The Reverend Dr. Alexander Craig, public school educator and administrator, parish minister, gifted counselor, and dedicated servant of the human family, died on July 22, 2014, aged 76.
Alexander Lincoln Craig was born in Boston on October 22, 1937, to Emily and Edward Craig. Earning a B.Ed. in 1959 and an M.Ed. in 1961, both at Keene State College, he began a 28-year career as an educator, while completing work for an Ed.D. at Syracuse University in 1968. Focusing mainly on special education, he worked in public school administration, college teaching, residential care, and institutional care, serving school districts in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
Leaving this career at age fifty to pursue interest in Unitarian Universalist ministry, Mr. Craig completed three years of study at Bangor Theological Seminary and was ordained by the First Universalist Church of Sangerville, Maine, in 1990. After two years of yoked interim ministry with that church and the nearby First Universalist Church of Dexter, he accepted a joint call to settle as their permanent minister and continued with them for another eight years. Moving on to Florida, the Rev. Mr. Craig served the UU Church of St. Petersburg as co-consulting minister (2001-05) and then the Spirit of Life Unitarian Universalists of Odessa as part time minister (2005-12), meanwhile returning to the St. Petersburg church as pastoral care minister (2009-12). He was named Minister Emeritus of both congregations in 2012, but stayed with the Odessa congregation as occasional preacher and pastor for two more years.
In the Northeast District of the UUA, Alec Craig served as Chair of Extension and Chair of Adult Activities, Disaster Coordinator for the UU Service Committee, and liaison to students at Bangor Theological Seminary. Later he served terms as vice-president and president of Florida’s West Central Cluster of UU Congregations.
Volunteer community work was a central commitment of Mr. Craig’s life, as both educator and minister. In New England, he served as board member and president of the Charlotte White Center (supporting the mentally and physically challenged), on the Fund Raising Committee for Womancare (assisting victims of domestic abuse), and on the Dexter Regional High School Civil Rights team. He was a member of the Interfaith Alliance and the ACLU, worked for Habitat for Humanity, and taught safe driving courses for the AARP. In Florida, he worked part time for the Salvation Army.
Alec had a gift for pastoral care and is described by his wife, Penny, as a “humanitarian” who “enjoyed serving people.” She recalled particularly his devotion to end-of-life pastoral care: “He loved doing funerals, and loved visiting people in nursing homes and hospitals, holding their hands, and making sure their families felt like they were being heard.”
Alec Craig is survived by his wife, Penny Craig; son Geoffrey Craig, daughter Emily Kirk, granddaughters Allora Craig and Hannah Kirk, and brothers Duncan Craig and Edward Craig.
A Scottish Celebration of Life was held in October 2014 in Seminole, Florida, and a second Scottish Celebration of Life was slated for New Hampshire during the summer of 2015.
In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to the American Lung Association, 55 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 1150, Chicago, IL 60601 (www.lung.org) and/or to your local hospice organization.
Notes of condolences may be sent to Penny Craig, 9053 Pinehurst Drive, Seminole, Florida 33777.