This is a difficult column to write. On January 14th Craig Wilson unexpectedly passed away. You may know Craig best as the longtime owner of Video Isle, or as the photographer for the neighborhood kids’ sports teams, or as an active member of the Queen Anne Chamber. But Craig was also a tireless Helpline Board member and volunteer for many years — somewhere between 15 and 20 — and in that capacity he helped to sustain and grow the Helpline. He was instrumental in the success of our annual Fun Run/Walk, assisting with everything from distributing yard signs to emceeing. He helped manage our annual Christmas Tree Lot, he was our resident photographer, our volunteer truck driver and our always present ambassador for the Helpline’s mission of neighbors helping neighbors. Craig truly walked the talk, giving selflessly to others, always with his trademark wit and insightful wisdom and driven by his love for this community. As Pat Sobeck, former Helpline Executive Director said: “Craig was such a great board member. He was always available to help, he came by the office frequently to see if we needed anything, and he would do whatever he could to help people who were experiencing some hardship to find work, including hiring them himself when possible.”
When people heard of Craig’s death, many emailed with stories and memories. Below are a few remembrances from current and former Helpline board and staff members:
“Craig was never a spectator in life; he was an active participant and encouraged everyone around him to do the same with his quick wit, laugh and can-do attitude. He was a superb community partner – someone who didn’t just look around seeing things that needed to be done, but someone who took action and got others to join in the cause.”
– Ann Pearce
“By far the best part about working with Craig on the Fun Run was his entertaining us with his wit! He wanted us to succeed and did everything he could to make that possible. We looked forward to any time we spent with him.” – Susan Belanich
“My first day volunteering at the desk at Helpline I met Craig. He walked through the door and said “Hello Earthlings.” I knew from that moment I would like this man with the larger than life personality.” – Nancy Wood
“He was truly one of the kindest and most giving people I have ever met. He gave SO MUCH to the Queen Anne community in many venues. His presence will be missed in many ways; but his spirit will live on!” – Marty Johnson
To honor Craig and his service we have two announcements:
- We are establishing the Craig Wilson Memorial Fund. Any donations made to this fund will go to services that assist neighbors in need and help strengthen our community, something Craig was so passionate about. You can donate to this fund by sending a check payable to the Queen Anne Helpline or clicking the Donate button at the top of this Newsletter, and indicating that your donation is “In memory of Craig Wilson.”
- In recognition of Craig’s enormous contribution, this year’s Fun Run/Walk (July 9th) will be in his honor – the Craig Wilson Memorial Fun Run/Walk.
PLEASE NOTE: There will be a memorial service and celebration of Craig’s life on Thursday, February 18th, 5:30 pm at the Swedish Club, 1920 Dexter Ave. N.
While we all mourn Craig’s untimely death, he’ll be a powerful inspiration to us for years to come.