Craig-Stettner-Obituary

Mr. Craig Raymond Stettner

Des Plaines, Illinois

Oct 14, 1965 – Dec 25, 2018 (Age 53)

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Craig Stettner, age 53, died unexpectedly on December 25, 2018, while vacationing with his family in his beloved Costa Rica. Craig was an inspiration and role model to his family and all who knew him. He was kind, selfless, and consistently put others' needs ahead of his own in all areas of his life. After graduating from Maine West, he attended Purdue, Ball State, and Iowa State, earning degrees in fisheries and aquatic science, biology, ecology, and education. He was a faculty member in the Biology department at Harper College in Palatine since 2002 where he inspired countless students to reach their full potential. He ran a popular study abroad program in Costa Rica, providing students with life changing experiences personally and academically. Craig was dedicated to sharing his passion for conservation and the environment and worked for many years with Harper students and volunteers from the community to help restore the ecosystem in the Spring Creek Forest Preserve in Barrington. He was an avid bird watcher and a board member of the Chicago Audubon Society and led many bird walks to share the joys of birding with students and the public. He cultivated an expertise in butterflies, dragonflies, and damselflies and became an official dragonfly/damselfly monitor for the state of Illinois. Beyond Craig's work and volunteer activities, he was also a rock of unconditional love and support to his family. He was preceded in death by his father, Ray Stettner. Craig was an important part of the lives of all the family who survive him: his mother, Judy, younger brothers, Tom and Dave, sisters-in-law, Allison and Amy, his niece, Elizabeth, nephews, Nathan, Aaron, and Nicholas, Uncle Ray, Aunt Carolyn, and cousins, Jodi, Jill, Dan and their families. Donations in Craig's memory can be made to the Cook County Forest Preserve Foundation or the Chicago Audubon Society. A time of remembering and celebrating Craig's life is scheduled for Saturday, January 19th at Willow Creek North Shore Church, 2200 Shermer Rd, Glenview, IL 60026. Visitation will be from 11am to 1pm with a memorial service at 1pm.

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Craig was a dear friend and colleague of seventeen years. He and I worked together on dragonfly projects. He was a champion of the environment and a selfless teacher. I will always cherish time spent in the field with him. He left a beautiful legacy behind in the students he nurtured and the kindness and knowledge he planted.

Craig meant the world to students like me. It was his passion that inspired me and so many others to follow our dreams. He was easily my favorite teacher even though he was more a friend than anything. It's difficult to make students look forward to going to class, but I was excited for every one. He was also the best teacher we could ask for to run the environmental club. Those were some of the best times of my life, and it's all thanks to Craig. He was an incredible person who touched so...

It is with great regret to receive notice of Craig's death. He was an exceptionally warmhearted individual, always thinking of the needs and interests of the other person. As a graduate teaching assistant, he worked way above what was reasonable expectation to help students in his class. When I queried him about the time he was devoting to his teaching, he said he did it because he would not let anyone fail. As a teacher, he was an mentor beyond the norm but a person that everyone would...

We are so very sorry to hear about Craigs passing. Please know we are keeping you all close to our hearts. Love From Perry Drake, Lori Lopez and family

Tom, this is Marianne Kipp and I was certainly going to be there this morning. I know Derril would be there for you. I am so sorry for your loss. Your brother sounds like an amazing man and I know hell be missed so much. God bless your whole family. Losing the ones you love is so hard. There just arent any words To take away the hurt.

Craig was a wonderful man and a great mentor to our children while they were in youth group at church. Also so happy he helped my daughters scout troop. Our whole family is saddened by this unexpected event.

My deepest sympathies go out to the Stettner family. I got to know Craig at Iowa State. He always had a smile on his face and was always willing help classmates and students. He loved to be busy and was a very hard worker. He loved non game fish, especially darters. He was also always happy to share some of his Lou Malnatis pizza that his parents would send him as care packages. He will forever be remembered as a great person, biologist and mentor. My thoughts and prayers go out to all...

I was so sad to hear about Craig's passing. I hope that in your grief you are showered with joyful memories of him. I had Craig as a professor for two classes in 2010/2011. He was my favorite professor at Harper. He was always so smart, humble, kind, and seemed to be able to answer any crazy question I asked him. I went on to become a Park Ranger in recent years and have found myself thinking of him and his passion for biology often. He challenged me in ways that helped me realize how much I...

Judy, I didn't know Craig as an adult but have fond memories of your boys when we were all young. I am so sorry for your loss but I hope you find some peace knowing what a outstanding human being Craig was. God bless, Judy. Sending you love and hugs. Ron and Annell

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