More detail on this person: On October 10th, we lost a beloved son, brother, friend, husband, father and grandfather. Charles David Craft, known to all as Chuck, except for his mother who called him Charles, was born April 23, 1932, to parents Vera and Carl Craft and grew up in the Syracuse, New York area with his sister, Betty. He passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends. Chuck was accepted to and attended the General Motors Institute, known as the "West Point of the Automotive industry", before graduating from the State University of New York Morrisville. He then entered the US Navy and received his wings in 1959. Chuck was proud to serve as a Navy officer and helicopter pilot. During his twenty-two years of service, he had many adventures, including navigating through Antarctica as part of Operation Deep Freeze, duty in Vietnam, and playing his part in the first moon walk, teaching Neil Armstrong how to fly a helicopter, a requirement for astronauts to accustom them to the flight characteristics of the lunar module. He met the love of his life, Phyllis, they just celebrated their fifty-fourth wedding anniversary!, during his Naval flight instructor days in Pensacola, Florida. They eventually moved to Modesto where Chuck was in charge of Crows Landing Navy Airfield. It was during this time they met their amazing friends who drew them back to Modesto when Chuck retired, following his role as Commanding Officer of the HSL-35 squadron in San Diego. Chuck had a way with telling stories and was known for being a great joke teller! He was also there if something needed repair_tools in hand_MacGyver had nothing on Chuck Craft! While he could be tough on the outside, he was soft on the inside, doing anything for his friends and family, loving them fiercely. Chuck was a proud member of Del Rio Golf and Country Club and was an active member of his church. He was a loving husband and father and embraced his role as grandfather to his three grandchildren, who remember him as their silly "Grand-daddy" who made them laugh! In death, Chuck will be reunited with his parents and grandson, Caden James, who preceded him. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis Rankin Craft; children, Laura Craft Fowler, her husband, Curtis and son, Pierson, and Christopher Craft, his wife, Carolyn and daughters, Madeline and Hayden; as well as his sister, Betty Craft Leifer; he also leaves behind an amazing circle of friends who have wrapped their arms around Phyllis, for which her family is so grateful. Life is what you celebrate. All of it. Even its end. A celebration of Chuck's life will be held at First United Methodist Church, 16th and I Street, Modesto on Saturday, October 20th at 3pm. Published in the Modesto Bee on October 16, 2018.
Burial information: San JoaquinValley National Cemetery, Santa Nella, CA
This information was last updated 01/04/2019
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Date posted on this site: 03/11/2023
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