Francis George Craven went to be with The Lord on January 10, 2015. Francis was born April 9, 1920 in Boise, Idaho. He grew up on the family farm and graduated from Boise High School in 1938. He then attended Boise Junior College and became one of ten selected for the first class of the Primary Civilian Pilot Training Program.
His interest in aviation started when he witnessed Charles Lindbergh’s landing at the Boise Airport in 1927 at age seven. He graduated in 1941 from BJC and was accepted into the Army Air Corp Aviation Cadet Program in December 1941.
He met Abbie Louise Lightfoot in Boise in 1941 and they married in 1944. They raised three loving children and celebrated 70 years of marriage last year. He served in WWII as a B-24 pilot in the Pacific Theatre in the 11th Bomb group, 372nd squadron and then in the ferrying division Flying P51’s and various other aircraft for the duration of the war. He was honorably discharged from service in 1958.
Francis became an air traffic controller in 1958, working first in Great Falls, MT then Oklahoma City, OK, where he taught at the FAA Academy, and finally in Longmont, CO where he served as the military civilian liaison. After retirement he resided in Fredericksburg, TX for nearly thirty years where he continued to work with his wife at the Peach Basket, a local health food store. He was active in the community attending Hill Country Evangelical Free Church and serving in the Fredericksburg Volunteer Police Service.
Besides his love and devotion to his family, church and country Francis had a passion for flying and for trains, especially steam trains. He spent many hours “chasing” steam trains first with his father then with his family. He also enjoyed listening to music, raising all of his children to play instruments and attending the Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival in Guthrie, Ok for many years.
He is preceded in death by two sisters, Dorothy Sekins, Marylou Judy and son-in-law Ray Waldrop. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife Abbie, his three children, Heather Waldrop, John Edward (Marne) and Pamela Craven Hamilton (Steve) and his sister Suzanne Martinez. He was loved dearly by all his family and friends and will be held in our hearts forever. “Eternal Life: An infinitely high quality of life, in living fellowship with God, both now and forever”.
A private memorial service is being planned. The family would like to suggest memorial donations in lieu of flowers be made to the Oklahoma Railway Museum 3400 NE Grand Blvd Oklahoma City OK 73111 (405-424-8222) or the Oklahoma Museum of Flying 7110 Millionaire Drive, Bethany, OK 73008. (405-808-1599)
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