W. Craig Jeffs
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August 7, 1933 - July 16, 2013
William Craig Jeffs, died July 16, 2013 at his home in Caldwell, Idaho, after a near lifelong battle with heart problems, complicated with recent bouts of cancer & diabetes. Craig died with his wife of 54 years at his side. At his request, his remains will be cremated and scattered without ceremony.
Craig was born 7 August 1933, the only child of William and Flora Mae Greenland Jeffs in the tiny coal mining town of Hiawatha, Carbon Co, Utah, which was in the wilds of eastern Utah's barren, desolate, yet colorfully beautiful Colorado Plateau. His lineages were of pioneering rootstocks, all originating from the British Isles. (Jeffs, Stott and Seely paternally, and Greenland, Hobbs, and Potter maternally).
During his youth amidst the Great Depression and WWII, he was able to enjoy a glorious and carefree youth hiking & adventuring amongst the rugged boulder strewn slopes of the Book Cliffs; and the sub-alpine aspen and pine forested ridges and valleys of the adjoining Wasatch Plateau riding his Pinto mare Betty.
Elementary school years were spent in the coal mining "company towns" in eastern Utah; Hiawatha, Sunnyside, and Clearcreek, where teaching methods were primitive, classical, and the "hickory stick" was always nearby.
High School years, 1948-1952, were enjoyed at American Fork, Utah, where he was active in scholastics, drama, chorale, and sports, and was a member of an all male cheerleader group, He still retains many friends in that area.
College level education during the 1950's included three full semesters at University of Utah and seven full semesters at Brigham Young University, majoring in Geology. Later, he attended night classes at Boise State University and College of Idaho, studying real estate related subjects.
A "lifetime learner", Craig learned carpentry from his father beginning in his early teens. By working at residential carpentry during summers, together with being a part time service station attendant during school months, Craig was able to fund his college studies without incurring any financial indebtedness. He later attended many adult education classes in the Salt Lake City area to acquire various skills and talents such as welding, machine shop, and auto mechanics. Craig was also mentored in gunsmithing by Cal Jacobsen, and gunstock carving by world class stockmaker Byrd Pearson.
After completing College studies, Craig rented a bachelor apartment in Salt Lake City, where he met and married "the girl next door", on 18 Sept. 1959 in Draper, Utah. The feisty and penuriously pulchritudinous super achiever Delores Gail Woolstenhulme, was the oldest daughter of cattle ranch managers Bryce & Ouida Cunningham Woolstenhulme. Delores, saddled with an un-trainable spouse with highly questionable husbandry and fathering skills, was able to conceive, birth, and raise two fine sons. Steven Craig born Oct. 18, 1960 and William Todd born Feb, 13, 1963.
He was employed by Hercules, Inc. in the Salt Lake City area for 15 years. Hercules was engaged in building solid fuel rocket motors for the U.S. Department of Defense with the Minuteman, Polaris, and Poseidon missile programs. Chronologically, Craig worked as a Material Planner, Production Control Shift Supervisor, Contract Analyst, Cost Proposal Writer, and Programs Analyst. He designed and built the family's first home in Salt Lake City in 1966.
After moving to Idaho in 1976 he became an independent real estate appraiser in the Ada & Canyon County areas. In 1981 Craig and Delores started their own real estate appraisal business, Jeffco Inc., a business they operated for 19 years.
He loved tools of all sorts, accumulated a well equipped workshop, and had professional level skills in many disciplines. He especially loved making his own "toys", things like fishing flies, fly rods, custom built rifles, reloading tools, knives, travel trailers, campers, cabinets, furniture, flint knapping and stained glass.. You name it, he made it! Craig was happiest when at his metal lathe, turning a worthless hunk of rusty scrap metal into an item of functional utility and value.
He was an accomplished photographer, doing mostly western outdoor landscape subjects, a love that he passed on to his family. In later years he self taught himself oil painting, and enjoyed doing oil paintings using his outdoor landscape photographs as subjects.
Craig did not achieve fame, fortune, celebrity, or rank. However, he considered himself a success in life due to achieving his most treasured ambitions: He gained a "rudimentary knowledge" of how the Universe works, of being able to find a wonderful life mate who bore him two fine sons that grew up to be good, productive USA citizens. And learning numerous productive and satisfying skills that enabled him to live a full and satisfying life,
He is survived by his wife Delores of Caldwell, two sons Steven Craig (Tamara) of Caldwell, William Todd (Eliane) of Nampa, two grandchildren, two step grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.dakanfuneralchapel.com.
Published in Idaho Press Tribune on July 21, 2013