Gary Dee Craig, 88, Navy veteran who served during the Korean War

Gary Dee Craig

LELAND — Gary Dee Craig, 88, peacefully passed away Monday, May 3, 2021, at home with loved ones at his side.

Gary was born May 3, 1933, in Dayton, Ohio. He was the son of the late Clarabelle Calistia Craig and Coy Cantrell Craig. He grew up in the Dayton area and graduated from Jefferson High School. Gary attended the General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) before enlisting in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He served at Naval Station Great Lakes, Naval Air Station Memphis, Tennessee, NAS Jacksonville, Florida, and Naval Auxiliary Air Station Kingsville, Texas, where he trained Navy pilots in all-weather flight. He also attended Texas A&I University during his time in Kingsville.

While serving his country, Gary married childhood sweetheart Shirley Crawford Tye of Dayton, Ohio. Married more than 68 years, she remained his one and only for the rest of his life. Together, they raised a daughter and two sons. Gary worked for IBM as an information technology specialist, retiring after more than 30 years. His work took him throughout the U.S. and around the world. Shirley occasionally accompanied him on these journeys, and they visited Hawaii, England, France and Belgium together. Gary also loved music and was an accomplished singer. He won a medal in an Ohio singing competition as a teenager. He also was the featured soloist at the wedding of a Blue Angels pilot and performed in various venues throughout his life.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Coy and Clarabelle Craig; and older brother, William H. Craig.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley; sister, Beverly Craig; daughter, Deena, of Hawaii; sons, Kerry of Dallas and Rex, and his wife, Janet, of Franklinton; and six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

There will be a memorial service scheduled at a later date.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Gary’s name to the hospice organization of your choice.

Share online condolences with the family at Wilmington Funeral & Cremation.

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