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1974 Jeffrey "Jeff" 2024

Jeffrey "Jeff" A. Craig

September 15, 1974 — April 16, 2024

Chandler

Jeff Craig, loving husband, beloved father of two daughters, and treasured friend to so many, passed away at his home on April 16, 2024, 20 months after being diagnosed with stage IV cholangiocarcinoma.

Jeff was born in West Covina, California, in 1974. In 1993, he graduated from Bishop Amat High School in La Puente, California, where he was on the swim team and played drums in the marching band.

It was at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, where he was studying advertising and communications, that he met his future wife, Denise, who was pursuing her nursing degree. On a group camping trip, the two met, bonded and spent the night talking and sharing confidences. After that, they were inseparable. They married in 1999 and had two amazing daughters, Caroline (now 20) and Sophia (now 18).

Jeff was a loving and playful father who reveled in his daughters’ interests and lives. He was delighted to get down on the floor to play their games, enjoy fancy tea parties, dress up for rambunctious pirate action, and submit to—and proudly show off—the colorful pedicures they gave him. With his kids and his friends, he greatly enjoyed all sorts of games—board games, video games and, most especially, pinball. He was known by all as a kind and positive man who could make you laugh, be generous to a fault, and support you when you needed it with calmness and positivity.

Jeff loved flying. It was truly his first love and passion. His dream to become a pilot came true in 2007. After licensing and certification, he was a flight instructor for international students at CAE at Falcon Field in Mesa. He then joined Rampart Aviation, piloting flights for U.S. Special Forces troops who were training on jump operations. From there, he moved to work overseas, providing flights to support military staff and operations in remote locations and stark conditions. He then went on to fly with ATI, delivering freight for Amazon. Jeff made lifelong friends in his work as a pilot and was clearly important to and respected by his peers and students. In addition to professional flying, he loved taking friends and family into the air in a chartered Cessna.

Having traveled for work, Jeff also enjoyed travel with his family, including trips to Hawaii, Italy and Mexico in recent years. A Star Wars “Super Fan,” he was particularly tickled with the family trip to Disneyland during his illness where he got to experience with them the new, immensely imaginative Star Wars-themed area called Galaxy’s Edge. It was a natural extension of his Star Wars zeal, which included the family’s two distinctly different Christmas trees each year—one traditional and one devoted to Star Wars ornaments.

Even after his incurable cancer diagnosis, Jeff retained the positive outlook and thoughtfulness that defined him as husband, father and friend. During his decline, he showed his love for his family in a multitude of kind and caring ways—warming up Sophia’s car on cold winter mornings, bringing Denise her morning coffee, sending Caroline care packages at NAU, and other kindhearted gestures. He was always exceedingly proud of his wife’s and daughters’ efforts and achievements and thoroughly supportive of their dreams.

Jeff is survived by his wife, Denise, daughters Caroline and Sophia, parents Arlene and Roger Craig, sister Kelly White (Jim) and their children Allison and Jacob, and his uncle Keith Craig. Jeff also leaves behind extended family, friends, mentors and coworkers whom he touched during his short life and who loved him dearly.

Quite appropriately for a Star Wars fan, Jeff’s funeral will be held on May 4, 2024 (“May the Fourth be with you”). The funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, 2121 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, AZ. A Celebration of Life will follow at PERA Club, Continental Dr., Tempe.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation (https://cholangiocarcinoma.org). The family thanks you in advance.

To order memorial trees in memory of Jeffrey "Jeff" A. Craig, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Mass

Saturday, May 4, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church

2121 S Rural Rd, Tempe, Tempe, AZ 85282

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