Francis Marion Craig
September 12, 2019
Francis Marion Craig, age 83, passed away peacefully at his home in Thompson Falls, Montana, on the evening of September 4 after fighting a hard battle against re-occurring cancer for the past two years. By his side was his loving wife, Marlene.
Francis was born June 20, 1936, in Auburn, Indiana, to Walter and Marie Craig. He had two older sisters and said "I was the youngest and got away with the most." When he was 12 years old, the family moved from Indiana to Michigan. He loved growing up in Michigan, hunting and fishing all the time.
He attended high school in Newaygo, Michigan, then played college baseball for one year at Ferris Institute (now Ferris State University in Big Rapids). After one year, he told his parents, "Don't waste your money, I'm going to work for Michigan Bell." And that's what he did until he moved to Montana in 1972. He worked for Mountain Bell in Missoula, retiring to Thompson Falls in 1994. He married Marlene Burch in 1994 and they were married for 25 years.
When he was growing up, Francis's favorite holiday was Christmas like all kids. As he got older, he said Thanksgiving was his favorite by far. He said he liked Thanksgiving because of family and friends coming together for a meal and everything was getting back to the way it should be.
Francis was the most generous, loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He had 7 kids, 17 grandchildren and 11 great-grandkids. He shared with them all his passion for fishing, hunting, gardening, golf, bowling and wood working. He loved to read and was always willing to help those in need. He had beautiful sky blue eyes, large working hands a loving smile and a wonderful sense of humor.
Francis never met a stranger. He was the fish provider for Thompson Falls. His home and dinner table always had a place for you. He was a member of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Thompson Falls.
Francis was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Marie Craig of Newaygo, Michigan, and sisters Elyse Tanner and Barb Maile. He is survived by his wife and best friend, Marlene, of Thompson Falls; children Kimberly (Dean) Wolfman of Georgetown, Texas, Jill Douglas of Howell, Michigan, Kim (Mike) Phillips of Three Forks, Montana, Jody Craig of Nunica, Michigan, Owen (Deana) Burch of Hamilton, Montana, Jennifer (Jon) Sorber of Spring Lake, Michigan and Steven (Sarah) Craig of Belgrade, Montana; grandchildren Brandon (Lacey) Baty of Nunica, Michigan, Jennifer (Niki) Maddux of Jarrell, Texas, Holly (Bob) Franck of Thompson Falls, Kammie Bull of Georgetown, Texas, Austin Douglas of Clearwater, Florida, Jacob Wolfman of Manhattan, New York, Amanda (Kyle) Stanford of Camp Pendleton, California, Benjamin (Sarah) Wolfman of Mattawah, Michigan, Monica Conlin of Thompson Falls, Montana, Gracie Wolfman of Georgetown, Texas, Sierra Craig of Bozeman, Montana, Summer Craig of Bozeman, Montana, McCulla Kosch of Spring Lake, Michigan, Kylan Burch of Hamilton, Macie Kosch of Spring Lake, Michigan, Chance Craig of Belgrade, Montana and Adelaide Craig of Belgrade, Montana; great-grandchildren Dakota Clifton, Emma, Elias, Jullian, Kindal, Kyle Jr., Lexi, Libby, Emerson and Cooper; brother-in-law Joe Maile of Newaygo, Michigan. He was also very close with his cousin Larry Shutt of Auburn, Indiana.
A graveside service will be held Saturday, September 14, at 1 p.m. at the Whitepine Cemetery. A celebration of life will also be held at a later date. Sunset Hills Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
He was always so thankful for all the help from the Cancer Network of Sanders County. Memorials in his name may be made to that organization or to TRACS in Thompson Falls.