Loretta Marion Craney, 104, of Eau Claire, passed away on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at Oak Gardens Place in Altoona.               

Loretta was born on July 5, 1912 to Frank and Pearl (LaGore) Oatman in Eau Claire. A lifelong resident of the Shawtown/Mt. Washington area, she was a beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, neighbor and friend. She will be remembered for her intelligence, humor, wisdom and zest for life.

Loretta is survived by her sons Stephen Craney, of Winona, Minnesota and Terrance Craney of Madison, Wisconsin, their wives and children.

Married May 10, 1941, Loretta was preceded in death by her husband, Sidney Craney in 1976, and by her only siblings, brothers Willis and Lloyd Oatman. Of her and Sidney’s siblings and their spouses (26 in total), she was the last one to pass.

Memorial service will be held on May 6, 2017 at 11:00 am at Smith Funeral Chapel in Eau Claire with interment following at Lakeview Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be directed to either the First Baptist Church of Eau Claire or the Meals on Wheels program of Eau Claire County.



  1. I am a volunteer at Oakwood Gardens. Your mom was one of my favorites – I miss her already. Although she couldn’t hear well, we communicated by writing on her white board. She was such a sweet, funny, loving woman. She ALWAYS thanked me for visiting with her and always had a hug for me.
    I hope you will find comfort in your memories of her, I know I will.
    Thank you for sharing your mom with us at the “Garden” – she will be remembered fondly!

  2. We are unable to come on Saturday because of a prior commitment. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. She was a wonderful friend to us and we will never forget the support and friendship your parents gave so freely.

  3. I met Loretta in my study of genealogy while searching for details of families and their origins. Loretta was most gracious and interesting. She was related and good friends with my Grandma Velma Thames Myers. She had the oldest document of that family. She was a very remarkable person and I am grateful to have known her. Also note: If by chance one of the family is or has done more genealogy I would be interested in exchanging information. Cathy.

  4. I delivered meals to Loretta for about a year. She was my day brightener. She always had a big smile for me and treats to offer. I loved her bright disposition and her beautiful faith.

  5. What a pleasure it was delivering meals to Loretta. She always talked about her family, and it was clear that she was very proud of them.

  6. My condolences to all of you for the loss of your loved one.
    I delivered meals on wheels to her for the last few years and we became good friends.
    She was very proud of her family and she shared many stories about them. She was also proud of her longevity and had fond memories of her hundredth birthday party.
    She was a lovely lady, and every time I drive by her green house, I think about her.

  7. I was a teacher at Mt. Washington Elementary School when your mom was a cook there. She was truly a joy to work with. You have my sympathy in your loss.

  8. So sorry for your loss Terry. It’s amazing 104! My condolences to your family. Your mother must have received a letter from the president when she turned 100. My grandmother missed getting a letter. She was 99. Again my sincere condolences.

    Timothy Hotujec

  9. So sorry for your loss. I had the pleasure of delivering meals to Loretta. She always talked about her family, and it was clear that she was very proud of them.

  10. I was lucky enough to have Mrs. Craney as my neighbor throughout my entire childhood. My trips home from college often included a stop by her house for a visit. She always had a positive attitude and pictures to share. As kids, we would make her a May Day basket and leave it at her porch, ring the doorbell and run. She always knew it was us. As we got older we stopped running away. Every May Day I’ll be thinking of her and passing on the tradition and stories of my favorite neighbor.

  11. Your mom lived across the street from our little blue house on Menomonie Street. My children grew up with her as their neighbor-grandmother. She always had the happiest smile and always had the news of the neighborhood. The kids had a tradition of bringing her a May Day basket every year. She would always walk over with some sort of sweet treat for them in return. The tradition continued even when we all moved away…until this year. She was a beautiful soul and a perfect neighbor. She will be dearly missed.

  12. I will always remember visiting your mother with my grandmother at her home.

    A wonderful, kind woman.

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