"SHSI Certificate of Recognition"
"Best on the Web"

Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


From Encyclopedia Dubuque
Jump to navigationJump to search

Ancestry: https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/53295211/person/172066966563/facts?_phsrc=cbC195&_phstart=successSource


CRAHAN, Jack B. (Galesburg, IL, Aug. 24, 1923---Dubuque, IA, Nov. 19, 2015) Graduating high school at the age of 16, Jack enrolled at the University of Minnesota majoring in aeronautical engineering. During his courtship of Margaret "Peggy" Furey, he enlisted in the Naval Air Corps. In the top 10% of his class as a naval cadet, he was selected to be a Marine Fighter pilot in WORLD WAR II. Serving in the Pacific Theater, Jack was awarded the Victory Medal in 1945 and became the top replacement in the legendary fighter pilot, Joe Foss's 2nd Squadron, the VMF-115 in the 1st Marine Air Wing, known as "Joe's Jokers" for its emblem of the Royal Flush with a "Joker" on the Corsair tail.

After the war, Jack was sent to Peking to patrol the Great Wall of China, in defense of Nationalist China. In 1946, he returned home with the China Service Medal and received the Distinguished Flying Cross with four Oak Leaf Clusters, having flown in combat in the South Pacific, the Philippines, Okinawa, and China.

Jack was called back to duty during the KOREAN CONFLICT. Captain Crahan flew Sikorsky helicopter rescue missions behind enemy lines to recover the wounded and the dead. Jack returned home to Minneapolis after his tour of duty, again highly decorated.

Jack Crahan joined FLEXSTEEL INDUSTRIES, INC. in 1947, and helped move the Metal Division to Dubuque in 1955. He spearheaded the move into recreational vehicles (RV), when Winnebago requested that Flexsteel build frames for them. Jack came up with phrase, "It's all furniture, but this is just furniture that goes down the road." At the height of the RV business, Flexsteel generated $98 million worth of revenue and became the leader of the RV business. Jack helped take Flexsteel public in 1969.

Through the years, Crahan served in a number of executive capacities including Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Dubuque plant. In 1985, he succeeded Frank BERTSCH as President and Chief Operating Officer when Bertsch became Chairman of the Board. In 1985, with Crahan as president, Flexsteel responded to the acceleration of technology and globalization by forming a new Management Committee chaired by K. Bruce Lauritsen, then Executive Vice President of Sales. This committee's responsibility was to ready the company for expansion to the year 2000. (1)

In 1990, Crahan was named Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer; in 1993, Lauritsen was named Chief Executive Officer as well as President, and Crahan remained as Chairman. (2)

In 1999 at the annual meeting of the shareholders John R. Easter was elected Chairman of the Board when Jack B. Crahan declined to stand for re-election. (3)

Jack was very active in the community and served on many boards over the years, including DUBUQUE BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, Loras College Board of Regents, United Steelworkers Pension Trust, DUBUQUE RACING ASSOCIATION, DUBUQUE BOYS' CLUB, and the National Association of Furniture Manufacturing. He joined the 990 Club in 1955 as one of its original members and was the longest-standing member of the DUBUQUE SHOOTING SOCIETY. (4)



1. Furniture World News Page. Online: http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Jack-Crahan/36464647

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. "Jack Crahan," Egelhof, Siegert, Casper. Online: http://www.egelhofsiegertcasper.com/book-of-memories/2298460/Crahan-Jack/obituary.php