Longtime Marina del Rey resident Lionel LeRoy “Buzz” Crandall passed away April 3. He was 94.
Crandall was born in Portland, Ore. on Feb. 4, 1917 and was raised in San Diego. At the age of 15, Crandall earned the highest honor of the Boy Scouts of America, Eagle Scout.
He attended San Diego State University and went on to the University of California-Berkeley, where he received a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering in 1941.
Crandall married Eileen Exnicios on Sept. 20, 1941 and they moved to La Canada in 1950 where they lived for 25 years raising four children. The couple moved to Marina del Rey in 1975.
Crandall was a long-standing member of the Jonathan Club, served on the board of the Los Angeles YMCA and was a 50-year member of Rotary International.
He was an accomplished geotechnical engineer, founding LeRoy Crandall and Associates in 1954. A widely recognized geotechnical authority, Crandall pioneered the use of tied-back shoring in Southern California. The LeRoy Crandall Geotechnical Laboratory at USC was created in 1994.
Crandall had received a number of honors throughout his career, including the George Washington Award for “Engineer of the Year” from the Institute for the Advancement of Engineering in 1972. In 1976, he received the Distinguished Service Award of the California Civil Engineers and Land Surveyors.
He received the ASCE Martin S. Kapp Foundation Engineering Award in 1982 and an achievement award from the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce in 1983. In 1984, Crandall was elected to honorary membership in the ASCE. He was heavily involved with SELSOC and served on the Board of Directors of the EERI, ASCE and ACEC.
Crandall was said to be instrumental in the establishment of the ASCE Technical Council on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering. He was an early supporter of the California Strong Motion Instrumentation Program and was appointed to the California Seismic Safety Commission during a prior term of Gov. Jerry Brown and reappointed by former Gov. Ronald Reagan.
Crandall was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 70 years, Eileen Crandall; daughter, Sally Weideman; and grandson, Michael Eagen, Jr. He is survived by his daughter Carol and husband Kenneth Upchurch of Itasca, TX; son David and wife Donna Crandall of Los Angeles; daughter Gloria and husband Thomas Homewood of Las Vegas, NV; son-in-law Arthur Weideman of Pahrump, NV; grandchildren Coy and Kerry Upchurch, Jennifer Crandall, Kelly and Jamie Eagen; nine great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews; and his many associates and friends.
As he requested, there will beno memorial service.