Darlene Craney was the daughter-in-law to GMF founder Ed Craney, and attended Greater Montana Foundation board meetings with Mr. Craney for several years prior to his death in 1991. She has continued to serve as his “representative” ever since. As a family member who knew Ed Craney personally, she takes seriously the unique opportunity to help Trustees understand his beliefs, intentions and vision leading to his founding GMF.
Darlene graduated from San Jose State University with a major in sociology and with minors in English and psychology. Her education included a Specialization in Corrections with an emphasis on Probation and Parole; Teacher’s Master Degree in Sociology and English. She taught high school for a short time before she, husband Jim and four children left California to operate a cattle ranch near Montpelier, Idaho where they lived for 34 years. They then moved to a smaller farm south of Pocatello where Jim later passed away. At this point Darlene took over the farm for a few years before selling the farm and relocating to Logan, Utah. She continues to live there today.
During those years in the Montpelier area Darlene not only raised children, worked on the ranch and did the bookkeeping, but had other business and volunteer affiliations. These included Outreach Correspondent for the Idaho State Journal, County Program Manager for Easter Seal, and Juvenile Probation Officer for Bear Lake County.
Additionally, she served in various capacities with Business and Professional Women , Bear Lake County Mosquito Abatement District, Juvenile Diversion Committee, Child Abuse Task Force, Drug Abuse Task Force, Bear Lake Cowbelles, Precinct Committee Person, Rails and Trails Museum, Oregon Trail Rendezvous (an 8-year live re-enactment simulating events along the Oregon Trail); Oregon Trail Center and the successful effort to locate an official California-Oregon Trail Center in Montpelier, Idaho.
Darlene considers it an honor and a privilege to serve with GMF’s Board of Trustees. Fulfilling the Foundation’s mission not only helps others reach their goals, but it’s good for Montana. Ed Craney loved broadcasting and he loved Montana. While building his stations, he used his platform and influence to boost Montana’s tourism and image throughout the country. Successful with his broadcast stations, Ed maintained that Montana was good to him. When he retired he used gains from his successes to create the Greater Montana Foundation “for the betterment of communication to the people and for the state of Montana.” It was his hope that others would join with GMF and its vision for a greater Montana.
The Greater Montana Foundation thanks Scripps and their Television stations throughout Montana for providing studio, production and edit facilities for the Legacy Broadcasters Initiative interviews. Without their generous support, this project would not have been possible.
The Legacy Project of the Greater Montana Foundation is produced in coordination with the Montana Historical Society. Many thanks to all who work and donate to MHS and its great work.