An American-German Friendship
In Memory of Edward Filmore and Kathryn Mae Crippen



Dear Cassie,

when I was a teen and stayed with you - in 1953/54 - as an exchange student from war-torn Germany, you were truly like a father and mother to me. And Janie and Eddie were my little sister and brother. And then the dogs Sam and Simba.

Now I feel not only like having lost a father, but my older brother. Because for over fifty five years we've kept close contact and had some wonderful times together and we've grown closer to each other, too, as far as the relative age difference goes.

You and Ed were the ones who instilled a love for the good America in me and taught me to strive for moral integrity under all circumstances.

Lately, my frequent phone conversations with Ed revolved around the phrase ‚we're all citizens of the world'. Now, with Ed's passing away as we all must, I would add what Ed and I already agreed upon the other day: that we're all citizens of the universe. And only God knows what that means.

So give my love to the large Crippen family of which I feel like being a tiny part.

I think of you and try to pray for you as do Renate and Ingrid, Tom and Karl and all the other friends Ed made over here.

Embracing you,

Your ‚son' and ‚brother'


Hamburg, November 14, 2009


Today, I received the phone call that Cassie, too, has passed away. Ed and Cassie were so close in life that knowing that they now are together again turns grief into feelings even deeper and more complex. To me, in a way, Ed was Cassie and Cassie was Ed. And I feel that I have lost neither of them.


Hamburg, July 16, 2010

Edward Filmore Crippen, M.D., M.P.H

A child of the depression, veteran of World War II and a member of the “Greatest Generation,” in the truest sense, Edward Filmore Crippen, passed away in Ann Arbor, MI, on Friday, November 13, 2009, in the company of his beloved family and friends. He was born November 9, 1921, in Lansing Michigan. He was the second child of Margaret Jane (Aldrich) and Glenn Lawrence Crippen. He graduated from high school in 1939 in Lansing, MI. He attended Michigan State University and graduated with a B.S. in chemistry in 1943. Shortly thereafter he was inducted into the U.S. Army and trained in anti-aircraft artillery. He served in the Philippine Islands Campaign of World War II and was honorably discharged in 1946. (He later achieved Lt. Colonel status in the USAR-MC Active Reserve in 1975.)


In 1946, he entered medical school at the University of Michigan and graduated with a Doctor of Medicine in June, 1950. One summer during his studies he met his wife-to-be, Kathryn Mae Simmons, at Mackinaw City. They married in Ann Arbor, MI, on June 19, 1948. He did his medical internship at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI. He began private practice in Mancelona, MI, in 1951. Besides his regular office hours he made many, many house calls--practicing medicine as a typical small town doctor of that time period.

Then, from 1960-1961, he returned to the University of Michigan to study at the School of Public Health. He received his M.P.H. with the intent to enter the field of international health. (He later achieved specializations in International Primary Care Programs, Geriatrics, Preventive Medicine and International Health. He was board certified in Preventive Medicine and Family Practice.) Shortly after graduating he went to work for the International Cooperation Administration of the U.S. State Department and was assigned to be Co-director of Public Health in Cap Haitien in northern Haiti from 1961-1962. Political instability forced the U.S. project out of Haiti. In 1962, he was reassigned to the Health Division of the U.S. Agency for International Development and, from 1963-64, he served as Chief of the Public Health Division to the country of Nepal. While there he identified a smallpox outbreak and was instrumental in assembling the manpower, transportation and dry vaccine to avert a major epidemic. After returning to the U.S., he became the Mobile County Health Officer, Mobile, AL. In 1967, he accepted a position as Deputy Commissioner of Health for the city of Detroit. He then took a position as State Health Officer for the State of Nevada.


Next he moved his family to Los Angeles to serve as Western Regional Medical Director for Gulf Oil Corporation. Later, desiring a more simple life, he established a family practice in St. Helens, OR. It was shortly thereafter that he bought his beloved apple and pear orchard in the Hood River Valley. He used Hood River as a home base for his medical/public health consultant work traveling all over the U.S. and the world: Togo, Africa; Korea; Morocco; U.S. NOAA Research Ship; Comoros Islands; Israel; and Haiti. He made many, many friends all over the world. Lastly, he retired back to Mancelona, MI. He was a proud member of the Descendents of the Mayflower Society of Michigan. His roots trace back to Mayflower passengers Edward Fuller and Myles Standish.

There have been many 'points of contact' in our busy lives and I will try to collect some of them on this webpage (which, hopefully, might over time develop into a little documentary on people who first met in a small town, Mancelona, and who became citizens of the world).

Physician fired for health warning ...

Former Nevada state health officer Edward Crippen, who was fired for trying to alert the Fallon public and officials of a health danger in their community, died on Nov. 13.

In 1969, Dr. Crippen heard from a recently retired Churchill County nurse who told him a secret she had learned from local officials and had told no one for fear of losing her job. The water in the region, she told Crippen, had a problem. Crippen checked her facts and discovered the water was dangerously high in arsenic. He notified local officials in Fallon that they needed either to get a new water source or start treating the old one.

Acting Fallon Mayor Merton Domonoske, worried that word of the danger would get out and hurt tourism, made contact with Gov. Paul Laxalt, who convened the Nevada Board of Health to fire Crippen, which it did on Feb. 26, 1969, causing the national publicity of the kind Domonoske had hoped to avoid (“Blinded by Science,” RN&R, March 1, 2007).

Crippen continued a distinguished career, serving as health officer for Gulf Oil and doing health consulting for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the governments of Israel, Togo, Korea, Morocco, Haiti and the Comoros Islands. He was living in retirement in Mancelona, Mich. ...

Reno News & Review, November 26, 2009

Mancelona History

It was in 1869, four years after the Civil War when Perry Andress homesteaded in Mancelona that was named after his young daughter. In 1871 the Township was authorized by the Legislature in Antrim County. People came first primarily to farm. In 1872 the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad arrived opening up the Village to southern and northern trade centers. In 1882 a John Otis built a blast furnace to make pig iron using charcoal from the maple trees so abundant in the area. By 1900 Mancelona-Antrim was the largest villages in the county due mainly to the Antrim Iron Company, an outgrowth of Otis's first endeavors. Many Swedish people immigrated to the village as well as people from Indiana and Kentucky to work in the woods and iron plants. Antrim Iron was the main support for the Village until 1945 when it closed down due to the scarcity of hardwood and newer iron making technology but in its day, it was "tops". The farmers gradually concentrated on growing the potato, which is now the major crop in the area. After some low years the village revived with the coming of stamping plants like present day Dura and three saw mills mostly handling hardwood. It was always known for its fishing and hunting and vigilante spirit.



Edward Crippen, Mancelona Area Historical Society - 2002 - 464 pages

In the sixties, The Lakes of the North Recreation Community began east of Mancelona and the ski resort Schuss Mountain began in the west. With the growth of the recreation areas in the western half of the county [Torch Lake and Shanty Creek], East Jordan and Charlevoix to the northwest, Petoskey north, Gaylord and Interstate 75 to the northeast and east, and Traverse City to the southwest; Mancelona has become a crossroads community. US 131 carries traffic north on State 66 to Charlevoix, to Petoskey, Boyne City and Gaylord via Alba. Each day State C38 brings more traffic from Interstate 75 at the Waters exit from the southeast and central Michigan. State 571 takes one south to Twin and Starvation Lakes or to Grayling on State 72 and the famous Manistee and Au Sable trout streams. Directly west runs State 88 to Bellaire, the Chain of Lakes and Alden and Traverse City. US 131 to the south brings and takes travelers to Kalkaska hence Traverse City or to Grand Rapids and the Mid West.

Ernest Hemingway wrote stories of Mancelona. It has an annual Bass Festival since 1955 and the White Pine Cross Country Run but increasingly more popular are snowmobile events. Gradually it is becoming a retirement village of former residents returning home, home of the Ironmen.

Contributed by: Doc Crippen

... more to come