Marina del Rey resident Peter Crank died April 11 at Marina Del Rey Hospital from an infection resulting from lymphoma. He was 64.
Known throughout the Marina as “Cranky”, because of his initial demeanor, Crank was an experienced crew member on large racing yachts, a winner of Wooden Hull regattas in the Marina and an activist on Marina affairs, friends said.
Born in England, Crank earned a masters degree in mathematics on a scholarship to the prestigious Cambridge University.
He was a classically trained pianist who promptly became a “roadie,” touring Britain with various rock bands, friends said.
Crank came to the United States, settling in Marina del Rey in 1980. He held executive computer management positions, first with IBM and then ARCO, and he later became a successful day trader.
Crank developed a friendly relationship with David Asper Johnson, founder of The Argonaut, who would publish Crank’s quixotic letters in the newspaper and wryly refer in his column to Peter’s last name.
While living on Fiji Way, Crank became vocally active on preventing a developer from cutting down trees that were a sanctuary for ospreys.
He sailed a wooden boat, Scotch Mist to victory in Wooden Hull regattas and Single Mariner races.
Crank would spend winters at resorts in Cancun that fulfilled three criteria: sail boats on the beach, salsa classes and free beer, friends said.
He ended his days in a rented apartment, overlooking the water, on Palawan Way, day trading on a computer.
Said one of his sailing buddies, John South: “Peter always believed in the old English adage ‘A beer a day keeps the doctor away’ and he practiced it faithfully to the end.
“Despite his nickname, he was actually a warm and caring person, who would do anything for a friend. Life in the Marina will be a lot less colorful without him.”