Thomas L. (Tom) Craddock was born into this world on February 5, 1947 to Mike and Bonnie Craddock at the old Klamath Valley Hospital in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Tom moved on to be with his many friends in a better place on August 15, 2021 at his home in Dorris, CA.
Being the 4th generation to live in the area, Tom grew up in the hills and fields hunting, fishing and enjoying the benefits of small town life. He attended all 12 years of schooling at Dorris Elementary and Butte Valley High School, graduating in 1965. In high school he excelled in track, when he was in a race, he usually was the favorite to win.
He worked for a time at Dorris Lumber Company before entering the US Army in 1967. He was home on leave with orders to report to Viet Nam when a traffic accident robbed him of the use of his right arm. He was transferred to the Army hospital in San Francisco where he met Joann Marinkovich. They were married and had two children, Michael Joseph and Stacy Ann. Tom and Joann were divorced in 1980 and remained friends until Joanns death, he never remarried.
Tom worked at many jobs, but he was a wonderful artist. His ability to give life to a wildlife scene was amazing. He ran a rod and reel repair business for years until it became a throw away industry. He was gifted at artificial fly tying and sold his flies in the 70’s and 80’s to many companies.
Tom was a very good bowler, at one time considered one of the best in the area. He was approached several times to go pro but did not think that was a life he wanted to lead. Too bad, he was very good.
Tom became friends with Linda Buck while bowling. Their friendship lasted for almost 30 years until her death in 2009. Tom never recovered from the loss, they were married, just didn’t know it. He was the proud owner of many dogs and the caregiver for a boatload of cats over the years. They were his constant companions. He even catered to an occasional skunk or raccoon over the long winter months.
Tom was not a very social person. He had a great sense of humor and could laugh with the best of them. He preferred a small circle of friends and acquaintances over crowds. His favorite pastimes were coin collecting and reading paperbacks. He read thousands.
Tom will be missed daily by those he touched. He had a huge heart and a soft spot for animals and kids. Donations to functions and charities was common. His self-proclaimed “grumpy old man” attitude was one of legend.
Tom was preceded in death by his father and mother, Mike and Bonnie Craddock, his ex-wife and friend Joann and long time partner Linda Buck, also numerous aunts and uncles in both the Craddock and Turner clans.
Tom is survived by his Son Michael and his partner Andy Roberts of Dorris, His daughter Stacy and partner Frankie Arvziu of Tracy Calif, a brother Gary Craddock and wife Cherie of Dorris and Alturas, two grandsons and two granddaughters, Cameron, Brayden, Michaela and Adalynn. There are also many aunts, uncles, a niece, a nephew and cousins scattered across the country.
If you are so inclined, make a donation in Tom’s name to an animal rescue organization of your choice, he would smile to have facilitated that assistance.
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