Memorial Funeral Chapel—College Station

2901 Texas Ave South, College Station, TX


Dr. Robert A. Crandell, Ret. USAF Colonel

July 30, 1924December 15, 2019

A much beloved husband, father, brother, uncle, friend, grandfather, colleague and neighbor, passed away on December 15, 2019 after a long illness, he was 95. He joins his beloved wife of 69 years, Mary Jane Richards Crandell and is survived by his four children, Sara Ann, Catherine Lee, Robin and Robert II. Blessed with an extraordinary sense of humor and a kind, generous spirit, Bob lived an abundant, fulfilling life. His interests were wide and he was most devoted to his wife and family, friends and career. Although both Bob and Mary Jane are no longer with us, their love and kindness will live on in the memories of those that were blessed to be part of their lives. They are reunited once again, for eternity as live on earth is one brief moment in time.

Dr. Robert A. Crandell, Retired USAF Colonel, was born in Three Rivers, Michigan to Leland and Marjorie Crandell. He earned his undergraduate and veterinary studies at Michigan State University where he earned a BS degree in Animal Husbandry in 1947 and his DVM degree in 1949. He obtained a MPH degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1955. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Preventative Medicine as well as the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists. Dr. Crandell had a distinguished military career in the U.S. Air Force from 1951 – 1971, obtaining the rank of Colonel and serving eventually as Chief of the Biosciences Division of the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine. He served as Director of the Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Illinois before joining TVMDL, Texas A & M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. Dr. Crandell contributed much to the understanding of feline viruses and was first to isolate the only feline herpesvirus (feline rhinotracheitis virus). He was the first to isolate and identify feline herpesviruses; he is well known around the world for a much-used cell line he established and which bears his name, i.e., CRFK-Crandell Feline Kidney Cell. During his tenure at TVMDL, Dr. Crandell helped elucidate the role of Cache Valley fever virus, was the first to isolate a calicivirus from vesicular lesions of canines and expanded the serological/virological testing capabilities of the laboratory.

Dr. Crandell served as the founding editor of the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. He was President of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratories Diagnosticians and received the 1991 that organizations most coveted award, the E. P. Pope Memorial Award. His vision, energy, and painstaking attention to the details of this enterprise are reflected in the success of the Journal in its initial 3 years. Dr. Crandell also served AAVLD in various committee assignments and as Vice-President, President-Elect, and finally President in 1985. Dr. Crandell has been active in the US Animal Health Association, serving on various committees, notably the Committee on Animal Virus Characterization.

He was a long-standing member of the Examination Committee of the American Board of Veterinary Public Health and the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council Animal Health Committee. He was a consultant to National Institutes of Health in comparative virology, a member of the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Veterinary Research, and cochairman of the AVMA Regulatory Program Committee and the Pseudorabies Committee for the Livestock Conservation Institute.

In 1993 Dr. Crandell received the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine Distinguished Veterinary Alumnus. 2001 he was presented with the President’s Award for Outstanding Committee Chairman Distinction in recognition of exemplary leadership and dedication to the National Institute for Animal Agriculture and the NIAA Emerging Diseases Committee. American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians presented him with the Pioneers in Virology Award in 2005.

A special thank you to Traditions Home and Hospice Team for their superior and extraordinary service filled with compassion and passion during his and the family’s journey. A special connection and bond with each and every one of his Hospice Team surpassed all expectations.

Visitation will be held at Memorial Funeral Chapel in College Station on Thursday, January 2nd from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Full Military Honors Ceremony and Burial will be held at Houston National Cemetery at 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive in Houston, Texas on Friday, January 3rd at 2:00 p.m.

In remembrance of Robert A. Crandell, the family request contributions to Wounded Warrior Project at woundedwarriorproject.org.


  • Sara Ann, Catherine Lee, Robin & Robert II, Children
  • Leland & Marjorie Crandell, Parents (deceased)
  • Mary Jane Richards Crandell, Wife (deceased)

  • In remembrance of Robert A. Crandell, the family request contributions to Wounded Warrior Project at woundedwarriorproject.org.


  • VISITATION Thursday, January 2, 2020
  • GRAVESIDE SERVICE Friday, January 3, 2020


Dr. Robert A. Crandell, Ret. USAF Colonel

have a memory or condolence to add?

Debbie Cassout

January 2, 2020

My deepest sympathies for your loss. Dr. Crandell has always held a special place in my heart. He hired me in 1982 and thanks to him, I'm still working at a job I love in virology. I think about him every time I pick up a flask of his CRFK cells.
So sorry to hear of his passing.

Richard Taylor

December 21, 2019

Prayers for family and friends. Bob was a super person.

Konrad Eugster

December 19, 2019

Dear Crandell Family,
Our deepest condolences for the loss of your father. I had the fortune of getting to know Robert in 1964 while I worked at the Southwest Foundation for Research and Education in San Antonio, Texas. He was then stationed at the Brooks Air Force Base and was a visiting scientist at the Foundation. I had just arrived from Austria and he was understanding and empathic for my English language deficiencies. He quickly became my friend and mentor. I vividly recall his discussions about viruses, and it was in no small part his influence that I also specialized in veterinary virology. He was a leader in his field, discovering new viruses in animals and studying their pathogenesis.
In 1980, I had the opportunity of being involved in hiring a new Head of Diagnostic Microbiology for the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory at the Texas A&M University System in College Station, Texas. We recruited him with vigor. Once he provisionally accepted our offer, he said “now you have to convince Mary that this will be a good move”. The hard work started!! Bob and Mary were a team then and always remained one. After only a brief separation, they will be together again in heaven for eternity.
Kathe and I enjoyed many wonderful social interactions in our homes and on many national and international meetings. I am thankful and will forever be indebted to Bob for helping me get established in my new country and for guiding my career in a way that made my professional life interesting and rewarding. He was a wise man with a great sense of humor, a profound humility and an empathy for mankind with all its diversity.
May our dear friend rest in peace.
Kathe and Konrad Eugster