Eldon “Bill” William Craig, the son of Eldon W. and Kathryn Lucille (Freeburg) Craig, was born August 2, 1937 in Spencer, where he lived and attended school. In November 1954, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and spent the next 21 years of his life serving his country, including a one-year tour of duty at Phu Cat Air Force Base in Vietnam from 1968 – 1969.
On November 23, 1957, Airman 1st Class Bill Craig married Marilyn Flack, daughter of John and Dorothy Flack, at the Methodist Church in Dickens, Iowa. Their first home as a married couple was on Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, NE., where their first two daughters, Kathi and Terri, were born. Over the course of the next several years, the Air Force transferred Bill and Marilyn to many new locations including Virginia, Iceland, Turkey, Illinois, Arkansas, San Antonio (where daughter Patti was born), and their final move, which was back home to Spencer, Iowa in 1972. Although they were happy to settle back home in Spencer, Bill and Marilyn really enjoyed moving around, experiencing new places and meeting new people, many of whom they kept in contact with for the rest of their lives.
In Spencer, Bill served as a recruiter until he retired in October 1975. He attended Iowa Lakes Community College, where he received an Associates degree, went on to sell real estate, worked many years at Spencer Auto Parts, ultimately founding Bill’s Radiator Repair which he operated until 2000. He loved buying used cars, fixing them up, driving them around, and then selling them to fund his next hobby project, which he would often do with his good friends. One of his fondest memories is the Route 66 Party his girls threw for him at Lake Okoboji where they played a game asking everyone to ‘name a car Bill has owned in his lifetime.’ Friends and family recalled as many as 120 cars he had owned by then! His girls said that for years after that game, Bill would recall one that everyone had forgotten.
Bill lost Marilyn, the love of his life, just over a year ago. She passed away on July 6, 2020 and he never got over this. He died at his home in Spencer on Sunday, July 25, 2021 at the age of 83. The coroner attributed it to a heart attack, but his girls know that he died of a broken heart. He is now in Heaven, happy once more, reunited with his ‘Queenie’, Mic.
He was preceded in death by his parents Eldon and Kathryn, his beloved wife, Marilyn; two brothers: Harold Dean, (age 5) and Gary Craig, in infancy.
If you ever met Bill, you couldn’t help but love him. He was generous, funny, kind and intelligent, and he will be sorely missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him. Left to cherish his memory are his three daughters: Kathryn “Kathi” (Michael) Wetter of Orange City, IA, Terri (Rick) Scheil of El Segundo, CA and Patti Stallcup of Spencer, IA; eight grandchildren including: Jamie Ahrens (special friend Kris McDonald), Aubrey Ahrens (special friend Austin Cope), Samantha (Tony) Fastert, Chance Wetter, Jason (Juliana) Scheil, Adam (Sarah) Scheil, Elizabeth Stallcup, and Rebecca Stallcup; 8 great-grandchildren; two sisters: Betty Goodwin of Des Moines, IA and Patti Barrick of Spencer, IA; brother-in-law Duane Flack, sister-in-law Darlene Flack; several nieces and nephews, and many other loving relatives and friends.
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