Welcome to the memorial page for

John C Craig

August 26, 1939 ~ February 15, 2018 (age 78)

John Craig passed away in Santa Fe on February 15, 2018, surrounded by family and friends.  John was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1939 to parents John Calvin Craig Sr. and Oneta Craig Middlemus.  He is survived by his wife Susan Meyers Craig, his son Miles and daughter-in-law Rachel of Portland, Oregon, son Samuel and daughter-in-law Bee Hoon (Bibi) of Singapore, and grandchildren Ian and Samantha of Singapore. 

John was many things: a builder of businesses and homes, an accomplished athlete and outdoorsman, a proud husband and father, an inventor and artist, matchmaker, and an ordained Zen monk.  John was able to parlay his athletic and academic talents into scholarships to the University of Oklahoma, Princeton (BA ’62), and Harvard Business School (MBA ‘65).  A savvy businessman, consultant, and private equity investor, John personally built successful parking and restaurant businesses in Tulsa and Santa Fe. Some of his more interesting business turns included working with Abraham Maslow at Cumbres in Boston, MA, an organization that brought together a distinguished group of behavioral scientists to organize a new venture in human development training; TRW Systems in Redondo Beach, California, where he supported the Rocket Design Division that made the moon landing descent rocket; and Safe-T-Cell, a company he founded that developed a safety kit for snowmobiles.  John was a student of Joshu Sasaki Roshi, the well-known Rinzai Zen master; John was ordained as a lay monk in 1988.  Devotion to Sasaki Roshi and his fellow students led John to help build Zen centers in Jemez Springs and Albuquerque. John lived in several homes in his beloved New Mexico, including an innovative passive home he and his wife Susan built in Santa Fe shortly before his passing.  

While studying at Harvard, John married Francis Dittmann Craig, who died tragically two years later, at age 26, from cancer.  After moving to Albuquerque for several years, where his father was then living, John subsequently returned to Oklahoma.  There he met and married Linda Ericson Craig, with whom he had sons Miles and Samuel. They raised their sons on a beautiful farm in Nambe, New Mexico. While his sons grew up, John coached championship teams for the Pojoaque Valley Soccer League and served as a Boy Scout Troop Leader. Linda passed away in 2004.  John married his third wife, Susan Meyers Craig, a structural integration practitioner, in 2008.

John was a standout football player at Will Rodgers High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was selected to the 1956 All-State team and played in the annual Oklahoma vs. Texas Oil Bowl in 1957 (Oklahoma unexpectedly upset Texas that year, after a 13 year drought!)  Excelling in both academics and athletics, John was recruited by several colleges but initially chose the University of Oklahoma because of its excellent engineering program and nationally-ranked football team. However, after playing for the Sooners during his freshman year, John decided to transfer to Princeton University on an academic scholarship because of his interest in its engineering physics program. Once there, however, his interests turned to philosophy. He ultimately majored in it, in addition to playing tackle for the varsity football team, and starting a production company that brought performers including Joan Baez, the Kingston Trio, Laurence Olivier, Dick Gregory, and Beat Poets Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso to campus. After Princeton, John went on to study at the Harvard Business School, where he focused on marketing and organizational behavior. 

John was an active business supporter in Santa Fe, serving variously as director of the Greater Downtown Santa Fe Association, and a member of the Santa Fe Parking Committee and Santa Fe River Use Committee. He was also a supporter of Buddhist organizations, serving on the board of the Bodhi Mandala Zen Center in Jemez Springs, and most recently as an active member and supporter of the Thubten Norbu Ling Tibetan Buddhist Center (TNL) in Santa Fe.  He and his wife Susan opened their home for several years to the resident Geshe of the TNL, Thubten Sherab, as well as to Uzbeki artists participating in the annual International Folk Art Market. John was a world traveler, and particularly loved Bali, Borneo, and Uzbekistan.  One of his fondest memories was of travelling with his then-teenaged son Sam to India, Nepal and Thailand.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Albuquerque Zen Center, New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, or the Thubten Norbu Ling Tibetan Buddhist Center.

Charitable donations may be made to:

Albuquerque Zen Center
2300 Garfield Ave SE, Albuquerque NM 87109
Tel: 1-505-268-4877

New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care
119 W. 23rd St. Suite 401, New York NY 10011
Tel: 1-212-677-1087

The Thubten Norbu Ling Tibetan Buddhist Center
1807 2nd St. #35, SANTA FE NM 87508
Tel: 1-505-660-7056

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