Craig Cuddy was born October 12, 1949, the second of Jim and Lorna Cuddy’s five boys. Craig had a tough start in life, as asthma kept him down often. Consequently, he grew into a teen fueled by an uncertain longevity, so he decided to do as much as he could. Craig’s journey ended June 10, 2018, at the age of 68. He lived a lot in those years, as a fearless adventurer, but foremost as a great son, brother, dad to Chad, and partner to Susan DeWitt.
Craig touched many on his journey. A few highlights: ice cream cone jockey at Bud Lange’s Creamery in Dayton, Iowa (while brother Dick worked across the street at Carson’s Hardware and Funeral Home), bartender somewhere, respiratory therapist (self-help), aspiring writer, mortuary student, meat cutter, Jerry Brown political activist, Twin Lakes skiing enthusiast, probation officer (thin line between crime and justice), home health care dude, dedicated oppositional defiant, realtor, land developer, Nascar race host, rodeo TV cameraman (bull riding), tequila taster in Mexico (8 months), EMT in California, caregiver to his parents (payback), Greene County census director, harvest scale operator, golf course marshal, secret shopper, drug trial guinea pig, lifelong wandering soul.
His brother Joe says Craig had the ability to argue with anyone at full blast and they never seemed to stay mad at him, because he smiled as he made his point. Brother Dick has dozens of stories, but please ask him in person, as most are unprintable. When Craig’s fate was sealed a week before he died, he called his brother Mark to say, “And then there were four,” followed by a hearty laugh. That was Craig’s brand of humor. He said his goal was to make it to his 50th class reunion. Five days later, the hayrack carrying the class of ’68 paused in front of Craig and Susan’s house on the Mahanay Bell Tower Festival parade route, and his classmates chanted Craig’s name and cheered. He made his 50th. The next morning, his memorable life stopped, and the legend of his life took flight.
His parents, Jim and Lorna Cuddy, preceded Craig in death. Craig is survived by his son: Chad (Becky) Cuddy of St. Helena, Calif.; two granddaughters, Morgan and Mila Cuddy of St. Helena, Calif.; his life partner, Susan DeWitt of Jefferson; Susan’s daughters: Nicole (Eric) Campbell and Chrissa (Travis) Lowe; Susan’s grandchildren: Gavin, Grant and Gage Campbell; his four brothers: Dick (Marge) Cuddy of The Villages, Fla., Steve (Kathy) Cuddy of Jefferson, Mark (Kitty Sheehan) Cuddy of Hurley, N.Y. and Joe (Susan Timmerman) Cuddy of Jefferson; his aunt: Janice (Jerry) Kennedy of Grand Junction; nieces; nephews; cousins; other relatives and many friends.
Following cremation, a visitation for Craig will be held on Saturday, June 16 at Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home in Jefferson, with the family present to greet friends from 2 to 4 p.m., and featuring story telling at 3:30. Burial will take place at St. Mary’s Cemetery, in the Cuddy plot south of Cooper, Iowa, in Greene County. His great-grandparents, James Dominic Cuddy and Ann Cuddy, have been waiting for Craig since 1907, in the little Irish Catholic cemetery where the church burned down in 1954. We swear Craig had nothing to do with that. The view is beautiful.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Jefferson Public Library in Jefferson.
We will miss Craig’s smile and humor, his edginess and kindness, and most of all, his laughter. Breathe easy, brother Craig.
Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home, Jefferson, 515-386-2171.