East coast legend and class of 2000 East Coast Surfing Hall Of Fame member, John McCranels, affectionately know as “Chummer” to all his untold number of friends in surfing, passed away peacefully in his sleep on December 26th at the age of 81.
McCranels, a well known and beloved orthodontist, lived a wonderful, full surfing life and is survived by his wife Joann (Hodgson), son Scott McCranels a former top east coast pro whom is also a member of the ECSHOF representing the only father / son combo to have garnered that high honor. Scott is also Orthodontist and worked in the family practice with “Dr. Chum”, in West Palm Beach, Florida.
McCranels was also a longtime member and supporter of the Eastern Surfing Association and was a keen and successful competitor for decades and attended his fair share of Eastern’s championships.
Also in the McCranels tree are first daughter Tammy McCranels Dugal, his two youngest daughters Barbara McCranels Behl and Michele McCranels Paolella, his six grandchildren Daniel Behl, Jacqui Dugal, Nathan Behl – a mad charger in his own right – , Spenser Dugal, Camilla McCranels and Vladimir Paolella, his first great-granddaughter Daniela “Ellie Belle” Behl.
Chum’s passions were surfing and anything else related to the ocean, including racing in the Hobie Cat World Championship in Tahiti.
He was the United States Amateur Surfing Champion, inducted into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame in 2002. Other interests included free diving, racing road bikes, riding a unicycle 10 miles to work, tap dancing, high board diving, flying, snowboarding and windsurfing. He was a 4th Degree black belt in the martial arts and enjoyed paragliding, motorcycles who became a certified massage therapist a solid classic jazz musician along with playing the guitar, mandolin, fiddle/violin, piano, harmonica.
A life well lived and fulfilled? You bet and filled with a legion of loving family, friends and surfing exploits and memories very few can ever reach the heights of.
In lieu of flowers you can make a donation in memory of Chum to the “Surfing Florida Museum Inc.” via “In Memory of Chum”, 3201 South Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach, FL 33405.
www.easternsurf.com will be doing a more in depth remembrance, by longtime friend and fellow ECSHOF member Hunter Joslin this Friday.