna shared how “all those pockets had toys so you would take her a ticket, and you could pick a pocket, and she would yell ‘Pick, pick, pick a pocket!’ and all the kids would go flocking.” Although she had a career in the schools, her love for the kids in the valley didn’t stop there. She continued to show how much she cared for each and every child, whether it was running into them at the store or showing up as the “Pocket Lady” at the carnival.
Whether you knew her as the lady who served you lunch when you went to elementary school or the friendly face at church, Ramona left a great impact on the members of our community. She will be dearly missed by her family, friends, and the many people whose lives she touched.
Ramona Faught Crane passed away on December 28th, 2021 at the age of 77 in St. George, UT.