Arnold Blair Crandall (January 22, 1949-May 27, 2018)

Arnold Blair Crandall, a resident of Dawson Creek, BC and Ponoka, AB passed away on Sunday, May 27, 2018 in Grande Prairie, AB at the age of 69 years.

Arnold Blair Crandall was born on Saturday, January 22, 1949 in Ponoka, Alberta, to Delbert and Nola. His siblings were Brenda, Marilyn, Cody, and Alva. His grandparents were Alva and Ada Crandall and Joseph and Verle Friestad. Del and Nola settled on a farm in the Hazel Hill District of Ponoka.

At an early age, Blair was working right alongside the men in the fields.

In 1954, he started school and went through until Grade 10. He earned his Class One Driver’s License with Air Ticket by the age of 16. Del ran professional Chuckwagon in 1958 through 1960 and also had a cattle hauling business – both of which Blair helped with. Del and Nola moved into town in 1961. In 1966, they moved to the Peace River Country as Del secured a job working on the construction of the W.A.C. Bennett Dam. Blair found steady employment working on the railroad, driving water truck and running farm equipment.

In 1968, Nola won a Homesteaders Land Draw and the family began clearing the half-section located northeast of Dawson Creek. Blair took the Homestead over from Del in 1971. In 1969, Blair started driving truck for Rempel Trail. He also did some road building on the Beaufort Sea. Blair always had a passion for airplanes. He began taking his pilot’s license in the early 1970’s.

Blair married Marilyn Stefanyk on July 4, 1975. They had two children, Allison born in 1979 and Travis in 1982. In the decades that followed, twelve quarters of land were farmed in the East Doe River area. Additionally, in 1985, he started working in the oil and gas industry for Gerry York. He was a collector of vintage trucks and tractors, was very social, loved to dance and play cards. In 1999, he purchased a quarter section in Ponoka that had been homesteaded in 1905 by AJ Crandall, his great-great grandfather. In 2005, Blair received an award from the Province of Alberta as the land had been in the family for 100 years. Blair and Marilyn divorced in 2009. Then in 2011, Blair purchased 500 acres from Wes Clarke in Bay Tree, AB.

In Spring of 2017, Blair’s health began to fail him. On August 7, 2017 at the U of A Hospital in Edmonton, a malignant brain tumor was found. Radiation and chemotherapy followed along with a brief stay at the Rimoka Lodge. He was transferred from Ponoka to the Beaverlodge Hospital where he remained until he was transferred to a long-term care unit in Grande Prairie, where he passed away.

Blair is survived by his daughter Allison, her husband Ryan MacIvor and their children, Reid and Elise; his son Travis and children Arianna and Emilia; his mother Nola; his sister Brenda and husband Terry Sewell and children Jason and wife Holly Jopling and Corey Sewell and son Nathan; his sister Marilyn Sewell and son Clint and wife Cheryl and children Danielle, Emily and Steven; his brother Cody and wife Audrey; his brother Alva and wife Billie-Jo and children Amy and Cole. Along with numerous aunts and uncles, cousins in both Canada and the USA.

A Celebration of Blair’s life was held on June 8, 2018 from Reynars Funeral Chapel in Dawson Creek. A Graveside Service was held on June 11, 2018 in the Forest Home Cemetery in Ponoka. For friends so wishing donations may be made in memory of Blair to the Beaverlodge Hospital Foundation, PO Box 480, Beaverlodge, AB T0H 0C0.

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