Michael E. Craft
Michael E. Craft, 82, of Ruston, Louisiana, went to be with our Lord on Sunday, December 28, 2020, at North Louisiana Medical Center following a brief illness. The family will have a private viewing at Kilpatrick’s Funeral Home followed by a private graveside service at Kilpatrick Memorial Gardens with Dr. Edwin Davis officiating on Saturday, January 2, 2021.
Mike was a beloved son, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Mike was born February 25, 1938, in South Carolina and passed away on December 28, 2020, in Ruston, Louisiana.
Mike graduated from Hickory Tavern High School in Laurens County, South Carolina, where he played baseball, football and basketball. Mike proudly served the National Guard of South Carolina, even fudging his age so he could join at age 17.
Mike met and married the love of his life, the former Lyndelle Yvonne Strawhorn of Ware Shoals, South Carolina, on September 13, 1959 and they made their first home in Laurens, South Carolina.
Mike was a certified mold maker and accomplished machinist at Laurens Glass Works, and transferred to Louisiana with his young family in 1968 when the company built a new plant in Ruston. He was promoted to Superintendent of the Mold Department and was one of only a few men tapped by the company to help establish a new plant in Louisiana. An active local businessman, Mike left the glass plant after 16 years to open Craft Machine Works (later MEC Enterprises) then Ruston’s Locker Room.
Mike was an active member of Laurens and of Ruston, coaching both Little League and Dixie League baseball in both communities. More recently, he was a founding member of the local Buddy Ball organization in Ruston. A lifelong baseball player, coach and fan, Mike thoroughly enjoyed participating as a player in the Philadelphia Phillies Phantasy Camp Dream Week at age 60.
Mike was a member of the Presbyterian Church of Ruston, having served as a Deacon and Elder and in leadership roles on the Session for several terms. He was a past member of the Ruston Jaycees having served as President and also Chairman of the local international exchange student program. He was a past member of the Ruston City Council as well as the Ruston Moose Lodge, and was a Mason in Laurens, South Carolina and in Ruston, Louisiana.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Lowell and Anna Mae Craft; brother: Dwight Craft; brother: Earnie Craft; sister: Rebecca Craft Koch; and brother-in-law: Dr. Gary Cottingim.
Survivors include his beloved wife of 61 years, Yvonne Strawhorn Craft; two children: son Douglas Michael Craft and wife Carren of The Woodlands, TX; daughter Peggy Renee Craft of Baton Rouge; four grandchildren who loved their Pau Pau: Samantha Craft Kaufman and husband Brad of The Woodlands, TX; Clark Michael Craft and wife Melanie of Magnolia, TX; Tiffany Craft Blair and husband Ross of Stavanger, Norway; and Lyndelle Michele Craft of Baton Rouge; six great-grandchildren: Valen, Lena and Camden Kaufman; Porter and Nolan Craft; and Astrid Blair; beloved sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law; nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (https://www.stjude.org/donate/), the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home (https://lumcfs.org/donate/) or The Presbyterian Church of Ruston, 212 N. Bonner St., Ruston, LA 71270. The family welcomes online memorial messages at https://www.kilpatrickfuneralhomes.com/