Delta News-Citizen

Crayne retires after 34 years with Malden Airport

Thursday, December 14, 2017
Family members, business associates and friends bid farewell to Mrs. Barbara Crayne during a drop in ceremony held for her Tuesday at the Airport Office. Others participated in a small ceremony combined with the City employees Christmas dinner last Wednesday. Everyone thanked Crayne for her hard work and dedication, serving as the Malden Municipal Airport Manager. Crayne is retiring after 34 and one-half years.
Photo by Trina Bell, staff

The City of Malden has bid farewell to a lady who has been a permanent fixture in the City for nearly 35-years.

Last Wednesday, during the City employee Christmas party, Mrs. Barbara (Deken) Crayne was praised by her fellow employees and city officials, as they recognized her for her hard work, dedication and commitment to serving the City as it’s Malden Airport & Industrial Park Manager for 34 and one-half years.

On Tuesday, Dec. 12, another drop in ceremony was held at the Malden Municipal Airport for family and friends who got the chance to wish her luck in her retirement and future endevours.

Malden City Officials award fellow member who is retiring after 34 and one-half years during a recent City employee Christmas dinner. Barbara Crayne, center, is presented a crystal plaque in recognition of her service to the City of Malden as the Airport Manager. Also pictured are, City Administrator Ted Bellers, left, and Mayor Denton Kooyman, right.
Photo provided

Crayne began in July of 1983 and served until last week, ending her triple decade long commitment.

“I started at the Airport in July 1983, running the office and working with Bob Stuart for seventeen years,” Crayne said. “Bob was a great mentor and prepared me well for becoming the Manager in January of 2001,” she added.

Crayne said, having grown up on a farm in Wilhelmina and being married to a handyman definitely helped to prepare her for the hard work and in knowing how to handle multiple diverse duties. “Hence my addiction to spreadsheets and post-it notes,” she laughed. “That’s the only way to keep it all straight,” she added.

But Crayne’s position was about far more than knowing a little bit about airplanes and airport operations.

“The Airport/Industrial Park Manager needs to know a little bit about such a wide array of activities since we have such diverse rentals, farmland, industrial, commercial, aviation and residential,” she said. “One day you might be working toward getting a new company to locate in Malden and the next day you are dealing with wildlife problems on runways,” she added.

Crayne said for those of you who know her well, you know that means scooping coyote poop off the pavements too!

Crayne said there have been many highlights throughout her career. The one major highlight of my career was being President of the Missouri Airport Managers Association (MAMA) from 2009-2011,” she said. “I was the first female President of the organization and I am proud to be a member of such a worthwhile organization and have made many great life-long friends,” she added.

Crayne spoke about other highlights, which included being a volunteer with the Malden Army Airfield Preservation Steering (MAAPS) Committee, which established the Malden Military Museum and Veterans Wall of Honor.

“The MAAPS group works hard to preserve the memories of Veterans and preserve the history of the Malden Airbase,” Crayne said. “MAAPS is currently working on a 75th Anniversary celebration for September 1, 2018 and I look forward to assisting my MAAPS friends with this effort,” she added.

Crayne said she would like to thank her husband Jim Crayne and their daughter Jamie, for putting up with her crazy hours and devotion to her job.

“Many times “date night” entailed a night inspection of the runways (especially love the blue taxiway lights) or driving out to the Airport to assist a Pilot in need,” said Crayne.

“In my career at Malden, I have been involved with so many improvement projects and have worked with so many businesses that I would not know where to start in naming them all and in thanking all the people that I have worked with over the years,” she added.

Crayne said all in all, she will miss the activities and especially miss her work friends but she is looking forward to more family time.

The Malden Airport Managers are and have been: R.L. Ward 1960-1971, George Anderson 1971-1981, Bob Stuart 1981-2001, Barbara Crayne 2001 -2017, and David Blalock has taken over since Crayne’s retirement.

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