In Memory of
Bruce David Craig
September 10, 1956–July 20, 2019
Bruce David Craig 62, of Salem, Oregon passed away on July 20, 2019 after a long battle with cancer.
Bruce was born September 10, 1956 in La Grande, Oregon to Edwin Leonard and Sylva Faye Craig; he was the youngest of five boys.
Bruce grew up in La Grande and loved his childhood home life with his family; the bonds he forged with his siblings were strong. The Craig family could be regularly found water skiing and enjoying family picnics, which included their mom’s fried chicken and homemade brownies. Bruce, being the youngest of five boys, learned hard work and determination at a young age, while trying to keep up with his older brothers. In his early years, his passions included baseball and golf. Bruce was a talented athlete. He always excelled, and he was often selected to play on many all-star teams, which included leading his high school team in golf. Bruce loved all his childhood friends —many of whom remained close life-long friends.
After graduating from high school with one year of football under his belt, Bruce went on to play college football at Eastern Oregon University. He played for three years as a wide receiver and was given the name “Golden Hands Craig”. Bruce was named MVP in 1977, his junior year, but due to a significant leg injury in that season’s last game, he was unable to play his senior year of college. After moving to Salem, Oregon in 1979, Bruce continued his education at Chemeketa Community College. In 1983, he received his associate’s degree in Computer Programming.
Bruce started his programming career at SAIF Corporation in 1983, and in 1984 the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs hired him as a programmer. Bruce wore many hats in his tenure at ODVA, serving in his later years as the Chief Information Officer as well as Administrator of Support Services Division (information services, records and facilities). He retired from ODVA in June, 2013, and continued on in a part-time capacity within the IT Department through September 2016. For 32 years, Bruce provided technology expertise at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Bruce and Charlene Gest married in August of 1980. During their early years together, they welcomed three beautiful children into their family: Jordan, Anna and Beau. Charlene preceded Bruce in death. Bruce was also proud of his three beautiful grandchildren: Payton, Lyla, and Camden. Bruce devoted his entire life to his children and grandchildren, who brought him pure joy. Whether it was school activities, sporting events and/or coaching, they could always count on him to be present. In his later years, Bruce could be found on papa outings, attending volleyball games, cheer competitions, swim lessons, concerts, school activities, and more. His grandchildren were the center of his world regardless of distance or obstacles. Bruce always made each member of his family know how very important they were to him.
In addition to spending time with his family, Bruce’s past times included golf and baseball. Bruce was often found on a ball field playing for the Silverton Redsox for many years as a pitcher/infielder. When Bruce wasn’t playing baseball, you could still find him on a field coaching his children and many children in the community. Bruce was an avid sports fanatic always cheering on the Beavers, Blazers and Broncos.
Bruce is survived by his daughters, Jordan and Anna; his son, Beau; his grandchildren: Payton, Lyla, and Camden; and his three older siblings: Tom, John, and Steve.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, August 5, 2019 at Illahe Hills Country Club