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1946 Jesse 2020

Jesse Craig

November 16, 1946 — December 16, 2020

Jesse Lewis Craig passed away on December 16, 2020, at the age of 74, in Socorro, New Mexico. He was born in Fort Sumner, New Mexico November 16, 1946. He is preceded in death by his wife, Bobbie Evelyn (Giddens) Craig, his father Sprout Craig and mother Lulu May Craig. He is survived by his brother, Dan Craig, his oldest daughter Traci Yvon Craig and her wife Alisa Goolsby and their son Oliver Craig Goolsby, and his youngest daughter Kimberly Jo Perez and her husband Joe Perez, and their daughter Sophia Evelyn Perez. Jesse was self-employed all his life. When he was a young boy, he was all about learning how to farm and raise hogs. He was on a tractor as soon as Sprout would let him which was somewhere between the ages of 8 and 10. He was interested from the beginning about how to make money and his hog farm was a means to an end. As he grew older things changed because Sprout sold the farm and we moved into town. At that point Sprout opened Sprout's Lakeside Inn at what is now Sumner Lake. For the rest of his high school days he was at the cafe and bar every weekend and most of the summers. In 1964, he started college at New Mexico State and attended until, in the last of his junior year, he dropped out to do landscaping where he could make more money than sitting in a classroom. Shortly after that his cousin Jack Craig introduced him to painting flag poles and his life with painting and climbing was off and running. He graduated from flag poles to painting radio and television broadcasting towers. Then repairs of those towers were added in and later still he constructed towers. He literally painted towers the world over from Guam to Alaska to Afghanistan to Puerto Rico and in all 50 states of the United States. In 1972, he met Bobbie Evelyn Giddens in Odessa, Texas and they were married that same year in Juarez, Mexico. She was his office manager and Vice President of his company their whole marriage. While he was traveling from job to job, she made sure it all stayed glued together. And in 1974 they welcomed Traci Yvon Craig into the world and before she was 5 she had already been in 48 states. On their way to Guam they went through Hawaii and Traci added number 49. One of her favorite games was "motel" and the other was "cafe". So, the adventure that was Jesse Craig was ever moving. He never met a stranger and picked up many a crew member hitchhiking on the road. People that he formed lifelong friendships often met him with their thumb out and him pulling over an old pickup and saying, “Where ya headed?” If you needed something, he gave it to you without question and was generous whenever he could be. When Kimberly Jo Craig was born in 1979 things begin to change because the girls needed schooling and he needed a home base, so he picked Fort Sumner and worked from here for almost 20 years before they moved to Los Lunas and Meadow Lake in 1992. As his daughters got older, they both helped with the tower business, from licking stamps when they were little to greasing guy wires and running projects in their late teens/twenties. He continued to work in painting, construction, and contract work all his life. No job was too big or too hard if he was interested and wanted to do it. He also got involved in gold mining for a short time as well as any other investment he thought might put money in his pocket. He was a man of visions and dreams. Some of them came true some of them didn't, but it wasn't for lack of trying on his part. Throughout his working career and his life he was a man of deep faith. He made it his habit to call Men's Prayer Breakfast at the Church on the HIll with his personal prayer requests every Friday at 5 am. He rarely missed a Friday's call. In 2014 he found out he had esophageal cancer at which point he retired as much as a dreaming man can. He decided to go to Mayo Clinic for his treatment and Bobbie went with him to be his main caregiver. He went through radiation and chemotherapy and was never sick until the very last day. Never lost his hair or his appetite. He decided to do the radical procedure of having his esophagus removed, even though long-term survival of that surgery beyond 2 years was only 30 percent. Just as he was recovering from his surgery, his wife of 42 years died in December of 2014. He survived another six years and went on a whole new set of adventures, traveling and enjoying life as he always had. Jesse worked on a variety of possible money-making ideas right up until the end and is certainly enjoying the Golden Gates and the heavenly riches with all those who went before him. When you get to heaven, you’ll find him sitting at a café counter with his white cowboy hat tipped back, talking to Sprout while he drinks coffee and plots his next great adventure. His sky-blue eyes twinkling’ down at us here on earth just as they looked up to the heavens when he did tower work, thinking big thoughts, grinning that dazzling big cowboy smile, and still dreaming those big dreams. Cremation has taken place. A memorial will be held at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of Chavez Funeral Home, 830 N. Fifth Street, Fort Sumner, NM. (575) 355-2311. To place an online tribute, sign the guest book or share a favorite memory go to www.chavezfuneralhome.com
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