From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 4, Number 38 - December 16, 2004
brought to you online by Pinedale Online


Craig Lee Crandall

Craig Lee Crandall died at home on Dec. 9, 2004, surrounded by his family following an eight-year battle with prostate cancer. He lived life to the fullest and enjoyed himself to the end.

Craig was born Aug. 2, 1939, in Jackson to Vera and Earle Crandall. He spent much of his childhood at his grandparents' ranch in Kelly, teasing his younger sister, Judy. His father worked for Mountain Bell and the family moved frequently, living in Gillette, Lander, Kemmerer and again in Jackson.

In 1952 the family bought the Wyoming Telephone Company in Pinedale. Craig attended school in Pinedale, graduating from high school in 1957. He attended the University of Utah, and while his first year of college consisted primarily of ping pong and hearts, he graduated in 1962 with a degree in marketing and accounting.

In 1962, Craig married Jo Markham and they moved to Cordova, Alaska, where Craig worked for the Cordova Telephone Company, building on his skills as a lineman (he learned to climb telephone poles when he was 8). Their daughter Krissell was born in Cordova.

Craig joined the U.S. Air Force in 1963 and received a Regular Air Force Commission following officer training. He was stationed in Texas, Michigan and England, where his second daughter, Margo, was born. He achieved the rank of captain and left the military in 1967.

Craig returned to the University of Utah, graduating in 1968 with an MBA and high honors, to the surprise of many. Craig moved to El Paso, Texas, to work for IBM. He also ran his own computer-processing service with a friend.

Sporting large sideburns, Craig came back to Pinedale in 1971 to work at the family telephone company. During the years Craig and Earle ran the telephone company, they made many upgrades to improve the reliability of service. Their improvements included converting aerial lines to underground lines and party lines to single-party service in most areas, installing new long-distance microwave signal equipment and upgrading to computerized recordkeeping.

During their ownership of the phone company, basic local service cost $4.25 per month for decades, and local payphone calls were free.

During the early 1980s, Craig was very active in an industry group that crafted a plan to protect previously subsidized rural telephone service as the telecommunications industry was deregulated. He was very proud that, thanks to their efforts, rural telephone service remained affordable after deregulation. He traveled so much during that time that he obtained a pilot's license. Craig and his father sold the telephone company in 1984.

Craig started many other businesses in Pinedale including the first Radio Shack store, the first video rental store, a computer-installation business, a solar panel installation business and, of course, storage units.

Craig also obtained Arizona and Wyoming real estate licenses. In 1990 Craig and Jo purchased McGregor's Pub - Jo ran the restaurant for the next 10 years, and Craig fixed and remodeled it. They sold the restaurant in 1999, after which Craig and Jo enjoyed cooking a variety of dishes just for themselves.

Craig was an upbeat, gregarious man known for shamelessly inviting himself to dinner whenever Jo left town. At various times, he was active in St. Andrews in the Pines Episcopal Church, the Pinedale Boat Club, Pinedale Snow Explorers, the Pinedale Gun Club and the Pinedale Fine Arts Council (and Men Against the Arts).

Craig was on the board of the Museum of the Mountain Man and served one term as a Sublette County Commissioner.

Many people remember that Craig loved to play. Throughout his life, he loved waterskiing, downhill skiing, fishing, building and fixing cars, restoring antique machinery, reading, drinking coffee and Scotch with friends, computers and woodworking.

Over the years he also picked up motorcycle touring, dirt biking, knife throwing, skeet shooting, horse riding, golf, sailing, wind surfing, scuba diving and became a convert to the RV lifestyle in the final months of his life. It was in his outdoor activities that Craig revealed his profound appreciation for the majesty of nature.

Craig never undertook a new hobby alone, convincing many friends to join him in enriching their lives (and opening their pocketbooks).

Craig and Jo bantered, bickered and made up often, to the amusement of relatives and friends. Craig always had time for children - his own, and the many others that he befriended over the years. Craig made friends wherever he went and kept many for his entire life.

Craig is survived by his wife, Jo; his daughter Krissell, her husband, Mark Morones, and their daughters Madeline and Mia of Anchorage; his daughter, Margo, her husband, Brian Malcolm, and their children Maya and Benjamin of Seattle; and his sister, Judith, and her husband, Howard Sloane, of San Diego, Calif.

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Sublette County Library Foundation, Kickin' Cancer in Sublette County or the Pinedale Fine Arts Council.

Robert Mack Smith

Bob Smith, a life-long resident of Big Piney, died suddenly Friday, Dec. 10, 2004. Bob was born in Sublette County May 6, 1940, the youngest son of Mack and Hazel Smith, and the fourth of five children, three of whom preceded him in death.

After graduating from Big Piney High School, he married Mary Lou Morris and went to work for Halliburton. During this union they were blessed with two sons, Robert (Bobby) Smith Jr. and Phillip Smith.

He worked for various ranches in Sublette County and served as a police officer for Big Piney. After serving on the police force, he owned Bob's Texaco for four years. He then started a hotshot business that led to various jobs related to the oilfield service industry.

In 1990, he started Bob's Water Service and was still actively working his contract with ExxonMobil when he passed away.

After putting his day's work in, he loved to stop by the local merchants and grace them with his smile and "joke of the day!"

In 1992, long-time friend Bill Cramer married Bob and his partner, Marion Isaacs, in the front yard of their place on North Piney Road. They have spent the last 12 years enjoying horseback riding, trips to Thermopolis to soak in the hot pools, tending to their garden every summer and dining with friends at various restaurants throughout the county.

Bob is survived by his wife, Mame; brother, James Smith Sr.; sons Bob Smith and his wife, Dianne, and children Robby, Heather, Landon and newest addition Adison; and Phillip and wife, Angie, and children Cherell, Tyler and Connor; stepson Kelly Wardell and his long -time companion, Barb, and her daughter, Mandy.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Mack and Hazel Smith, his brother Harry and sisters Clara and Judy.

The family respectfully suggests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Bob's name to the Community Home Health Care of Big Piney, Green River Valley Land Trust or the Southwest Sublette County Pioneer Senior Center.

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