Thomas Robinson Craig Jr.

Date of Birth

March 5th, 1923

Date of Death

December 6th, 2019

Memorial Meeting

University Friends Meeting

Minute

Thomas Robinson Craig, Jr, a member of University Friends Meeting, died on December 6, 2019, aged 96. Tom was born on March 5, 1923 in Clarksburg, West Virginia to Thomas Robinson Craig and Pauline Reasor Craig. The Craig family were Quakers from the Philadelphia area, and Tom’s father, who was mining engineer, attended Haverford College. Growing up in West Virginia, Tom attended the Presbyterian church with his mother, there being no Quaker meeting nearby. From his father, whom he greatly admired, Tom learned about Quaker values and the importance of quiet seeking for the truth. 

Tom had a great reverence for life. He wouldn’t kill a spider, instead gently moving it outside. During World War II, however, he was not a pacifist and served as an artillery officer. After the war’s end, he graduated from Rutgers University in 1947 with a degree in economics. In 1948 he joined the Foreign Service, and served his first post in Hamburg, Germany. While posted back in Washington, D.C., he met and married Patricia McCullough on October 3, 1953. Trish was Catholic, and in order for them to marry in the church, Tom was required to take lessons in Catholic beliefs. According to Trish, Tom took to the lessons with quiet forbearance, while beginning at the same time his attendance at Friends Meeting of Washington. He applied for membership on September 7, 1953, and was admitted into membership on January 18, 1954. 

In 1956, Tom and his family served one last overseas assignment in Prague, after which he resigned from the Foreign Service and they moved to Bellevue, Washington near Trish’s home town of Seattle. In 1958, Tom began a thirty-year career with the Boeing Company, retiring as Director of Market Research in 1988. His Boeing colleagues remember his annual delivery of the Current Market Outlook. No one was ever quite sure of its accuracy (including Tom), but his engaging nature and humor consistently kept the audience’s attention. While at Boeing, he learned to fly, eventually earning his pilot’s license with instrument rating. He also loved hiking, chess, classical music, gardening and travel. Tom and Trish raised five children, Thomas, Steve, Valerie, Brian and Leslie. Together they lived their lives and raised their family to uphold the Quaker values of simplicity and equality. 

Tom transferred his membership from Friends Meeting of Washington to University Friends Meeting on June 13, 1969, although he had been in attendance at UFM since moving to Bellevue a decade earlier. He served for over a dozen years as our very competent treasurer, attended worship and business meetings regularly, and offered occasional ministry. In a 2005 note to our Care and Counsel clerk, he wrote, “Fundamentally, I hold to a sort of laissez-faire religion in which I accept others’ beliefs. We are all, after all, seekers of the truth which for each of us is personal. My religious idol is Sophia, goddess of wisdom, of which there is only a scant amount in many decisions today.” 

Two of Tom’s children, Thomas and Valerie preceded him in death. Tom is survived by Trish, his wife of sixty-six years, children Steve, Brian and Leslie, three grandchildren and one great grandchild. We remember Tom fondly for his keen intellect, the twinkle in his eye, his dry wit and gentle nature. 

Accepted by Monthly Meeting for Business June 14, 2020