Volume 75, Number 13 | August 17 - 23, 2005

Crandell is remembered at St. Mark’s

A photo of the sandwich board Keith Crandell wore to a 1980 costume party, advertising his services as a “hack writer,” the cover image for his memorial service booklet.

About 200 friends and family members gathered at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery for a memorial last Saturday afternoon for Keith Crandell, “the mayor of Noho,” who died on May 28 at the age of 77.

Crandell, a longtime member of Community Board 2 and award-winning columnist for The Villager, was remembered for his devotion to social justice and championing of the underdog. Speakers praised his writing and noted that the last thing he penned was a C.B. 2 resolution supporting the Critical Mass bike rides in the face of the Police Department’s crackdown. Crandell was a music lover and the service featured performances of jazz, of which he was a huge fan.

Speakers included his fourth and last wife, Annie Shaver Crandell; Frank Irwin, his oldest friend; Ben Crandell, one of his sons, who is an editor at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel; activist and friend Steve Stollman; and Ann Arlen and Jonathan Geballe, former C.B. 2 members and friends of Crandell’s. Father Julio Torres gave a scriptural reading, and Charles King, executive director of Housing Works, an ordained minister, gave the benediction.

“Keith was not a perfect man, but he was a good man,” King said. “Above all, he led his life to do justice, whether marching against the war in his wheelchair or standing up for the bicyclists…. Keith Crandell exuded humility.” The memorial ended with everyone dancing to “As the Saints Come Marching in.”

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