Roland Craft, 87
Roland Craft died March 14, 2017, in Post Falls, Idaho. Roland was born in Milwaukee, Wis., to Glenna and Roland Craft, March 26, 1929. Roland graduated from Milwaukee’s Shorewood High School in 1947. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1951 with a degree in forestry. During his college years, Roland worked summers for the Forest Service in Wisdom, Mont., and Pierce, Idaho.
Following his graduation from college, Roland was drafted into the Army and served in Korea from 1951-53. After his military service, Roland worked for the state of Wisconsin, and later for Weyerhaeuser Corp. in Bogalusa, La. Roland was working for West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company in Hancock, Md., when he met Patricia McKelrath, while they were both hiking the Appalachian Trail near Harper’s Ferry, W.Va. Roland and Patricia were married in Hagerstown, Md., July 20, 1957, and transferred to Coudersport, Pa., where daughters Nancy, Susan and Jennifer were born. The family lived in Coudersport for 20 years and was active in the United Methodist Church.
In 1977, the Craft family moved to Orofino, Idaho, where Roland was employed by the Idaho Department of Lands. He received awards for this work with landowners, teaching best forest practices and promoting the Tree Farm program. Planting trees was a passion for Roland and he left a legacy of shade and beauty everywhere the family lived.
Roland always loved being outdoors, hiking, camping and fishing. Roland held the view that the worst day of fishing was better than the best day of any other activity. Floating the Clearwater River was a favorite summer activity. He was also active in the Orofino Celebrations Organization and enjoyed the annual logging show sponsored by the group.
When they retired, Roland and Patricia moved to Post Falls in 2000, where Roland was very active in the Coeur d’Alene Audubon Society. Roland and Patricia enjoyed visiting and travel adventures with their family and their good friends/camping partners, Don and Kathy Stockton of Boise, Idaho.
Roland was spirited, generous to a fault and loved the fellowship of others. He may have been a man of small stature, but he had an oversized heart. The Craft family thanks all those who visited Roland and shared stories of his life while he was present and able to enjoy them. The family plans a gathering to celebrate Roland’s life at a later date.
Roland was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Richard and his sister, Edith. Roland is survived by his wife, Patricia; and daughters Nancy, Susan and Jennifer.
Roland was influenced by John Muir, who wrote: “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees…As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature’s sources never fail.”
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.
Yates Funeral Homes has been entrusted with the care of final arrangements. Please visit Roland’s memorial and sign his online guest book at www.yatesfuneralhomes.com.