In loving memory of Cleo Violet Craig: 1928-2024


Cleo Violet (Hollenbeck) Craig flew away Sunday morning, May 19, to be with her savior, Jesus Christ, in a land where joy shall never end. 

Cleo was born in Jetmore, Kansas, on July 4, 1928, to Homer and Dorothy Hollenbeck, and she graduated from Jetmore High School in 1946. She met the love of her life, Charles, at a Valentine's Day dance in 1946, and they married seven months later. 

Charles and Cleo farmed before he re-enlisted in the Army in 1951. Cleo became an expert at packing up the household and moving on short notice, which included Japan and Germany. No matter where they lived, however, she always made any house into a warm, inviting home. After Charles retired from the military, they had many adventures together including dairy farming and driving their RV around the country and on to Alaska where they stayed for 10 years. She was a noted cook; sewed clothing for her children and later her grandchildren; preserved food; cleaned clams, fish and shrimp; milked cows and fed calves; volunteered with the Girl Scouts and church camp; and taught Sunday school. She also was a staunch supporter of her husband when he went into the ministry in 1974. 

Cleo was an artist and an accomplished musician. She learned to play the piano by ear at the age of 5 and could transpose music into any key. She also played the clarinet and sang beautifully. She loved singing hymns, and many family members and friends enjoyed a "Happy Birthday" serenade from her each year. 

She was faithful, devoted, kind, generous, funny and lived by the Golden Rule. She loved the LORD, loved her family and loved her country. She would ask, "What would we do without love?" 

Cleo is survived by her four children, Janice Smith (Don) of Forrest, Illinois; Stanley Craig (Kathy) of Adna, Washington; Patricia Gibson (Stan) of Chico, California; and Jacqueline Craig-Mickel (Dan Mickel) of Centralia, Washington; 12 grandchildren; many great- and great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. 

The family will honor Cleo's birthday and "graduation" at the annual 4th of July family reunion where her birthday was celebrated each year. There will be an interment ceremony for both Charles and Cleo on Monday, July 8, at 11:30 a.m. at the Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent,  Washington.