Thursday, 18 October 2007

Sam Craig 16th May 1921 - 4th October 2007

My Dad passed away peacefully on 4th October after a long illness.

Dad was born in Balornock, Glasgow to a family of 5 girls who must have spoiled him rotten as the new baby. He was later joined in the family by his wee brother Joe. From these days Dad was very sporting and fit, playing tennis and football and winning trophies in both disciplines. At the outbreak of WWII Dad joined the navy as a pilot and trained in Orkney and Canada before being posted to HMS Emperor. His ship acted as a fleet escort across the N Atlantic and Dad saw service in raids on the Tirpitz in Norway and on D-day. After VE day the ship sailed to the Far East.

On demob, Dad went into teacher training at Aberdeen and was posted back in Glasgow as a PE teacher. Over the next 15 years Dad continued teaching and was both a coach and referee for schools football in and around Glasgow. He played hockey and tennis to a very good standard.

In the early 1960's he met my Mum and married (aged 40) in 1961. Graham was born in 1963 and I followed in 1966. I have great memories of childhood holidays all over Europe with school parties and as family holidays. I particularly remember our weekends in Gairloch, Wester Ross where I gained my love of the outdoors. Dad made sure we were kept fit with weekly swimming sessions and Badminton coaching. Dad was a great DIY man, a perfectionist who liked to take his time with a project and from whom I learned many basic skills and swear words (but not his patience)

When Mum died in 1995, Dad kept up his golf and his friends offered great support. He had 11 years on his own mostly in his wee flat cooking for himself and watching as much sport as possible. He travelled to visit relatives in Luxembourg and Australia. He got a new lease of life when his granddaughter (my niece) Gail came along in 1999.

He was always there for me and I often talked through issues in my life with him and took a lot of comfort from his advice. It was a great irony and regret that as my photography business grew Dad's eyesight failed and he never really saw what I was doing. Nonetheless he took a great interest in the growth of the business and, I hope, was proud of what I was achieving.

The dementia started to encroach in late 2006 and he became more confused. After a fall outside on Christmas Day 2006, he went into hospital where he steadily declined as the dementia took hold. From May he was in a care home and he was comfortable and safe but unaware of his surroundings. When the stroke took him on 4th October it was a release for him from what had become a poor quality of life.

Rest in Peace



Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great guy! I bet he was proud of you too.

Anonymous said...

You really have managed to capture the essence of his life in a few words. My uncle will be sorely missed by us all.