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Isaac Clyde Crase

June 8, 1943 November 3, 2018
Isaac Clyde Crase
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Obituary for Isaac Clyde Crase

Isaac (Ike) Clyde Crase, 75, of Ames, Iowa died at Bethany Life in Story City on November 3, 2018. Ike had been diagnosed in 2010 with inclusion-body myositis, an autoimmune disorder, and ultimately succumbed to its muscle-deteriorating effects.

Ike was born June 8, 1943 in Roxana, Kentucky to Ida and Ted Crase, both schoolteachers; he was the middle of five children. He grew up in the beautiful mountains of eastern Kentucky, scampering among the hills and lush wooded landscape, and swimming and fishing in the Kentucky River. He attended various one-room primary schools in Letcher County, often taught by his parents. He spent two years at Whitesburg High School in Whitesburg, Kentucky, before transferring to Cumberland High School in Harlan County, where he excelled academically and was on the basketball team, earning all-district honors.

Ike graduated as valedictorian from Cumberland High School in 1960 and attended Berea College in Berea, Kentucky from 1960-64. At Berea he majored in math and chemistry and worked in the college library throughout his time there; he remarked how much he loved the smell of the old books in the library stacks, and the moments of downtime when he could sneak away and read in a corner. He spent his Berea summers harvesting peas in Mendota, Illinois, a difficult and grueling job that gave him an appreciation for the labor of migrant workers and a lifetime of stories. Berea was also where he met and fell in love with Sedahlia Jasper.

In 1966 he earned a Master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Kentucky, before spending a year teaching math at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. He married Sedahlia Jasper in 1967, and while she was earning a Master’s degree at the University of Kentucky, he taught math at Berea College. Ike and Sedahlia moved to Ames, Iowa in 1969 to attend Iowa State University, where Ike completed further graduate studies in math.

Ike worked as a systems analyst for the State of Iowa Comptroller in the mid-1970s and at Sundstrand hydro-transmissions (now Danfoss) during the late 70s and most of the next 25 years. He left Sundstrand for a couple of years to try his hand as a stock broker, but despite enjoying investing, sales was not to his liking, so he returned to Sundstrand. In the last decade of his career, he was a systems engineer at Engineering Animation (now Siemens). He periodically taught mathematics as an adjunct instructor at various colleges in Iowa. He retired in 2009 to several years of travel all over the world with Friendship Force International and other groups. By 2016, he was unable to travel due to his increasing decline.

Ike loved nature, especially moon-gazing (which, for his kids, he called the “moo moo”), and had a fascination with geology and rock-hunting. He could spend hours roaming the woods, a beach, or a lake looking for beautiful rocks, which lined his longtime Baker Street home and later his room at Bethany Life. He had a love affair with Ada Hayden Park in Ames, spending hours upon hours walking—and later zooming in his electric wheelchair—through the trails and connecting, in his own spiritual way, with nature.

Ike was an avid—avid—lover of all sports, and had a close place in his heart for the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team, cheering them on relentlessly. Growing up, he excelled at basketball, and in his adult life he passionately competed in regional racquetball tournaments. Later in life, he picked up tennis and golf. Throughout his life, he loved watching—and talking about—a wide variety of sports.

He was a beautiful writer and voracious reader. He enjoyed playing with words, once eulogizing the family cat, Friskit, by writing, “She will not impatiently ‘raehr’ in that inimitable fashion at someone imprudent enough to nap in her presence.” When Brandon played little league baseball, Ike would craft weekly newsletters touting each player’s achievements; the boys upped their play in efforts to receive mentions in his “Ruminations from the Equipment Locker” newsletter. When Ike and Sedahlia left their longtime home on Baker Street for a more accessible home, he penned a farewell poem that started “I will wake up tomorrow on Baker no more forever / I will watch the moo moo rise above the stately Baker trees nevermore” and, after stanzas recounting his fond memories from that home, he concluded with a hopeful tone: “And the sun will come up tomorrow / And the moo moo will rise majestically to new surroundings.”

As a child, he entertained himself by reading a full encyclopedia set. He begged his parents to purchase the full World Book set, and—although this was an expensive purchase for them and had to be paid in installments—they never tired of recalling his joy when the thick reference books arrived and he began to devour each one in turn, page by page. His fervor for learning never slowed. After retirement he engaged in continuing education classes and trips, soaking up newfound knowledge in courses covering geology, the universe, music, politics, religion, humor, and history. While his body was slowly deteriorating, his mind was flourishing.

When his muscles prevented him from walking, he affectionately offered his own middle name to his electric wheelchair, “Clyde.” Clyde provided him newfound freedom to zoom through the trails of Ada Hayden Park, leaving anyone walking with him in his dust.

Ike was fun-loving and quick with a laugh. He loved to play. He was clever, but at all times humble in his humor. He was not the center of attention, but was always ready with a subtle joke and a wry smile.

Ike was, at his core, a loving father and spouse. He was the epitome of a gentle, loving, nurturing, and devoted father, full of unconditional love for Kirsten and Brandon. The first night at home after Kirsten was born, he stumbled walking down a dark flight of stairs holding her. He would share the story of protecting Kirsten by holding her above his body, as he tumbled down the stairs. He was ever-present at Brandon’s sporting events, and held the rare honor of having been kicked out of a high school tennis match for over-cheering. He was also a devoted attendee of Kirsten and Brandon’s dance recitals. He would share photos of Sedahlia from their travels together, affectionately referring to her as his trophy wife, and he never tired of celebrating her professional accomplishments and her character.

Ike died peacefully at Bethany Life, the place that had become his secure home, a place where he was lovingly cared for over the past 10 months. He was surrounded by a circle of devoted staff, friends, and family. Ike will be cremated, as he wished, so that he can return to the earth he so loved. We will think of him each time we see a gem of a rock and a full “moo moo” lighting up a dark night.

Ike is survived by his wife, Sedahlia Jasper Crase, Ames; two children, Kirsten Lee Crase, Takoma Park, Maryland, and Brandon Keith Crase, Chicago; two siblings, Guinevere (Gwen) Ison, Somerset, Kentucky, and Kenneth Wayland Crase (Mary Sue), North Augusta, South Carolina; and his sister-in-law, Kathy Jasper Weiler, Somerset, Kentucky. In addition he is survived by nieces and nephews Randall Keith Ison (Janie), Deanna Marie Ison, Kimberly Crase Claytor (Joe), Katherine Denise Crase, James Karl Crase (Melissa), Valerie Gail Crase Scholovich (Pete), and Teddy Keith Crase.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ida Lee Coots Crase and Theodore (Ted) Crase; his brother, James Douglas Crase; his sister Martha Elaine Crase; his brother-in-law Paul Rowan Weiler; and his sister-in-law Janice Hunley Crase.

Visitation will be on Thursday, November 8, from 4-7 p.m. at Adams Funeral Home in Ames. A Celebration of Life will be on Friday, November 9 at 11:00 a.m. at Collegiate Presbyterian Church in Ames.

In lieu of flowers, the gift of a donation may be made in Ike's memory to his beloved alma mater, Berea College, Berea KY 40404 (https://give.berea.edu/donate).


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Previous Events

Visitation

Thursday

8

Nov

4:00 PM 11/8/2018 4:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 11/8/2018 7:00:00 PM
Adams Funeral Home

502 Douglas Avenue
Ames, Iowa 50010

Adams Funeral Home
502 Douglas Avenue Ames 50010 Iowa
United States

Celebration of Life

Friday

9

Nov

11:00 AM 11/9/2018 11:00:00 AM - 12:00 PM 11/9/2018 12:00:00 PM
Collegiate Presbyterian Church

159 Sheldon Ave.
Ames, IA 50014

Collegiate Presbyterian Church
159 Sheldon Ave. Ames 50014 IA
United States
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