Richard Cole Craven died Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. He was born March 8, 1952.
Our husband, Dad and Poppy. Our best friend, leader of the troop, adviser in life and business, road trip buddy, memory maker, Dairy Queen lover, Bourbon connoisseur, jazz and blues aficionado, psuedo shagger, and the best darn hugger there ever was.
You taught us so much about life and living in the moment. Your stories and adventures in life were endless: sneaking away from West Point Academy to attend Woodstock if only for a few hours; taking Mom on your first date down Drowning Creek, getting stuck overnight and sleeping surrounded by snakes (we are lucky she married you anyway!); front row/backstage with Ali/Spinks and Leonard/Duran; getting a perfect score on the bar exam and showing us how to make things like that possible; being the lottery winner for Master’s tickets after 30 years of trying; being at the Olympic track and field games the day Michael Johnson broke the world record; attending untold Super Bowls; making how many trips to New Orleans with each of us; getting your black belts in Korea because it was more meaningful; teaching us all martial arts and getting four black belts in the family besides yourself; dive trips around the globe with your children, cousins and brother; so many Van Morrisson journeys around the world with Mom; and a truly perfect day at the Cliffs of Moher we will never forget.
From you we learned to be students of life, lovers of laughter, believers in the impossible, to never give up, and to be there for each other. Your generosity saw no bounds. From friend to, well friend, because who would you have as a foe; you were always there to lend a hand or advice, listen and support, or simply laugh a little and give some perspective.
Some might have seen what you did:
Aberdeen High School graduate; Eagle Scout; West Point cadet; Wake Forest University (undergraduate, MBA and CPA); NC Central Law School graduate; Golden Gloves boxer; dive master; lawyer; CPA and financial planner; business owner; entrepreneur; investor; builder; Realtor; 7th degree black belt and professor; NYC Marathon runner;
daily yoga, tai chi and meditation practitioner; chose the most amazing, determined and loving woman to take on a 42-year journey through life; and fathered and raised business owners, dreamers, fighters, artists, athletes and survivors.
But we saw you Poppy — the most authentic man who loved your wife, children and grandchildren to the moon and back and greater than even you could wrap your arms around.
We will continue in your bigger than life footsteps. We’ll expand our horizons, love Mom to distraction, your grandchildren will all become PADI certified like their moms and dads, they’ll graduate college, open their own businesses, play soccer for the Women’s National Team, graduate from NC School of Science and Math and become a doctor, build the biggest skyscraper in New York, play golf on the tour, become an NFL quarterback and work with scientists to develop tackle safe helmets, ride a unicorn, never stop being a zookeeper, and above all, work every day to live in the present and fulfill every dream we dreamed together.
So Poppy, here’s to an endless sunset over water, with a glass of Wild Turkey, Tupelo Honey playing in the background, surrounded by the love and laughter of your family. It’s our turn to make things right with a hug and a smile at the end of your rainbow.
With much love and laughter we send you off Into the Mystic: Sharon, Parker, Cole, Jared, Adam, Zak, Mark, Kelton, Emma Grace, Savannah Jane, William, Fynn, and last but not least, Nora Belle “Wild Child” Craven.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Kathleen Craven. He is survived by father, James Craven; siblings Donna, Jennifer and Steve.
There will be a celebration of Richard’s life on Sunday, Sept. 8, from 3–5 p.m., at the Weymouth Center in Southern Pines, prior to the family’s private service at 5 p.m.
In lieu of flower arrangements, the family will be building a memorial garden in Richard’s honor. Donations or plantings for the garden are welcome. The family requests that any flowers or plantings that are being sent to the Richard C. Craven service be delivered to Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines. Richard also supported many local causes and especially believed in the efforts of Prancing Horse.
Online condolences may be made at www.bolesfuneralhome.com.
Services have been entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines.