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Fred "Tubby" Crane
Profile by Charles Decker

Frederick Crane was a long-time acquaintance and friend. All through my school years in Afton, 1931 to 1943, he was always there as athletic director. Later he became vice principal and continued in both positions until his retirement in 1972.

Fred Crane was born in Lowville, N.Y. on July 17, 1906, the son of George and Grace Crane. He was married to Josephine Fields, daughter of a Presbyterian minister who preached in Susquehanna, PA, where my mother knew her. They had one daughter, Margaret.

Helen Farrington Kane writes of his caring concern for his students, but also of the high expectations which he held for each individual.

Fred did not limit his interests to school activities. He was an Elder in the Afton Presbyterian Church, where I also knew him. I succeeded him as Clerk of Sessions after his many years of service. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, No.360. He was secretary-treasurer of the Afton Emergency Squad. In the 1940's he was secretary of the Afton Fair Association.

Fred and his wife Jo were often chaperones for Senior Class trips to Washington, D.C. In many pictures of these classes he appears at both ends of the photo, endearing himself to everyone.

Fred Crane always gave generously of himself in supporting the school and the community. He was a person of dignity and integrity, one who set an example to his students and all who knew him.

Fred died on June 1, 1983, and is buried in Glenwood Cemetery.

Marie Eckler
Profile by Charles Decker

Marie Eckler was a long-time teacher of mathematics at Afton Central School. She and her twin sister Alice were born in 1902, shortly before their parents moved from Coventry to their large home on Spring Street. Her father, Dr. W. Lee Dodge, was a physician in Afton until his death. His wife Abigail lived many years after him.

There were only 5 members in their graduating class in 1920. Marie and Alice both attended Syracuse University and graduated about 1924. Marie was married to John Eckler. After her many years of teaching, she retired in 1965. She was advisor to the Senior Class that year.

The yearbook dedication to Marie Eckler reflects the high esteem for her of that class and many others. It reads: "We, the class of 1965, fondly dedicate our yearbook to Marie Eckler, a minute tower of major strength, a light beacon on a dark night, a source of help whenever and wherever it was needed. So, in this last of our own years at Afton Central, we join the rest of you in bidding her an affectionate 'adieu'".

The second picture above was taken in 1987 of Marie at her 67th class reunion on her 85th birthday.


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