By Vera Baumann and Mark Damele
The community of Eureka lost an admirable resident when Grant Edward Crutchley passed away peacefully at his home on June 21, 2018, at the age of 78. Grant was born to Grant William Crutchley and Thelma Elizabeth Crutchley on April 6, 1940, in Sun Valley, Idaho. Eight years later a brother, Bryan, was born to complete the Crutchley family.
The family lived in Sun Valley until 1954 and then moved to Elko where Grant attended school. In high school, Grant played football for the Elko Indians and was named an All-American athlete. Upon graduating from high school in 1958, he received a scholarship to Westminster College in Utah where he played football. After one year at Westminster, he transferred to Cedar City, Utah also on a scholarship for football.
In 1962, Grant elected to join the Army and served as a helicopter door gunner and crew chief with a rank of E4 during the Vietnam War where he was shot down twice. After receiving an honorable discharge from the military, Grant returned to Elko and went to work at NYTC, a correctional facility for troubled boys.
After working at NYTC for two years, Grant decided to return to college to pursue a career in education. He attended the University of Nevada, Reno where he played football for the Wolf Pack, and in 1969, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. In later years, Grant returned to UNR and earned his Master’s Degree.
While in Reno, attending college and working as a juvenile probation officer, Grant met Charlotte Tognoni, a local Eureka girl. They were married on August 16, 1969. The newlyweds made their home in the community of Eureka and to this union, a daughter, Tamara, was born on December 11, 1970. Later, on August 15, 1974 a son, Charles, joined the family.
The community of Eureka was very fortunate when Grant signed a contract with the Eureka County School District. During his tenure at the district, from 1969-1992, Grant served as a teacher, principal, athletic director, coach and activity bus driver. Grant was respected and loved by teachers and students alike. Although he was a no-nonsense teacher, he was a friend and a teacher that truly cared for the students and was always there to help them excel in their endeavors. He continually encouraged the students, whether on the football field, the basketball court, on the track or in his classroom. His favorite saying was, “Win, lose, or draw, as long as you give 100 percent and come out with a good taste in your mouth that’s all that matters.”
In 1999, Grant was inducted into the NIAA Hall of Fame recognizing him for his dedication to the athletic program and for his coaching of the many Vandal teams including football, track, and the girl’s and boy’s basketball teams at the Eureka County School District.
After the district invested in a beautiful new football field in 2008, the facility was soon dedicated and fittingly named “Crutchley Field.” In February 2018, he was inducted into the Eureka High School Hall of Fame. Grant’s hobbies were hunting, fishing and collecting guns along with his love for sports.
Grant loved the residents of Eureka and loved his home and very seldom traveled away from Eureka and his friends. He had just recently returned from Reno where he proudly attended his grandson’s graduation and where he was able to reunite with many friends and relatives and enjoy a gathering that resembled a family reunion.
Grant was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Charlotte. He is survived by his brother, Bryan and sister-in-law, Irene; his daughter, Tamara Uithoven and her three sons, twins Jeremy and Joshua and brother, Joel Uithoven; his son Charles and daughter-in-law, Lara, and their three sons, twins John and Grant and brother Jaden Crutchley. Grant loved his family and always took the time to brag a little on his two children and his six grandsons.
Grant has touched many lives in the community of Eureka for over forty years. In addition to his family members, Grant, “Mr. Crutchley”, “Coach” will be fondly remembered and forever missed by the residents of Eureka.
Rest In Peace “Coach.”