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William Laird Craig (1920 - 2013)

Obituary
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William Laird Craig

LAFAYETTE - A Memorial Service will be held for William Laird Craig at the First Presbyterian Church of Lafayette, La. (1120 Johnston St., Lafayette, LA) on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. followed by a reception in the Fellowship Hall.

Bill is survived by his wife, Valerie Hecht Craig of Lafayette, Daughter, Rebekah Craig of Asheville, North Carolina, Daughter, Alison Laird Craig , Stepson, Alan Ross, his wife Penny and their daughter, Micaela of Lexington, Kentucky, Stepson, Lee Nelson of Lafayette, granddaughter, Kelly Nelson of Raleigh, North Carolina, granddaughter Amy Nelson of Lafayette and their mother, Peggy Nelson of Lafayette.

He is preceded in death by his parents Frank Sellinger Craig and Josie Powell Craig of Mansfield, La., brother Frank S. Craig, Jr. of Baton Rouge, La., Dr. Rufus Craig of Alexandria, La., sister Dr. Mary Jo Lockwood of Hammond, La.

Bill worked as a Geologist and Petroleum Engineer, and was an independent geologist since 1966. He was educated at Mansfield High School and went on to receive his Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering at LSU where he was President of his senior class in 1940.

He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, 1942-1946, serving as a meteorologist in the 38th Bomber Group in the Southwest Pacific Area. He attained the rank of Major and was decorated with the Air Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster for Operational Flight Mission in the Southwest Pacific.

He held memberships in the Lafayette Geological Society, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Society of Petroleum Engineers, and the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists. He was a long time and devoted member of the First Presbyterian Church of Lafayette, where he served as both a Deacon and an Elder for several years.

Bill will be remembered for his sharp mind, his wry wit, his deep love of people and his passion for storytelling.

He will be greatly missed by his colleagues in the Oil Center, whom he worked with for over 50 years and who were inspired by his love of his profession.

The family would like to thank the many friends who assisted in his care during his final months; Margaret Oelkers-West and Walter West, Jim Simmon, Tom Jordan, Pastor Zach Sasser, and his long devoted friend and assistant, Jacqueline Broussard. Special thanks to his trusted caregivers, especially Judy Dupuis and Kristy Meloncon. And special appreciation to his nephew, Dr. Robert Craig of Baton Rouge, La. who, with love and devotion, attended to him.

Bill has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Lafayette, La. www.fpclafayette.org

View the obituary and guestbook online at www.melanconfuneralhome.net.

Melancon Funeral Home, Evangeline Memorial Gardens Chapel, 4117 N. University Ave., Carencro, (337) 896-3232, is in charge of arrangements.

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Published in the The Advertiser on Aug. 28, 2013
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