Retha Jean (Peel) Crane, 81, of Wichita, Kan., retired Southwestern Bell supervisor of operator services, passed away Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009. Services will be at 10 a.m., Thursday, at Downing & Lahey Mortuary East; graveside service 2 p.m., Thursday, at Rosedale Cemetery, in rural Chanute.
Retha was born in Redfield, Kan., on June 17, 1927, to Ethel Cordelia (Crim) Peel and Benjamin Edward Peel. Retha was the eldest of two children. Her parents, husband and nephew, Eugene Page Peel, precede her in death.
Retha graduated in 1945 from Nevada High School in Nevada. She began her career with Southwestern Bell in 1945. She married John Page Crane, Jan. 31, 1948. In May of 1948 she moved with her husband to Wichita, and continued her career as a dedicated employee of Southwestern Bell, totaling more than 36 years when she retired in 1981. Retha enjoyed sewing, gardening, dancing, playing bridge and traveling.
Survivors: brother, Ben E. Peel, of Clearwater; nieces, Karen J. Burke and Becky Sue Robinson, of Wichita; great-nieces, Regan "Annie" Baldwin and Katherine Bazzelle, of Wichita; great-nephews, Jason Burke, of Warner Robins, Ga., and Camron Burke, of Saginaw, Texas; nine great-great-nieces and nephews.
Memorials have been established with the American Heart Association, 3816 Paysphere Circle, Chicago, IL, 60674 and the Arthritis Foundation, 1999 N. Amidon, S-105, Wichita, KS, 67203.
Tributes may be sent to the family via www.dlwichita.com.