Cover photo for Lucille Long Cranford's Obituary
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1925 Lucille 2020

Lucille Long Cranford

May 1, 1925 — September 3, 2020

Lucille Long Cranford, 95, passed away at her home in Clearwater, Florida on September 3 after a period of declining health. She was predeceased by her husband of 58 years, Thomas B. Cranford, and lived most of her life in Durham.

She was born to Ruth and Albert Long in 1925, after her father took a position as principal of Edgemont Elementary School in Durham. She was a cheerleader and proud graduate of Durham High School and a regular attendee at the annual DHS reunions. She married her high school sweetheart in 1947, after he returned from the Navy, and her children Tommy and Judy were born when the family lived on Woodland Drive, across the street from her parents. They moved to Forest Hills in 1963, where she managed a warm and loving home on Southwood (now Starlight) Drive for more than 50 years. She particularly loved being an active part of Judy and Tommy’s school, church and extracurricular interests. Tommy’s bands practiced in the basement (perhaps she knew he would become a professional musician), and Lucille made sure Judy’s friends always felt welcome in their home.

Lucille worked for Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company in her early years, and then devoted her life to being a mother and wife. She was an active member of Duke Memorial Methodist Church, and volunteered with the Altar Guild, placing flowers in front of the sanctuary each week. She also volunteered with the Watts and later Durham Regional Hospital Auxiliary, donning her pink jacket and bringing a little joy to patients with flowers and magazines. She and Tom cherished relationships with a number of dear friends, making time for weekly dinners and placing a priority on being present for all of their life events. Lucille had a warm personality, a positive outlook, and took the time to make sure her family and friends knew that she considered them to be very special.

After Tom’s death in 2006, Lucille moved to Clearwater to make a home for her grandson, Cory, with whom she had a strong and precious relationship. When he played high school football, she would never sit in the stands with the other parents, but roamed the sidelines to get the best possible view for every play. She was an avid sports fan, coming from a family of athletes, and never missed watching a Carolina basketball game. Like her mother and her daughter, Lucille truly loved Christmas and never missed being in Durham for the holidays, making it to two Christmas celebrations with her beloved nieces and nephews and their families a day after leaving the hospital in 2019. Lucille was also very popular at Judy's annual Christmas party, with guests lining up to speak with her.

Lucille loved to dance, loved birds and flowers, loved people. She so loved talking with people that Tom was often overheard saying, "Come on now, Lucille, time to go."

Truly a southern lady, Lucille had a grace which is indescribable, but anyone who knew her would understand what this means. She was patient, smart, funny, and lovely. She understood her husband's jokes (the "king of one liners") and was always smiling and laughing. She never said an unkind word about anyone. And neither Tommy or Judy can remember ever hearing anyone say an unkind word about her.

Lucille's family would like to warmly acknowledge Diane Ash, her caregiver who brought immense fun and joy to her over the past five years, along with Diane's husband Alan Marsh who also loved and cared for Lucille; and Anthea Kirkcaldie and Richard Preston, who over recent months rounded out the love and care which was always surrounding Lucille.

She is survived by her daughter, Judy Cranford and Dave Kline of Arlington VA, who cared for her these last six months; her son Thomas B. Cranford Jr. and his wife, Suzanne of Upper Darby, PA; her brother Albert Long and his wife Jackie of Durham; three grandsons, Cory, Aaron, and Jordon Cranford; her granddaughter, Lelanya Kline; and five nieces and nephews: Susan Ross, Kathryn Raby, Kirk Long, Mike Long, and Danny Long.

Funeral services will be private because of the Coronavirus. The graveside service will be live streamed. A link to the livestream will be at on the tribute wall on her obituary, also the service will be viewable after that and you may leave tributes there. The service and livestream will be on Thursday at noon, September 17. In lieu of flowers, friends who wish to may send contributions to Delancey Street Foundation, 811 N Elm St, Greenboro, NC 27401.

Family may be contacted at: (Judy) (Tommy)

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lucille Long Cranford, please visit our flower store.


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