Shirley L. Kranz, Democratic political activist

Shirley L. Kranz, former officer manager of The Sun's Washington bureau and a Democratic political activist, died Friday of a severe infection at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring. She was 84.

Shirley Lipnick was born and raised in New Brunswick, N.J. After graduating from New Brunswick High School, she enrolled at what is now Rider University in Trenton.


After World War II broke out, she dropped out of college her senior year and went to work as a payroll specialist at the Army's Special Forces Depot in Belle Meade, N.J.

In 1943, she married Harry Kranz, who was then a student at Rutgers University. They lived in New Jersey until 1957, when they moved to Michigan after Mr. Kranz became an assistant to Walter Reuther, United Auto Workers president.


Mrs. Kranz worked as a financial specialist at the International UAW Federal Credit Union until moving to Bethesda in 1959.

Before joining The Sun's Washington bureau in the 1960s, Mrs. Kranz worked as manager of the classified ad department of the Montgomery County Advertiser for six years and as credit manager and bookkeeper of the now-defunct Washington Examiner for two years.

She retired from The Sun in 1989.

In 1972, Mrs. Kranz earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Maryland.

She had been the officer manager for the Democratic Action Group, the victorious liberal Democratic slate of 68 candidates in the 1966 primary.

Later that year, she was administrative assistant to the chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee for Montgomery County.

"She was elected and served as precinct chairperson or county committee woman in every precinct she lived in since she was 21 years of age - in the states of New Jersey, Michigan and Maryland," her husband said.

Since 2003, she had lived at Riderwood Village in Silver Spring.


Mrs. Kranz enjoyed traveling and playing blackjack.

Services were held yesterday in the chapel of the Riderwood Jewish Community.

In addition to her husband, who retired from the U.S. Labor Department, survivors include a son, Gary Kranz of Tustin, Calif.; a daughter, Sharlene Joy Kranz of Washington; a brother, Richard Lipnick of Kennett Square, Pa.; and three grandsons.