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Linda Janine (Wilson) Craddock

1942 - 2020
Linda Janine (Wilson) Craddock Obituary
Linda Janine (Wilson) Craddock

Scottsdale - November 27, 1942 - February 10, 2020

Linda Janine (Wilson) Craddock of Colorado Springs, CO, passed away February 10, 2020. Linda was born on November 27, 1942 in Ft. Worth, TX, the daughter of Milton Monroe and Faye Jeanette Wilson. Milton was drafted into the service when Linda was 6 months old, and she did not see her father again until his return in 1946, when Linda was 5. It was at that time her family moved to Palestine, TX and entered the oil field industrial supply business. Linda is preceded in death by her mother, father, and brother Tommy. Linda attended elementary school in Palestine. Upon receiving her first pair of glasses at age 5, to Linda's surprise and delight, she was able to see that "cows had legs and trees had leaves." In elementary school, Linda formed deep friendships with a group of girls that lasts to this day.

At Palestine High School, Linda excelled as the editor of the school newspaper, President of the National Honor Society, winner of the National Essay and Poetry Contest, and graduated with honors. Linda received a scholarship to attend Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. Majoring in art and Latin, Linda excelled while at University. She was president of her sorority (Zeta Tau Alpha), voted Miss Southwestern (for academics and beauty), and an honor graduate. Southwestern University remained near and dear to Linda's heart well after graduation, as she served on the Board of Trustees for 20 years. One of her fondest memories was traveling solo and working during the summer of her junior year at the 9 Quarter Circle Ranch in Bozeman, MT.

Upon graduation, Linda moved to Colorado, where she worked at Wheatridge Junior High as an art teacher. In Jefferson County, she was charged with setting up the art curriculum for all regional schools. After a PTA meeting and a night out at the Lemon Tree Lounge, Linda met the love of her life, and husband to be, James Berry Craddock, a professional engineer and contractor. Berry was out that night with a friend and the first time he saw Linda he exclaimed to his friend, "I am going to marry that girl!" Two years later, that dream came true when she and Berry were married at the Redstone Castle, in Redstone, CO, on June 24, 1967. While residing in Lakewood, CO, for a brief time after being married, Linda designed two landmark structures for business parks.

Linda and Berry moved to Colorado Springs in 1967, as Berry started Craddock Development Company. There they raised their sons, Matthew, James, and Michael. Linda was an active volunteer at Broadmoor Elementary and a soul who made school events, holidays, and even the smallest achievements a celebration. She encouraged her sons in entrepreneurship, education, the arts, and community service. Through her service ethic, she taught them compassion for those less fortunate. Linda found deep joy and friendships as an active member of the Broadmoor Golf Club and the Garden of the Gods Club. She lovingly attended to every detail in her home and gardens in Colorado Springs and cared deeply for the many wonderful family dogs through the years. Above all, known as "Mimi" in her grandmotherly role, she adored her 10 grandchildren, spending hours in active play and fun with all of them.

Linda was a style icon. She formed her own business, the Individual Image, Ltd., to provide fashion, color, and image consulting advice. As a consummate shopper, she loved assisting others find their style and the confidence that came from it. She always laughingly said she wanted her ashes scattered at the Cherry Creek Mall. During the 80s, she had her own fashion and style segment on KKTV 11 that ran for 11 years. A dynamic personality on television, she also served as a spokesperson for Goodwill. Linda served on many boards during her professional career, including Discover Goodwill, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Memorial Hospital, Newborn Hope, Zoo Auxiliary, Provisional Trainer, and as President of the Junior League of Colorado Springs. As her career progressed, Linda went on to become a communications consultant, traveling the United States to train corporate executives and military officers. Her clients included Wells Fargo, Bank of America, the United States Navy, the Coast Guard, the General Services Administration, and Discount Tire.

Linda was always the consummate hostess and threw a party like few could; entertaining in her homes in Colorado Springs, Vail, and Scottsdale. Linda was an accomplished painter, sculptor, photographer, gardener, and interior designer. As a passionate artist, she loved music, arts, dance, and theatre. Linda loved sport and fitness, her favorite activities being golf, tennis, scuba, and skiing. She loved to hike and fish at their lake cabin in Summit County. Linda was blessed to travel with family, friends, and Berry throughout the world, sharing special memories on just about every continent with adventures in many exotic destinations. Linda was ever beautiful, graceful and elegant, inside and out. Her impeccable sense of humor brought smiles to all those who knew her.

For the last seven years, Linda struggled and fought a brave battle with the neurological condition, PSP, with as much grace and dignity as this terrible condition allowed. Through this, the family and Linda were so blessed with the support of many loving caregivers. The family expresses their deepest gratitude for their care.

Linda is survived by her husband of 52 years, James Berry Craddock; and sons: Matthew Ryan (Jenny), Michael Lewis (Michelle), and James Berry Jr. (Amy); as well as 10 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren with one on the way.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado.

The family will be hosting a Celebration of Life this summer in Colorado Springs where we'll toast a glass of prosecco (her favorite), to a striking, amazing woman, honoring a blessed life that was lived to the fullest.
Published in The Arizona Republic from Feb. 14 to Feb. 16, 2020
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