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Friday, April 12, 2013

DL Capt. Robert D. Craft

~ IN MEMORY ~
Vietnam war veteran, DL Capt. Robert ‘Bob’ D. Craft
January 21, 1943 ~ April 10, 2013



Word has been received with the passing of decorated USAF Vietnam war veteran, retired DL pilot and Delta Golden Wings member Captain Robert Donald Craft, age 70. Captain Craft hired on with Delta 02-26-1973 and retired at the mandatory age 60 in 2003. He was based MIA/ATL/PDX and flew international routes for much of his commercial airline career.

To view/sign the online guestbook and to read the complete obituary, please visit the funeral home website at http://www.brownandsonsfuneral.com/

Survived by his wife, PAA/DL retired F/A Alycia Araneo Craft, personal condolences may be sent to the Craft’s residence at
701 Binnacle Point Drive , Longboat Key FL 34228-1603 .... (941) 387-7017

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory of Bradenton, FL have been entrusted with arrangements.

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Craft, Capt. Robert
•Name: Craft, Capt. Robert
•Died: 4/10/13

Capt. Robert Craft of Longboat Key, FL passed away on April 10, 2013, at the age of 70.

Bob was born in Louisville, KY on January 21, 1943. He was the son of Robert & Elma Craft of KY.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 35 years, Alycia Araneo Craft formerly of Charleston, S.C. His sister, Barbara Jarvis & husband, Dennis Jarvis; brother, John Craft & his wife, Linda Craft; nieces, Angela Bowman & Vallerie Becker; nephews, Matthew & Michael Craft.

Bob attended Winter Park High School in Winter Park Florida, & after moving to Okinawa he graduated from Kubasaki High School in Okinawa, Japan in 1961. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1965. He was active in the ROTC program and created The Capt. Bob Craft Scholarship Fund. Bob was a member of the (Pike)Pi kappa Alpha Fraternity .Among his many achievements, Bob entered the USAF and served two tours as a C-130 Pilot in Vietnam, from 1967 -1969, where he received the Distinguished Flying Cross for gallantry and airmanship. He returned to Langley AFB and served as an Instructor Pilot until 1973, when he began his career with Delta Air Lines.
Throughout his life he stayed very active in many patriotic veteran associations.

This news has been received with the passing of Delta Airlines Pilot, Captain Robert Donald Craft. Captain Craft had a 30 year career with Delta Air Lines, hired February 26, 1973 and retired at mandatory age of 60 in 2003. Captain Craft was based in Miami. Florida, Atlanta, Georgia, and Portland, Oregon. Captain Craft flew International the majority of his 30 year career crossing the Atlantic to Europe, the Pacific to Asia and many Delta routes to South America. One of his most memorable days in Commercial Flying was on September 11, 2001. He was the Captain of Delta Flight 109, originating in Madrid, Spain bound for Atlanta, Georgia. He & his fellow Pilots together made the decision to make the difficult landing of their B-767ER in the Azores at Santa Maria Island on a WWII Runway to ensure the safety of their passengers and crew.

He met Alycia, the love of his life, and married in August 1977 at the Ernest Hemingway Home in Key West Florida. Alycia who flew with Pan American World Airways as a Flight Attendant & Purser from 1965 until 1991. After Pan American went into bankruptcy, Alycia was hired by Delta Air Lines & together Alycia & Bob flew many overseas trips together until 2002 when Alycia retired. Bob's Retirement trip was Delta Flight from Milan, Italy to Atlanta in Jan. 2003

In 1979 Bob & Alycia purchased 150 Acres, with creeks and a 14 Acres Lake, in Fayetteville, Georgia.  During the 34 years they built a large barn, fenced all the land, then purchased Beef cattle. Built 4 more Ponds, stocked them & one pond was with a variety of Koi. In 1987,

The Craft's built their Dream Home, never to leave. Approaching Retirement age, The Craft's purchased a 2nd home on Longboat Key, FL. on the Sarasota Bay & The Inter Coastal Waterway.

After Retirement, their decision was to move full time to Florida and have the best of both worlds, The Gulf of Mexico and the serenity of their beautiful farm......Environ.

Memorial Service will be at a later date.

Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel in charge.

In lieu of flowers Please send donations to The Wounded Warrior Project in Jacksonville, Florida, website: http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/ 

Condolences www.brownandsonsfuneral.com 
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...complete online story and more pictures may be viewed at http://www.lbknews.com/2013/04/12/longboater-robert-craft-takes-final-flight/ 

Longboater Robert Craft takes final flight
STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com
No one loved his country, his wife, Alycia, and Longboat Key more than long-time Emerald Harbor resident Robert Donald Craft.
Married 35 years, his dedication to Alycia is matched with two tours in Vietnam piloting 1,172 missions in a C 130s, earning the Distinguished Flying Medal and then flying for Delta in a 30-year piloting career.........................................
Alycia and Bob Craft
And for a man who stopped counting when his plane took on 200 bullet holes, Craft was a highly sensitive man who said he started reading the Bible for the first time in Vietnam and was forced to reconcile what at first blush seemed irreconcilable, valuing life while shooting at the enemy.
That experience turned Craft into the man he became, the man who married Alycia, and the man who slipped into death by her side last Wednesday, April 10 at exactly 4 p.m. in the afternoon.
Last Monday morning, only two days before his passing, Bob’s mind was lucid, his spirit strong and he found in his heart the will to talk.
“I wanted to be a pilot from the first day I saw an airplane,” Craft said. It turns out that flying was part of Craft’s family life from his earliest memories, flying and the Air Force was his life.
In fact, the Craft family served the country over many generations — five generations served in the military dating back to the Revolutionary war.
Bob’s father, Robert Craft, joined the Air Corps in 1939 ......................................................
Transformation
After flying 1,172 missions, Craft said he grew to question, resent and grow troubled by the way soldiers were treated as much by the government as anyone else.
Craft said he grew up with the attitude and practice of treating military people and those who served with respect.
“My dad taught me we have to treat military people well, and to hold them close to you and protect them. You make sure they eat first and you eat second. In World War II, they threw everything at the soldiers, but in Vietnam, they just used us up,” said Craft.......................

2 comments:

  1. May your flight West be a smooth one. From one old C-130 driver to another. I never found time to visit you at your farm. I regret that now.
    Captain Wayne R Merrill, Retired

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was in the same mind set as Bob. We were friends and will always be I will think of him forever Mike Harr

    ReplyDelete