Larry Fred Craig was born on September 30, 1937 to Fred and Myrtle Craig in Norwich Iowa. He passed away at the age of 85 years on July 16, 2023 at his home in Mesa, AZ. He attended a one room school house at Norwich from Kindergarten through 8th grade. He then went to Shenandoah High School. While in school he was very active in clubs and various sports (football, baseball, track) and 4-H. He has remained in close contact with his close group of friends from high school throughout his life. After school he went to California and fought wild fires. His good friend Dick Livermore talked him into trying out for college football and he attended and made the teams at Maryville College and Buena Vista College. While at Buena Vista, he met his future wife, Phyllis Rohlk. During their courtship he worked and learned the construction and concrete/brick laying skills from her brother, Kenny. After their engagement, Larry said he couldn’t work for a relative, and sought out other construction employment. After their marriage in March of 1961, Larry took a gamble and started his own concrete and brick laying business in Cherokee, Iowa. He built a well respected business but his heart was back on the farm. In 1971 he moved his family to southwest Iowa to farm with his father. Being a steward of the land he was one of the first in the area to implement no-till farming and other land conservation practices. As he developed a cattle herd, Craig Gelbvieh Cattle and his bull herd it soon became influential throughout the Midwest.
Larry and Phyllis had 2 children, Shelly and Scott. He was very involved in their lives: following their many school and 4-H activities. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and the Shenandoah Elks lodge. He learned to fly a plane while in Cherokee and co-owned a plane with 3 other people. He flew his family regularly to Coin to see his parents, even landing in the pasture just east of the house (threading the approaches and take offs through a fence and electrical wires!). Many friends and family will remember getting a hello via a plane buzz from Larry.
Larry was an avid hunter and fisherman. He took hunting and fishing trips to states such as Colorado Minnesota and Wyoming and even went moose hunting in Canada. Many hunts took place right on the farm in Coin. Family and Friends and friends of friends came to hunt pheasants and deer and join in fellowship around the Craig dinner table year after year. His most special moments were being able to hunt with his dad, Scott, brother Keith and his grandsons. Larry built a vacation home on Sun Valley Lake. Many family and friends were witness to his hospitality as they enjoyed a trip around the lake on the ponton or making memories on the deck. Later in life, he took up golf, which resulted in many golf outings throughout the Midwest and other states. After Phyllis and Larry decided to buy property in Sunland Village East, he learned relief wood carving. He won several awards for his works. He has made his family pieces that we will cherish forever. He was an avid reader, especially westerns and anything about Indian History. He had great respect for his Native American ancestry – Choctaw.
Larry will be buried with his family members at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Shenandoah, Iowa. Celebration of Life services will take place at the First Presbyterian Church in Shenandoah on August 1 at 11:00. Fellowship with friends and family will follow at the Shenandoah Elks Lodge. A private family burial will take place later.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents, his inlaws John and Lillie Rohlk, and brothers, Eugene and Keith. He survived by his wife, Phyllis, children Shelly Skahill and Scott (Virginia) Craig, grandchildren Dusty (Chrissy) Skahill, Jacob (Jaclyn) Craig and Tyler (Kelsay) Craig, Great-grandchildren, Beau Skahill, Annabelle Craig, Cora Craig, and Vivian Craig.