James Rogers Craft, “Toby”, a beloved member of the community, passed away on October 22, 2023, at Arrowhead Cove Assisted Living.
Toby spent his professional career as a Process Planner for Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, dedicating over 25 years of service to the company. His commitment and expertise were greatly appreciated by his colleagues and earned him respect in his field. Outside of work, Toby had a remarkable talent for singing and had a beautiful voice. As a young man, he joined his siblings to form the Craft Family Quartet. Their harmonies captivated audiences and brought joy to many hearts. Having served in the United States Army during World War II, Toby was considered a true hero. He proudly defended his country and was honored with two bronze stars for his bravery and dedication. In addition to his professional achievements and military service, Toby enjoyed golfing in his leisure time. The sport allowed him to relax and spend quality time outdoors. He cherished the friendships he made on the golf course and relished in the competitive spirit that it brought out in him. Toby will always be remembered for his warm smile, gentle spirit, and unwavering love for his family and friends. His legacy of kindness and dedication will continue to inspire all those who were fortunate enough to have known him.
Left to cherish Toby's memory are his daughter Laura Jo Thompson and her husband C.J. Thompson of Horseshoe Bay, Texas; son James "Pat" Craft and his wife Bonnie of Westminster, South Carolina; four grandchildren: Alyson D'Alessandro, Derek Craft, Greg Thompson (Tanya), Sarah Thompson (Brian Eytcheson); as well as two great-grandchildren: Gavin and Coen.
In addition to his parents, Albert Jasine and Mary Catherine Gunnels Craft, Toby was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Lucille Williams Craft, who passed away in 2015; two sisters and six brothers.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on November 4, 2023, at Bethel Sonoma Methodist Church with Pastor David Russell officiating. The family will receive friends from 10:00 a.m. until service time at the church. A private inurnment will take place at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Bethel Sonoma Methodist Church, 804 Sonoma Rd. Waynesville, NC 28786.