Richard Crang

Richard Crang

LA GRANGE HIGHLANDS – Richard Francis Earl Crang, 81, passed away on April 13, 2018, at his home in La Grange Highlands. He is survived by his wife, Mary; two sons, Steven and Douglas; four grandsons; and three adult stepsons.

After receiving his Ph.D. in botany from the University of Iowa, he held academic positions at Wittenberg University, Bowling Green State University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and The City University of New York.

In the 1990s, Dr. Crang helped to pioneer the field of online learning, which included the development of an influential online course and electronic textbook in plant anatomy. His most recent work has been as co-author for a just-completed comprehensive textbook on plant anatomy.

Dr. Crang is the only U.S. plant biologist to be awarded Fellowship status by the International Society of Environmental Botanists; the first recipient of the BGSU's Outstanding Research Award; and the second recipient of the Outstanding Service Award of the Electron Microscopy Society of America. He was a Sloan Fellow.

Upon retirement, he performed outreach work in Colombia and North Korea. Relentlessly curious, he traveled to 41 countries, where he eagerly engaged with local people and enthusiastically explored local cultures. He was a lover, collector and supporter of art.

Visitation with the family will be Tuesday, April 17, 2018, from 1 p.m. to time of services at 2 p.m. at Hitzeman Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 9445 W. 31st St., Brookfield. Interment will be private. In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, the family asks that donations be made to the Plant Biology Annual Fund in the Dept. of Plant Biology at UIUC in Dr. Crang's name at or Department of Plant Biology, 265 Morrill Hall, MC-116, 505 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801. Information 708-485-2000 or