Tom Kranjcevich, age 87, died 18 April 2018 at the home of his daughter, in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, surrounded by family after a long illness.
Tom was born in Tacoma Washington, to Ivan and Eva (Roncevich) Kranjcevich. Tom grew up on the family farm in Dockton, Vashon Island, Washington, with his three brothers and one sister. He would meet the love of his life (Janet Elinor Fisher) on the island. They were married 11 Sept 1954 and spent 60 years together until her sudden death on 14 Aug 2014 from complications of surgery in Casa Grande, Arizona. It was then he moved in with his daughter and son-in-law in New Mexico.
Upon graduation, a year early, from Vashon High School, Tom joined the United States Navy. Upon completion of boot camp Tom was attached to the aircraft carrier USS Valley Forge, from 2 July 1950 – 5 June 1953 and due to a series of unusual and unforeseen circumstances found him self in the country of South Korea for the entire war. Tom spent 10 years on active duty with the Navy before completing a total of 26 years of military service with the United States Army.
Tom was an electrical engineer and engineering analyst for the Boeing company for 15 years, before he moved to New Mexico to work in his new career of environmental engineering in the petroleum industry. Later in his working career the opportunity arose to return to the aeronautical fields with his electrical engineering experience which took him first to New Orleans and then to Utah where he finished his career working for Morton Thiokol on the new rocket boosters for the Space Shuttle program.
Tom was involved in many civic organizations, he was a life member of the Shriners and the Masons. He was the president of Seattle’s 33rd district Republican Club and in 1962 & ‘64 he ran for the Washington State Legislature representing the 33rd District. He was part of the Washington State Republican convention a number of times.
Tom was very artistic, creative and talented. He owned a race-winning thoroughbred horse. He bred, raised and professionally showed his Russian Wolfhounds (Borzoi). He loved little theatre and starred in many plays. Later in life he became a published author of a number of novels, short stories, poetry and an autobiographical book of his younger years.
Tom was preceded in death by his wife Janet, parents Ivan and Eva, brother John and Milton and sister Helen Brocard and Nephew Peter Kranjcevich.
He is survived by his daughter Victoria (Charly) Bratton, son Thomas J Kranjcevich III, grandchildren Joshua (Linda) Rowley, Kelli (Peter) Hernandez, Jeff Bratton and girlfriend Reagan Booth, three great grandchildren, brother David (Carole) Kranjcevich, many wonderful nieces and nephews and his four-legged fur baby buddy, Louise.
We would like to thank the wonderful caring hospice nurses that helped us give him a great quality of life his last year. They are definitely God’s angels here on earth.
Cremation has taken place. Internment will take place at a later date at the Santa Fe National Cemetery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, with full military honors.
Please make any donations in Tom’s name to the Vashon Heritage Museum or the Shriners Hospital for Children.