CHICAGO-Gertrude Crain, 85, who has been chairman of the board of Crain Communications Inc. since 1974, has retired after 40 years with the company and will hold the title chairman emeritus. Rance Crain, company president, and Keith Crain, vice-chairman, will retain their present positions.
Mrs. Crain became involved in the business as assistant treasurer at the urging of her husband, G.D. Crain Jr., who founded the company in 1916. She also served as the board's secretary and became chairman after her husband's death in 1973.
Mrs. Crain has been active in numerous professional organizations, including the Committee of 200, an international organization of leading businesswomen, and has been a leader in the world of publishing.
Among her honors is the coveted Henry Johnson Fisher Award from the Magazine Publishers of America, which she received in 1992.
In a memo to employees, Keith and Rance Crain said, ``We've enjoyed exciting times since Mom became chairman, and through it all, she's kept us all pulling together to make the company the best it can be. She believes deeply everything we do should be with the highest standards, the greatest integrity.
``Mom, in characteristic modesty, considers herself a keeper of the flame,'' the memo said. ``She believes with all her heart and soul in what Dad set out to accomplish when he founded our company.
``We have all felt her support for our current projects, her love and her sense of family and comfort.''