Hagerstown, MD Ollen Ottis Craig, of Hagerstown, left this world in the wee hours of February 16, 2015, to join his Lord and the love of his life. He was born the seventh son of a seventh son, on February 28, 1924, in Vale, North Carolina, to Major Hartzel Craig and Dovie Roxana Cook Craig.
He grew up picking cotton on the family sharecropping farm and walked, usually barefoot, to and from a one room school. He enlisted in the Navy during World War II, serving a little over 3 years as Seaman 2nd class and was on a troop transport ship, going through the Panama Canal, just as service men on shore burst in to a celebration, shouting, Its over, the war is over. He worked as a carpenter on various large projects along the East Coast.
The course of his life changed in 1947 when he gave his heart to Christ. A dream about Stutz Marquiss a young lady in the congregation of The Church of God Universal, in Hagerstown, Maryland inspired his love and a wedding that year. He awoke determined to make her his wife. The happy couple settled together in the Hagerstown area where Ollen began his career as a businessman.
He started building houses in 1951, then in 1956, he decided to get into paving driveways. Craig Paving, Inc. grew into a large regional company, with two blacktop plants and more than 100 employees. Along the way he also owned and operated Queens Kitchen in the West End and the American Hardware Store in the North end. He was involved in several housing development projects in the area. In 1988, Ollen was listed in the Whos Who of US Executives.
He worshipped with the Church of God, Universal in Hagerstown. He was ordained in 1981 and made 45 missionary trips (18 to the Philippines), visiting at least 10 countries in that capacity. He helped envision, fund and oversee construction of the current building of worship. Ollen donated generously not only to his home church, but others around the world. In his lifetime, he visited all 50 states and 46 foreign countries.
He is survived by one brother, Alvin Craig, sons Roger Craig (wife Kay), Roland Craig (wife Beverly), Richard Craig (wife Janet), Roy Craig (wife Susan) and Ralph Craig (wife Vera), and daughters Ellen Tyler (husband Greg), Evelyn Craig Monnett and Richard Monnett adopted daughter Mary Farris Crim Martin; grandchildren Robert, Candace Craig, Dresden, Collin, Trenton, Molly Craig, Jennifer Tyler Tracy, Lillian Esther Tyler Renner, Gregory Tyler, Melody Tyler Wilson, Angela Tyler Butler, Patrick Tyler, Alex Tyler, Mercedes Craig Johnson, Richard Ben, Roxanna Craig, Alaina Craig Fiddler, David Monnett, Mark Monnett, Nicky Monnett Draheim, Wayne Craig, Ollen, Elizabeth Craig, David Craig, Aksana Craig Mitityuk, Dmitriy Craig, Eddie, Ginger Crim and several great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. He was Uncle Ollen and daddy to many around the world.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Lillian Stutz Marquiss Craig, his sons Russell and Raymond, his daughter Elaine and granddaughter Joyce Crim, siblings Russell, Vasie, Clyde, John, Burlon, Tim, Harold, Elbert and Paul.
Family to receive friends at Rest Haven Funeral Home, Wednesday, February 18, 2015 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Service to be held at Church of God Universal on Point Salem Road, Hagerstown, Maryland, Thursday, February 19 at 11:00 a.m.