Gladys Margaret Crane

Gladys Margaret Crane, 90, died October 18, 2018, at Hospice of Laramie from complications related to Alzheimer’s disease. A memorial service will be held Friday, October 26, 2018, 10:00 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 107 S. 7th Street, in Laramie.


Gladys was born August 8, 1928, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to James E. and Matilda (Shelly) Crane. Following the early death of his wife, James moved the family to Washington state where Gladys and her two sisters grew up. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Speech and Theater from Washington State University, taught high school and continued her education, receiving her Master’s degree and eventually her Ph.D. in Theatre from Indiana University. She taught speech and theater at North Park College in Chicago, the University of Maine, and Drew University in New Jersey before accepting a position at the University of Wyoming in 1967.


Gladys’s career at UW included teaching a variety of theater classes, directing numerous plays, and actively participating in state, regional, and national theater organizations. She often was asked to judge theater productions at colleges and universities in other states. Gladys’s research was on the plays of George Bernard Shaw. She produced a number of Shaw publications and was held in high regard by colleagues as a Shaw scholar. After serving as department head of the Theatre and Dance Department for four years, Gladys stepped down a year before retirement from the department. Upon that retirement in 1993, she returned to school to pursue a Master’s degree of Theological Studies at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University north of Chicago. Upon receiving that degree, Professor Crane returned to UW to teach feminist theology, drama and religion, and gender and religion.


Gladys was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Laramie, serving in a variety of capacities on committees, singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School and so on. She was a member of Chapter E, P.E.O and volunteered at the Albany County Public Library. Devotion to the League of Women Voters, where she eventually served as state president, rounded out her life. Her deep religious faith, support of the feminist movement, and her marvelous sense of humor are legacies she leaves to those who knew her.


Surviving Gladys are two older sisters, Mary Ross of Madill, Oklahoma, and Jane Schmearer of Great Falls, Montana; nieces Mary Lewis (Terry), Lisa Bresnaham, Gladys McKenney (John), Kathy Farmer (Dana), nephew Mark Schmearer (Terri Ann), Cliff Ross (Marci), and several great nieces and nephews. Special friends Donna Marburger, Oliver and Sidney Walter also survive her.


Memorial gifts may be given to Trinity Lutheran Church (107 S. 7th St., 82070); the Gladys Crane Endowment in Theatre & Dance (UW Foundation, 222 S. 22nd St., 82070); or Hospice of Laramie (1754 Centennial Drive, 82070)

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Condolences (5)

  • Sara Davis

    I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Crane, and I offer my heartfelt thoughts and condolences to you and your family. Dr. Crane was my instructor for a gender and religion class many years ago. I always admired the way she conducted the class. The topic of the class could become heated and very controversial, but she facilitated and encouraged the students to speak their mind and dialogue in a thoughtful and respectful manner. She was a tremendous woman who made a great impact on me, the University of Wyoming, and the community. If you have materials regarding her life and research, I, as the university archivist, would be honored to include her papers at the University of Wyoming's American Heritage Center to be able to share her story and legacy for current and future generations. Please accept my sincerest sympathies.

  • Sarah (Carpenter) Pope

    To the family and friends of Gladys, My deepest condolences on the loss of your (and my PEO) friend. Gladys was always so vivacious, and she will be missed!

  • Anonymous

    I knew Gladys thru League of Women Voters for many, many years. One of my fondest memories is how excited she was to be an extra in a movies. I can't thank her special friends for taking care of her during her last years. The League, the theater, and I will miss her. Fonce Taylor

  • Mary Ann Pendleton

    Sending our love to all of Gladys; friends and family. She was a very kin and gentle person who showed love to everyone. I was always a pleasure to sit nest to her and help her find her place during the last year or so that she was able to attend church. We have missed her for the past months. We know that she has a special place with the Lord our God whom she loved so dearly.

  • Debbie Pickett

    Donna, I am so sorry for your loss. I know you and Gladys were good friends for many, many years. She is now at peace and healthy and I am sure talking everyone's ears off in heaven. Take care


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