Some of the Famous River Hot Dog Man’s cremated remains will go to family. A bit will be scattered on the Delaware River island where Greg Crance cooked and served wieners for generations of tubers each summer.

Finally, the last of Mr. Crance’s ashes will shove off in a small, Viking-style boat adorned with a U.S. flag and the Jolly Roger, along with two coins to gain entry into the afterlife.

Mr. Crance, 56, died Monday after contracting the coronavirus, his son announced on Facebook.

“He was an amazing father that raised four boys to be independent. He gave us everything he had, and was always proud of us,” Mr. Crance’s son Seth wrote in his Facebook post. “He will be forever missed, loved, and always in our hearts.”

Mr. Crance owned Delaware River Tubing, one of several outfitters licensed to operate in a shallow, nontidal stretch of the Delaware north of Trenton where customers can float on inner tubes for about five miles, guided by the current.

» READ MORE: Famous River Hot Dog Man keeps tubers afloat and well-fed on the Delaware

After purchasing Delaware River Tubing nearly two decades ago, he grew it into what Seth called “a monster business” thanks in part to the hot dogs he cooked on a floating grill and served up to customers for free.

“You’re not tubing unless you stop at the Famous River Hot Dog Man,” he proudly told The Inquirer last summer.

Mr. Crance’s oldest son, Yuuji, told The Inquirer his father contracted COVID-19 in early April and for about two weeks had only minor symptoms. Mr. Crance then developed a deep cough and was hospitalized at Holy Redeemer Hospital in Meadowbrook, Montgomery County. He never left.

“He never really got much better,” Yuuji said. “He was in an induced coma and had both double pneumonia and bacterial pneumonia.”

Yuuji, 35, said his father struggled with his weight, which contributed to his COVID-19 complications. He said his father wanted to get vaccinated but contracted COVID-19 before he was eligible.

“We saw him Monday before he passed,” Yuuji said.

Mr. Crance moved all over the country as a child before his family settled in Doylestown. His parents later bought a house in Point Pleasant, Bucks County, by the river. Mr. Crance joined the Marine Corps at 18 and met his wife, Megumi, on Okinawa. After the Marines, he sold cars and copiers, but in 1987, after another tubing outfitter complained about his own customers drinking and littering on the water, he set up his floating grill and began feeding tubers.

“I like to think of it as a rest stop, if you will, in the middle of the river,” he said last year.

Mr. Crance’s business typically serves tens of thousands of customers per summer, and last year, he employed about 75 locals who grill hot dogs, drive school buses to transport tubers, and corral them to the exit. He was never shy about trumping up the river, either.

“You can have as good or better experience than going to a private island in the Caribbean,” he said.

Mr. Crance had been embroiled in a long battle with New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection for the right to operate his tubing business. The company lost concession agreements that allowed Mr. Crance to access the river from state parks. Yuuji told The Inquirer the company went to court last year to contest fines handed out by the state and lost.

Yuuji, Mr. Crance’s heir to the business, said it was unclear whether there would be tubing on the river this summer as the state already granted a new concessionaire license to another operator. There will be hot dogs. Yuuji said the family owns the island, known as Adventure Island, and should be back cooking hot dogs when warmer weather becomes the norm.

“He would want us to continue the operation,” Yuuji said. “He loved the river.”

Mr. Crance is survived by his wife, Megumi; sons Yuuji, Matthew, Ricky, and Seth; and a granddaughter.

A viewing will be this Sunday, May 16, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Decker-Givnish Funeral Home on York Road in Warminster. It will also be livestreamed on the funeral home’s Facebook page.

The Viking funeral, Yuuji said, will be private.