Business and civic leader John Blaine Crimmins, Jr. died on Friday, June 30, 2017, following a long and rich life of caring devotion to God, family and community.
He was preceded in death by his parents John Blaine Crimmins and Margaret Ryan Crimmins and sister Margaret Crimmins Kaiser, all of Lookout Mountain, TN.
Mr. Crimmins is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Marie Ward Bryson Crimmins. He is also survived by his sister, Anne Crimmins Awad and his five children, John B. (Debbie Bailey) Crimmins III of Houston, Texas, Ward Bryson (Sally Smith) Crimmins of Signal Mountain, Meg Crimmins Beene, Michael Ryan (Boofie Lupton) Crimmins and Christopher Patrick (Susan McKee) Crimmins, all of Lookout Mountain; and his niece, Mary Anne Kaiser (Rick) Williams of Lookout Mountain, and nephew, Herbert Walter (Julie Benton) Kaiser III of Chattanooga.
Mr. Crimmins was born on November 7, 1928 to John Blaine Crimmins of Chattanooga and Margaret Ryan Crimmins, formerly of Montgomery, AL. At age 7 weeks, he portrayed the Baby Jesus in the annual Christmas pageant at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church and remained a dedicated Catholic throughout his life. As a young boy, John was issued Library Card Number 1 to Andrew Carnegie’s new Chattanooga Public Library, now part of the UTC campus. During his junior year of high school, he attended LaSalle Military Academy on Long Island, NY, where he made “All Suffolk County” as a junior lineman on the football team. He graduated the following year from Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga. Mr. Crimmins attended the University of Virginia, and remained active in the UVA Alumni Association throughout his life. After returning to Chattanooga, John married Marie Ward Bryson of Atlanta, Georgia and the couple settled on Lookout Mountain, joining Our Lady of the Mount Catholic Church where both were very active through the years in parish life.
Mr. Crimmins served as President of Mills and Lupton Supply Company, a major industrial supplier of power and industrial products that played a key role in the development of area industry during the region’s growth as the “Dynamo of Dixie.” During his 38 year career, Mr. Crimmins liked to recall that he had participated in all tasks and positions in the company until he succeeded his father as President. He took great pride in the company and its accomplishments.
He was active throughout his life in many business and trade associations, serving terms as President for the Electric League of Chattanooga, the Westinghouse and Distributors Association, the Southern Industrial Distributors Association, and the Industrial Committee of 100. He was a member and board member of the Mountain City Club and served as the 70th President of the Chattanooga Rotary Club.
Mr. Crimmins was an elected Commissioner for the Town of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee for 20 years. He loved celebrating the 4th of July by setting off fireworks from the family home on East Brow Road, and since this was not a sanctioned town activity, he would welcome the officers who came to inform him that he was not supposed to set off fireworks by asking them to have a seat and some watermelon. His involvement in civic and community interests included the Boy Scouts of America, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, the United Way, and the University of Virginia Alumni Association. He was proud of his service as a Director of SunTrust Bank, Chattanooga for over 25 years.
His interest in and service to Memorial Hospital is notable. From its construction in 1949-50 until the present, Mr. Crimmins was keenly involved in the growth and evolution of the hospital. His interest through the years was supported by the fact that his Aunt, Mother Bertrand Crimmins, was at one time head of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky, whose order of Catholic Sisters originally staffed, operated and managed the hospital. He served the hospital for several terms as the Chairman of the Board of Directors and as Chairman of the Hamilton County Memorial Hospital Association, the founding organization of the hospital.
Mr. Crimmins was King of the 1980 Chattanooga Cotton Ball, alongside Cotton Ball Queen Boofie Lupton. A member of the Lookout Mountain Golf Club, Mr. Crimmins maintained a lifelong love for every aspect of the sport as well as the company of many wonderful friends. One of his happiest achievements was golfing three times a week during retirement.
Affectionately known as “Granddaddy,” Mr. Crimmins was keenly interested in the activities and development of his eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and great nephew: Jenny Marie Beene and husband Sam Gunn and their children, Declan Russell and Vivien Margaret Gunn of Atlanta, Charlotte Ryan Beene and husband Aaron Wells and their son John Bennett Wells of Chattanooga, TN, John Blaine Crimmins IV and wife Punam of San Francisco, CA, Michael Ryan Crimmins Jr., wife Melissa and their daughter Mary Rosamond Crimmins of Oxford, England, Conley Lupton Crimmins of Charleston, South Carolina, Thomas Bryson Crimmins, a senior at Texas Christian University, William McKee Crimmins of Washington, DC, Elizabeth Kingsley Crimmins, a senior at the College of Charleston and great nephew, Samuel Herbert Kaiser of Chattanooga.
The family would like to thank devoted longtime caregivers Robin Blevins and Amelia Hunt for their patience, companionship, encouragement and support.
A Celebration Mass will be held at Our Lady of the Mount Catholic Church at 2:30 pm on Wednesday, July 5, 2017. The family will receive friends in the Parish Hall from 1:00 to 2:30 pm prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Our Lady of the Mount Catholic Church, The Memorial Hospital Foundation, The Hospice of Chattanooga Foundation, or a favorite charity.
Please visit www.heritagechattanooga.com to share words of comfort.
Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home, East Brainerd Road.