John Tucker Craig, 91, passed on February 3, 2018 after a rich life and long battle with Alzheimer’s. A citizen of the world and patriarch of the Craig clan, John’s life spanned six continents, 70 countries, and his quintessential 58-year marriage to Ruth Weiler Craig-a “Global Love Story” as is inscribed on their headstone at Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
Born June 17, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York, John grew up in Oberlin, Ohio, where he attended Oberlin College, did a stint in the Navy, and obtained his MPA from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. In 1950, he married Ruth and whisked her off to Paris (much to the dismay of her father, who expected normal behavior like settling down next door), where he worked for the Marshall Plan and began a 60-year career with USAID and the State Department. Craig spent the early years of his public service helping to rebuild Europe after World War II, living six years in France, Austria (where Dan, Tom, and Andy were born), and Yugoslavia. John avoided easier jobs stateside and served most of his career as Program Officer or Deputy Director in hardship posts, opening USAID’s office in Cotonou, Dahomey, in 1961 and serving twenty more years in Somalia (where Paul was born in neighboring Kenya), Tunisia, Nepal, Haiti, and Guyana. After doing contract work for USAID in Rwanda and again in Haiti, Dad joined the State Department’s archive declassification program which kept him busy until his final retirement in 2010.
A resident of Washington DC for 58 years-where he loved his season tickets to the Arena Stage, Studio Theater, and Kennedy Center,Craig finally moved to Spring Arbor Residences in Fredericksburg late in 2015. John Craig leaves behind his four sons, Daniel, Thomas, Andrew, and Paul; 11 grandchildren Kersley, Simone Riggs, Miguel, Sara, Maya, Michael, Andrew, Jessica, Maxx, JAC, and Kenya; and five great-grandchildren Caleb, Kaylynn, Garret, Itzel, and Kadence; daughters-in-law Els Van Wingerden and Sarah Silver Craig; cousin Mary Harris; sister-in-law Sally (widow of brother Peter S. Craig); nephew Steve Craig and Sharon Kiddon; nieces Cary, Jenny, and Katie (married to Piers Bocock and mother of Miles, Leo, Toby, and Alex), and Mom’s beloved Weiler-Isaacs-Schafer-Cabral side of the family which spans Colorado, Alaska, and the United Arab Emirates.