In Memory

Peter Craig

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11/27/09 10:23 PM #1    

Wayne Rouse

Peter Clark Craig 1952 - 2006
Born: November 21, 1952 in Iowa City, IA (Mercy Hospital)
Died: April 28, 2006 in Reno, NV
Parents: John Gallagher Craig (1911 - 1993) and Louise NMN Webster (1919 - 1983)
Other siblings: Paul Sutherland Craig (1941 - 2004)
Survived by: John Oliver Craig (brother) of Eugene OR, an aunt in CT and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Iowa City (at 725 N Linn St and 409 Grant St) until the summer of 1966;
McCook NE (when his father took a new pastorage), until early 1973;
Portland/Eugene OR (another 'change in churches'), 1973 - 1975;
various places in the US and Europe (military service), 1975 - 1995;
Cameron Park CA, 1995 - 1998;
Reno NV, 1998 until his death
While in McCook, he attended McCook Jr. and Sr. High Schools graduating in 1971.
Military service: US Navy (NEC 9216); January - April 1975 (Delayed Entry Program), April 1975 - April 1995 (Active Duty), April 1995 - April 2005 (Inactive Reserve); retired as a Petty Officer 1st Class (E6) with a 2/2/1 in Arabic and 3/3/2 in Spanish.
His parents instilled in him, at an early age, a love of reading as a learning tool and an 'escape' that was pleasing. Foreign language was also an 'in home' thing. His father, born in Scotland, would sometimes use Gaelic in the house - thereby assuring people were paying attention - and his mother was a prolific reader and experienced in French. They also gave him the basis for his belief that the United States was not the ONLY country in the world. His older brother reinforced that by sharing his expansive knowledge of food/wine from around the globe. His parents felt other people also had important things to say and their combined histories/personal views/written commentaries would allow for a more complete understanding of how the U.S. got to where it was in the world's 'hierarchy'.
In the summer of 1956, at the age of 3, he was taken on a family vacation to Europe - fostering a life-long interest in 'the world at large'. On this trip he was left with his paternal grandparents, in Scotland, while his parents and older brother went to the Continent and visited friends. Upon their return they reportedly found a 'wee lad' in place of their son - "Ah wa' sailin' me boat inna wee pond an' ah almos' fell in." Thus began his training in foreign languages - and his introduction to being a 'chameleon' or someone who, after a short immersion, can 'blend with their surroundings' and learn/observe without being noticed (essential in a household with a 'smoldering vocano' for a father).
Starting in the 4th grade he began taking foreign language classes. He had formal training in:
German (4th - 7th grade in Iowa City; 10th - 12th grade, 1 yr Jr Coll in McCook);
French (that same year/teacher at McCook Jr Coll - thank you, Dale Crutcher); and
Arabic (US Navy).
He learned Spanish while based in Southern Spain (four separate tours: 76-79, 81-84, 86-88 and 91-95). He also picked up, in his time with the Navy, enough Italian and Greek to be mistaken for a native, and bits of Russian and Chinese (mostly 'expletive deleted'-type words, of course).
In 1972, at the age of 19, he had his second experience with 'the world outside' when he participated in a program called "Live Scandinavia". It was a guided 'study tour' of Northern Europe. He visited France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Great Britain and the USSR (before it became a democracy). Classes were attended, and tests taken, in each of the cities - Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Leningrad (now St Petersburg, again) and London. Foreign languages, and his ability to 'blend', were reinforced - especially when he and 3 'classmates' (one of whom later became the 'first' Mrs. Craig) got separated from their group and wandered, unsupervised, in Leningrad for several hours.
His 20 years in the Navy also took him away from 'hearth and home'. He was stationed in Rota, Spain (a total of 11 1/2 years); Athens, Greece (a year and a half); and the Persian/Arabian Gulf (for a year). He deployed to, or was stationed on, 37 different ships and submarines during his career. He visited ports in (and here shares some of the memories - those involved will know who they are LOL): France (the international 5k race in Caane), Spain (scuba diving in Benadorm with the Brits and Germans; convincing those Spanish Communists, in 1977, that 'their way' wouldn't survive), Gibraltar (aka 'Jebel Tarek', right?), Morocco ("Wain el hamam, sidi?"), Italy (Naples after dark was for 'adrenaline junkies'), Sicily ("Mt Etna Fire Water" anyone?), Sardinia (ahh, the mozzarella and tomatoe antipasto in Olbia!), Tunisia ("Deep Submergence means 250', okay?"), Egypt (the Alexandria souk, those young lawyers, and seeing the King Tut exhibit - in its entirety and its 'natural surroundings'), Israel (playing tennis at an exclusive club outside Tel Aviv), Greece (3 islands in a day - what a rush!), Turkey ("Midnight Express" wasn't ALL fiction), Crete, Cyprus (the sunny tarmac and 'aviation fuel' breeze at Larnaca), Lebanon (he never forgot the 'jarheads' he met/worked with at the B.L.T. HQ), Romania (asking, in Romanian, for permission to 'cut in line' for a Russian newspaper at a kiosk on the streets of Constanza), Kenya (the Sunshine Day-and-Night Club), Bahrain (that special Scottish-run Thai restaurant - bangers for breakfast and Pad Thai for dinner; running miles and miles on the Manama docks) and Saudi Arabia (what? formaldehyde? This headache's NOT from alcohol?). His only times 'Stateside' were for Boot Camp (1975), school in Monterey CA (75-76 and 79-80), a 3-year tour in Maryland (88-91), and while on leave between duty stations.
He took up running, originally, as a way to get in shape for what he thought was going to be a 'physical' tour in the military. He found he enjoyed the 'solo' time he had, especially when running through the Spanish countryside, as it provided a needed counterpoint to 'cheek-by-jowl' (or "A's and E's") shipboard life. He completed two marathons (Frankfurt and Athens), two 'sprint' triathalons (in Spain), a 15-k (Cascade Run-Off) and numerous 10-k and 5-k races.
He was married twice:
Kathy Lynn Chenevert of Dover NH; 1982 - 1984; no children
Tamara Denise Edwards of Placerville CA; 1987 - two children

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