BEECH GROVE — James Jerome “Jerry” Craney, 80, died peacefully Thursday. Jerry was the son of Herman and Mary (Williams) Craney. He was born July 7, 1932, in Daviess County. Jerry graduated from Montgomery High School in 1950. He joined the United States Army and was stationed in Trieste, Italy. After serving his country, Jerry attended Butler University earning both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music. After graduation, Jerry began his life-long career working for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. He launched his career at St. Mary Catholic Church in 1958. In 1959, he settled in Beech Grove where he was hired as the music director for Holy Name Catholic Church. During his tenure, dedication and commitment to Holy Name Catholic Church and School, he taught classroom music to grades 1-8 and organized and directed the boys’, girls’ youth and adult choirs. Jerry taught piano lessons along with providing students with instrumental lessons. The Holy Name Band, composed of students in grades 5-8, gave a spring concert each year. Several bands and musical careers grew from Jerry’s direction and guidance. Jerry directed the Holy Name Christmas Concert for 48 years. The concert was an inspiration to everyone that the Christ child was on His way. In 1994, Jerry announced his retirement from teaching music. Many former students, parishioners, friends and family attended the celebration of his dedicated career. Jerry made music come alive for many generations of children. His motto for teaching was, “Excellence is as difficult as it is rare.” His motto for life was “He, who sings, prays twice.” On Feb. 19, 1995, Jerry received the “Pro Ecclesia’s et Pontifical” Award from Pope John Paul II for his dedicated and outstanding years of service to the Catholic Church. Jerry is survived by his brother, Jack (Margaret) Craney of Montgomery; sister, Carolyn (Norman) Bouchie of Washington; sister-in-law, Leone Craney of Washington; brothers-in-law, Timothy Wallner of Huntley, Ill., and Thomas Jones of Bella Vista, Ark.; and 32 nieces and nephews. Jerry was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Howard, Thomas, Merle; and sisters, Mary Alma Jones and Joan Wallner. Jerry will be remembered as a man of great faith who passed on his love of music and his devotion to the Catholic Church. At Jerry’s request, there will be no public viewing. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday at 10 a.m. in Holy Name Catholic Church, 89 N. 17th Ave., Beech Grove, IN 46107. There will be a celebration of life luncheon following Mass in the Jerry Craney Performing Arts Center at Holy Name Catholic School. Burial will be at Saint Peter’s Cemetery in Montgomery. Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Name Parish, the Jerry Craney Music Scholarship Fund, or Saint Peter Catholic Church, Montgomery. Online condolences may be shared with the family at orileyfuneralhome.com.
July 7, 1932 - Jan. 17, 2013
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