Cover photo for Craig Cretsinger's Obituary
Craig Cretsinger Profile Photo

Craig Cretsinger

October 12, 1952 — April 11, 2023

Spencer

Craig Cretsinger

 Craig Eugene Cretsinger, 70, the son of Lyle and Dollie (Bloodsworth) Cretsinger was born on October 12, 1952 at Ladd Air Force Base in Fairbanks, Alaska. Due to his father being in the construction business, the family moved several times before settling in Spencer in 1958, where Craig attended Spencer Schools graduating in 1970.  After graduating from Iowa Lakes Community College in 1972, Craig had his accident which changed his life forever.  Being a partial quadriplegic did not stop Craig from having a productive and fun filled life.

 Craig married Karen Clark on September 1, 1974 and they moved to Hopkins, Minnesota shortly after so Craig could continue his education in architectural drafting where he graduated in 1976 and was third in his class. Upon returning to Spencer, Craig enjoyed his career drafting several homes and businesses in Spencer becoming lifelong friends with his clients.  During the recession on the 1980’s, Craig changed his career to his love of nature and hunting and co-owned the Sporting Good Stores, Woods N Water and Southern Archery.  After being in the Sporting Goods business for over 20 years, he retired which was short lived.  Being bored back to work Craig went.  He helped a friend build up his business, a publisher for a friend’s book, then a disability navigator for the State of Iowa, a job he loved. With the support and help from family and many friends, especially the “Pals” there wasn’t anything Craig wouldn’t do.  They would suggest something and Craig would say “Let’s Go”.  They took him hunting, (shooting a record deer in 1990 which stood for 4 years), prairie dogging, parasailing, canoeing, camping, NASCAR races, and owned two muscle cars with 1973 Z-28 Camaro being his favorite.  He was also a ham radio operator making friends around the world.

   Craig was community minded.  He taught Hunter Safety for 30 years, charter member of “Permit to Carry’ class.  Izaac Walton League, Spencer Jaycees winning the “Spoke” Award, ADA task force, Mason and Shriners being secretary for several years. He was on the boards of Sunshine Workers, Spencer Park Board, Finances at Grace United Methodist Church, Triax Cable, and 3 governor appointed boards for the State of Iowa, including Developmental Disabilities and Vocational Rehabilitation. Craig was fortunate to be the first to have an innovative surgery to gain a functional right hand at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota by Doctor Peter Rhee.  It was documented from the start to finish for others to learn this option.  After 45 years, Craig was overwhelmed he could regain the use of his hand. His family was his pride and joy, especially his son Zach and grandson, Owen.   After a fun filled life Craig finally rode the wheels off and got his wings even though his halo might be propped with little horns.

    Craig’s last wish was to donate his body to Science at the Mayo Clinic to study the effects of 50 years of paralysis on a body so it could give a young person a long life he experienced.    He was proceeded in death by his mother, Dollie; grandparents Milo and Beluah Cretsinger; John and Gertrude Bloodsworth; father-in-law, Robert Clark; 5 uncles; 3 aunts.

    He is survived by his wife, Karen; son, Zachary; grandson, Owen; father, Lyle Cretsinger; sister, Cynthia (Dale) Swanson and their children: Christine Swanson and Scott Swanson, and many other family and friends.

     In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation, N14 W23900 Stone Ridge Dr., Waukesha, WI 53188

To send flowers to the family in memory of Craig Cretsinger, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, April 29, 2023

9:00 - 10:30 am (Central time)

Grace United Methodist Church

2nd Ave West, Spencer, IA 51301

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Memorial Service

Saturday, April 29, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Grace United Methodist Church

2nd Ave West, Spencer, IA 51301

Friends can watch the livestream of the service on Youtube at Spencer GUMC.

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