Elizabeth Jones Crandall

Elizabeth Jones Crandall, MD of Maplewood, New Jersey and Shelter Island Heights, New York, died on January 31, 2022 of complications of COVID 19. She was 98 years old.
A lifelong Maplewoodian, she was born at Orange Memorial Hospital on September 7, 1923 the daughter of Judge Benjamin Franklin Jones and Mabel Louise Stevens. She attended Tuscan School, Maplewood Junior High and graduated from Columbia High School where she was active in athletics and scouting. From her parents she learned the importance of community involvement and volunteering.
While a freshman at Wellesley College, the bombs dropped on Pearl Harbor. The girls doubled up in the dormitories as the campus was transformed into a training facility for officers shipping out to Europe and the Pacific. Her older brother, Ben, came to visit her before sailing for Europe and impressed upon her that she would be responsible for her mother and elderly aunts if anything happened to him.
Instead of pursuing a career in science, she decided to go to medical school. After graduating from Wellesley she entered Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons as one of 17 women in her class. At P&S she met a returning war veteran in the class behind her, who would become her partner for almost 70 years, Charles Eben Crandall. He borrowed her notes to study. They married at the South Orange
Methodist Church on July 26, 1947. Slightly over one year later, the arrival of their first child required that Elizabeth take a year off. The couple graduated together in the class of 1950. They completed internships at Bellevue Hospital in New York.
Elizabeth returned to Orange Memorial for residency in pediatrics and obstetrics and to Maplewood and the home she grew up in to raise her family.
After completing her training, she worked as a physician for the New Jersey Bell Telephone Company for 10 years. She left industry and went to work for the next 20 years for South Orange- Maplewood School District and as a school physician and eventually as chief for 7 years. She served the same function for Our Lady of Sorrows for 30 years. During this time she also worked for the South Orange Keep Well Clinic. In the mid 1970’s Elizabeth moved into insurance medicine serving for 10 years as Medical Director to the Prudential Insurance Company, the first woman to do so. After leaving Prudential, she worked as Chief Medical Director for American International Group for 6 years and served as consultant to United States Life, Royal Life, Essex Life, Golden Life and American Centurian. After retiring from AIG, she joined the medical staff at Bankers Trust, which functioned as an urgent care for downtown New York and Wall Street.
Elizabeth was committed to her community. She was Maplewood’s representative to the board of Planned Parenthood in the 1950’s and 1960’s where she was instrumental in reorganizing clinical services. She and her husband joined with other physicians to vaccinate the community against polio when the Salk vaccine became available. She joined the Maplewood Recreation Advisory Committee in 1960 and served as chair from 1980-90 during the time the committee was spearheading the effort to build a community pool. Once the pool was a reality, she served 25 years on the Pool Advisory Committee. In the 1970’s when concern about
drug abuse among young people began to surface, Elizabeth became a founding member of the Drug Abuse Committee after which she served on the Family Services and Child Guidance Committee to be sure that children received services from qualified providers.
Her most passionate commitment was the South Mountain YMCA. She also served as a long-term member of the board of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges. In 1983 after returning from a trip to California to help care for her first grand child when her daughter went back to work, it occurred to her that the next generation of two- working parent families were going to need quality child care. She envisioned the YMCA as this resource for her community. Elizabeth threw herself into fund raising to make this a reality.
Liz was a lifelong volunteer with the Girl Scouts, taking her mariner troop on several sailing expeditions. She loved the Eagle Island Camp in Saranac Lake, New York and helped the fund raising effort to keep the camp from being sold for development. She was also active with the Boy Scouts, serving as a health inspector for Essex County and Northern New Jersey Boy Scout Council and providing free physical screening for children who wanted to participate in scouting activities. She also helped the Boy Scout save Camp Glen Gray from development.
Elizabeth was the first woman to serve as the President of the Board of Trustees of the South Orange (now South Orange- Vailsburg) United Methodist Church. She was a member of the Board of Trustees of Winchester Gardens where she was long time chair of the Resident Quality of Life Committee.
She received the Distinguished Service Award from the Maplewood Chamber of Commerce in May 1989, the Maple Leaf Award from the Maplewood Civic Association in April 2010 and she was inducted into the Columbia High School Athletic Hall of Fame in May 2010 as recipient of the Peter Cross Award (along with her husband).
At her summer home, she was involved in the sailing program at the Shelter Island Yacht Club. She was a trustee of the Union Chapel in the Heights.
In 2017, Elizabeth moved into assisted living at Lantern Hill in New Providence where she became involved in resident governance.
Elizabeth was pre-deceased by her husband, Charles Eben Crandall and two sons, David Jones Crandall and Richard Squire Crandall. She is survived by a daughter, Marilyn Crandall Jones, MD of San Diego, the Honorable Charles Steven Crandall of San Luis Obispo, a granddaughter and great- granddaughter of Washington, DC Abigail Elizabeth Jones and Florence Elizabeth Ferullo, a grandson, Warren Stevens Crandall of Los Angeles, and granddaughter, Joanne Elizabeth Crandall of San Francisco. Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to
1) Peconic Land Trust (Long Island)(www.peconiclandtrust.org)
2) Kennebec Land Trust (Maine) (https://www.tklt.org)
3) Friends of the Great Swamp (New Jersey)
A celebration of her life is planned for later in the fall when it hopefully will be safer
to gather.