Robert Andrew CraigBatesville, AR, 1922 - 2022
Dr. Robert Andrew "Lit" Craig, 100, of Batesville, Ark., passed away peacefully on December 18, 2022, at Willard Walker Hospice Home in Fayetteville, Ark.. Lit was born on July 18, 1922, in Batesville, Ark., to Dr. Marion Stark Craig, Sr. and Mary Case Craig.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 70 years, Patsy Chamberlain Craig; his brother, Dr. Marion Stark Craig, Jr.; his step-mother, Ruth Holmes Trevathan Craig; and his step-sisters, Aubrey Sanders, Frances Terry and Ruth Alan "Baby" Futrell.
Lit was the baby of the bunch in the Craig household and was given the nickname "Little ‘un" which was shortened to Lit, a moniker he carried throughout his life.
It is fitting that Lit departed this life in December for he truly embodied the spirit and meaning of Christmas. He loved his Savior, Jesus Christ, and believed that love is the greatest gift. He lived his life expressing that love through big hugs, laughter and kindness. Lit taught his daughters to be kind and to refrain from judging others harshly. He was fond of saying, "Be kind because you never know what kind of tack is in the other man's shoe."
December was also a turning point in Lit's life because it was the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, that prompted him to leave college and join the Army. At age 20, he found himself in Northern Africa jumping out of airplanes with the 82nd Airborne Division. He was attached to the 82nd through combat in Sicily, Italy and the Liberation of Rome. From there, his unit was attached to the 101st Airborne Division which was eventually deployed to Bastogne in December of 1944. By the young age of 22, Lit had participated in and survived several crucial battles including the Battle of the Bulge, learning many of life's valuable lessons which he carried into adulthood.
Always modest about his military service, it wasn't until very late in his life that Lit's family discovered he was the recipient of seven Bronze Stars and the Presidential Citation. He received his Bronze Stars for his participation in the WWII Rhineland, Ardennes, Central Europe, Southern France, Sicilian, RomeArno, and Naples-Foggia campaigns. He received the Presidential Citation for his participation at the Battle of the Bulge.
Returning from the war in 1945, Lit enrolled at Arkansas College (now Lyon College) in Batesville where he met his wife and beloved partner of 70 years, Patsy Chamberlain. Lit and Patsy made Batesville their home after Lit completed dental school at Washington University in St. Louis, raising their four daughters there. The Craig household was always full of fun, activity and laughter, with plenty of love to go around. Lit's motto to his grandchildren was "Do something fun every day."
In Batesville, Lit resumed his love of the outdoors and nature with many of his lifelong friends. He could often be found wetting a hook in many of the surrounding rivers and lakes, duck hunting or clearing and planting pines on his pine farms. He was affectionately known as the original Energizer Bunny and could easily out paddle anyone in a canoe or out walk anyone in waders.
Lit had a curious mind, was well-read and could beat almost anyone at Trivial Pursuit. And even toward the end, his mastery of Razorback trivia was unmatched. He loved his Hogs! Lit's big grin, ready laugh and great sense of humor made him easy to like and love. He was a good friend to many.
Surviving to cherish his memory are his four daughters, Mary Storey (O.H. "Bud" Storey, III), and Carol Jones (Michael E. Jones) of Fayetteville, Ark., Susie Carter (Robert H. Carter) of Denton, Texas, Sarah Bolin of Searcy, Ark.; his grandchildren, Carol Storey Sprague (Rocky), Chris Storey Beavers, Jennifer Jones Davis (David), Craig Jones, Josh Jones, Carrie Carter Davis (Chris), Bo Carter (Heather), James Reynolds, Sarah Reynolds Wycough (Matt); greatgrandchildren, Ashton, Abby and Forrest Rogers, Alex and Mary Alden Beavers, Jake, Michael and Drew Davis, Mckenzee and Whitney Jones, Hudson Carter, Carter and Grace Davis, Andrew, Lacey and Matthew Reynolds, Rylan, Mary Katherine and Mayson Wycough. He is also survived by nephew Dr. Andrew Craig of London, U.K., and niece Catsy Clinger of Bella Vista, Ark., and a loving extended family.
The Craig Family wishes to thank Lit's daughter, Carol and her husband Mike, for their unwavering care of him the last two and a half years. They, together with his caregiver, LaShae Lucien, and his oldest daughter, Mary, provided Lit/Paw with all of the love, comfort and care necessary to add quality to his life and life to his years. The Family would also like to thank his daughters, Susie and Sarah, for the loving care, comfort and companionship they provided while he was still in Batesville following the death of his wife, Patsy.
The Craig Family would also like to express their deep appreciation for the doctors and nurses at Willard Walker Hospice Home. The care and emotional comfort they provided was exceptional.
A Celebration of Lit's life will be held Wednesday, December 21, in Batesville, Ark. A private family burial will be held at noon on December 21, at Oaklawn Cemetery. Then the family will join friends at First United Methodist Church for a memorial service at 1 p.m., followed by a reception in Fellowship Hall.
The Craig Family requests that memorials be made to First United Methodist Church in Batesville, Ark., where Lit was baptized as an infant in 1922. Memorials may be addressed to FUMC, 615 E. Main St., Batesville, Ark., 72501.
May Lit Rest In Peace. Love, his Family.
Published December 19, 2022
OBITUARY SUBMITTED BY:
Roller-Crouch Funeral Home
510 College Park, P.O. Box 2576, Batesville, AR