February 05, 2004
day for mourning
colleagues reflect on her career
and friends mourn the death of the retired professor.
Former professor and Starpoint School director Laura Lee
Crane was remembered Wednesday as a gracious woman and
an inspirational teacher who made children a top priority.
She was a remarkable person, said Robin Davis,
a teacher at the Starpoint School and a former student
of Crane. She had the ability to analyze the needs
of every child and figure out what worked for each child.
No matter what, she put children first.
Madge Thomas, a teacher at Starpoint and also a former
student of Crane, said Crane would use as much time and
resources as necessary to help her students.
There was never a time that she didnt know
what to do, Thomas said. She found a solution
for each child and knew which direction to point us.
Cranes body was found Tuesday in Oklahoma after
she was abducted from a Fort Worth grocery store parking
lot Friday, police said. Crane was director of the Starpoint
School from 1969 until her retirement in 1990 and was
also an English professor.
It doesnt seem real, Thomas said.
Cranes vast knowledge and understanding of children,
especially those with learning disabilities, made it easy
for her to connect with the children, Davis said. Crane
emphasized to her students that they could accomplish
Thomas said Crane would arrive at school before anyone
else and would turn on the lights and get the building
ready for the day.
You came into a building that said Were
glad youre here, Thomas said. After
she retired I missed that.
Cranes warmth and compassion extended beyond humans
to animals as well. Thomas said that during her time at
TCU Crane would feed and take care of the cats on campus.
She always had a positive aura about her,
Thomas said. She sought out ways to make the ordinary
As a professor, Crane constantly challenged her students
and always had an answer for every question. She constantly
investigated new ways of teaching and pushed her students
to do their very best, Davis said.
She instilled the love of teaching in me,
Davis said. She made me want to be the very best
teacher I could be.
Thomas said Crane exemplified the model of an excellent
You always wanted to do your very best for her,
Thomas said. As a professor she had very high standards
and she set high standards for herself, too. You knew
she was working as hard as you were.
After retiring, Crane tutored children of all ages, from
5-year-olds to graduate students. A curious person by
nature, she constantly took classes up until her death.
Davis said she was a technology whiz and even took classes
When she retired from TCU she didnt retire
from working, Davis said. She never quit moving,
learning or wanting to know.
Davis said Cranes impact on the school was phenomenal.
There is nobody else like her, Davis said.
She was remarkably beautiful, both inside and out.
She was Starpoint.