Mr. Richard Holton Cracroft
- June 28, 1936 - September 20, 2012
- Orem, Utah
of Richard's Passing
Share This Obituary
Arrangements made by
Walker Sanderson Funeral Home
Memories & CandlesPrevious
“Dear Janice and family! Oh how sad I am to hear of the passing of such a dynamic and unforgettable Brother. Brother Cracroft was by far my and...Read More »
1 of 28 | Posted by: Karyn Dudley - Salt Lake City , UT
“In 1958, I was transfered to Gmunden Austria to move into Elder Cracroft"s bed, and began working with Elder Keiser. I felt Dick's wonderful spirit...Read More »
2 of 28 | Posted by: Swen Swensen - Salt Lake City, UT
“I will always treasure my interactions with Dr. Craycroft as some of my favorite times at BYU. I was a student in one of his graduate seminar...Read More »
3 of 28 | Posted by: Andrea Jones Austin - student
“My English Professor brother-in-law suggested that I have Richard Cracroft read my first novel, Angel of the Danube, in 2000. Although strangers at...Read More »
4 of 28 | Posted by: Alan Rex Mitchell - Vernon, UT
“My dear Prez and Sis. Cracroft,
Not only did I have the honor of serving under Prez and Sis. Cracroft (being one of the "400 best missionaries in...Read More »
5 of 28 | Posted by: Roy Angel - Visalia, CA
“Dear Janice and Cracroft Family,
President Cracroft has had an everlasting impact on my life as he has yours. His most recent impact was last...Read More »
6 of 28 | Posted by: David A. Coleman - Twin Falls, ID
I loved you so much. You always could make me smile with your funny stories and memories. You were always proud of me, so thank you for...Read More »
7 of 28 | Posted by: Sarah Lewis - San Angelo, TX
“Oh how I wished I would have come and seen you on my last trip to Utah Valley. You would have made me laugh, you would have helped me see my life...Read More »
8 of 28 | Posted by: Tom Daniels - Provo, UT
“My teacher, my mentor, my friend, you will be missed. Thanks for your inspiration on our two ward Book of Testimonies. Your testimony and memory...Read More »
9 of 28 | Posted by: Deb Kidman - Orem, UT
“Dear Sister Cracroft and family,
President Cracroft and I served at the same time as stake presidents in the Provo Utah Region. He was always a...Read More »
10 of 28 | Posted by: M. Wayne Snow - Provo, UT
We'll miss him, too. The highest compliment I could give is simply that he was a good man. Karen & I will drop by to see you one of...Read More »
11 of 28 | Posted by: Frank & Karen Willes - Provo, UT
“Richard Cracroft was one of my favorite professors at BYU. I will never forget his class, which I took in the Fall of 1973. His lectures were...Read More »
12 of 28 | Posted by: Norm Nielson - South Jordan, UT
“Professor Cracroft was one of my favorite professors at BYU. His humor, insight, and interest in each student shone through and made his classes a...Read More »
13 of 28 | Posted by: Tamary Shoemaker - Magna, UT
“Have been missing Book Nook since that is no longer written but have so enjoyed the CD s his writing. he was also a very good friend of my sister...Read More »
14 of 28 | Posted by: Harry L. Gibbons, MD, MPH - UT
“Dear Janice and Family:
I learned of Dick's passing Thursday evening in the Salt Lake Temple when another Ordinance Worker, Dick's nephew, David...Read More »
15 of 28 | Posted by: Ronald L. Culverwell - UT
Oh, what sweet and pleasant memories we have of you and Richard. We worked together building the Madison Chapel and with our youth...Read More »
16 of 28 | Posted by: Bruce and Carol Peterson - UT
“Pres Cracroft is all that I know him through my wife. She has always made references to his through out our marriage. They really cared for my wife...Read More »
17 of 28 | Posted by: Robert Monson - West Jordan, UT
“"Papa C" was a delight, an inspiration, and an awesome boss to work for.
His charm, wit, and flair with the word and pen were a blessing to all who
...Read More »
18 of 28 | Posted by: Robyyn L. Ott - Katy, TX
“Prez was indeed "one of a kind" and is one of my hero's! Prez was like a father to me both on and off the mission. I have always believed a main...Read More »
19 of 28 | Posted by: Jenny Frischknecht - West Jordan, UT
“My dear Prez and sweet wife Janice welcomed me with open arms throughout my whole Swiss Mission adventure. Their arms awaited me as a "greenie"...Read More »
20 of 28 | Posted by: Leslie Pace Nielsen - Rangely, CO
“We used Richard's BYU devotional speech, "We'll Sing and We'll Whout: A Mantic Celebration of the Holy Spirit" as our BYU freshmen ward conference...Read More »
21 of 28 | Posted by: Charles Cranney - Provo, UT
“A good, generous, bright, productive soul who will be sorely missed. His professional and spiritual generosity was shared across many disciplines on...Read More »
22 of 28 | Posted by: Jan W. Clemmer, Ph.D., Ph.D., J.D. - UT
“Dearest Janice and Cracroft family,
Gary and I wept, laughed, and sorrowed while reading Dick's obituary. It appears that he wrote even that :) ...Read More »
23 of 28 | Posted by: Trudy and Gary Barnes - UT
“I remember well knocking on his BYU office door, hoping against hope to add his class. I just had to take at least one course from the legend...Read More »
24 of 28 | Posted by: Andrea Harris - Orem, UT
“Dick Cracroft was one of my professors. At that time (mid 90s), he was nearing the end of his career, but he remained enthusiastic and dedicated to...Read More »
25 of 28 | Posted by: Paul Westover - Spanish Fork, UT
“I knew Elder Cracroft in Austria, as did my parents. We found him to be a dedicated missionary. I can speak for all members in Austria and...Read More »
26 of 28 | Posted by: Sigrun Jankowsky Coombs - Payson, UT
“Pres. CRacroft was my spiritual mentor since age 11. He served as my Stake Pres, then later as my Mission President. I feel doubly blessed. His wit...Read More »
27 of 28 | Posted by: Brenda Campbell -Briggs - Provo, UT
“No one more brilliant, no writer more masterful, no storyteller more talkative, no saint more spiritual.
SI deem it a privilege to have spent a...Read More »
28 of 28 | Posted by: Patti Cracroft Parker - UT
Richard Holton Cracroft
Richard Holton Cracroft, 76, our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, professor, mission president and friend died on Thursday, September 20, 2012, having lived long enough, beset as he was by a host of physical ailments. Through his life Dick employed boundless energy, enthusiasm, in all he undertook. He loved to write and speak about his deep faith and hope in the "the plan of happiness" and the Author of our Salvation. He thanks his doctors and the wonderfully professional and very human dialysis technicians at DaVita Dialysis for helping Janice keep him alive and comfortable for a long time. Now he has returned Home, bruised, scarred, battered, and fatally short-of-breath, and counting on the promise of a restorative Resurrection, which he hopes will dry all tears, ease all disappointments, and fix everything.
Dick was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 28, 1936, to Ralph and Grace Darling White Cracroft, the baby among two brothers and a sister, Laurance White Cracroft, Ralph Paul Cracroft, and Helen Grace Cracroft White (all of whom with their spouses predeceased him). He married Janice Marie Alger in the Salt Lake LDS Temple on September 17, 1959. Theirs was a wonderfully happy marriage. They have three cherished children: Richard Alger Cracroft (wife Dyanna died 2001); Jeffrey Ralph Cracroft; Jennifer Cracroft Lewis (died, 1994; Jen's husband became a third son to Janice and Dick and later married Carolyn Cohen, who became a daughter); 7 grandchildren: Elizabeth Grace, Richard Bryan, Rylee Shae, Kelsea Ann Cracroft, Jennifer Diana, Sarah Louise, Hannah Joy Lewis.
Dick attended Wasatch, Douglas, Roosevelt Jr. High Schools in Salt Lake City; he graduated from East High School (1954). He took a B.A. (1961) and M.A. (1963) in English; Ph.D. in American and English Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1969); he taught English at Utah, Wisconsin, BYU.
He joined the Brigham Young University English Department faculty in 1963 and retired in 2001. At BYU he was English Department chair; dean of the College of Humanities; coordinator of American Studies; director, Center for the Study of Christian Values in Literature; editor, Literature and Belief. As professor of English he enjoyed enduring friendships and associations with BYU students over 40 years.
A prolific and widely published scholar in American, Western American, Mormon, and German literature, he wrote or edited 18 books, including 5 volumes, The Collected Writings of Richard Holton Cracroft (2011). A lifelong, voracious reader, he and Janice have belonged since 1964 to a Great Books study group of cherished friends.
After his family, however, his greatest lifelong commitment was to his ministry as a Latter-day Saint and to testifying of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Restoration. He served as a missionary and branch president in the Swiss-Austrian Mission (1956-1959)–a watershed experience which indelibly changed his life; president, Provo Utah East Stake (1973-1983); president, Switzerland Zürich Mission (1986-1989)–serving with 400 of "the best missionaries in this dispensation"; branch president, Provo MTC; faithful Ward and Home Teacher since 1950. Throughout his life, he stayed in close contact with those whom he taught the gospel as a young missionary, as well as with many of the missionaries and saints with whom he served in 1956-59 and 1986-89. He continued to the end of his life to have frequent contact with Swiss and Austrian saints.
He is survived by Janice, his beloved wife of 53 years; sons, Richard A.; Jeffrey R.; son-in-law Thomas Lewis (Carolyn); 7 grandchildren; brothers-in-law Ray Alger (Ellen), Glenn P. Alger (Jackie), and many beloved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by parents, daughter Jennifer Lewis; daughter-in-law Dyanna Fancher Cracroft; brothers, sister, brothers-in-law and spouses–it was indeed a sweet homecoming for Dick.
A viewing will be held Sunday, September 23, 2012, from 6 - 8 pm at Walker Sanderson Funeral Home, 646 East 800 North, Orem, Utah.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, September 24, 2012 in the Cascade 1st Ward, 481 E. Center St., Orem. Friends may call at the chapel at 9:30 - 10:45 on Monday, September 24, 2012 at the Cascade1st Ward. Interment at East Lawn Memorial Hills Cemetery, 4800 N 650 E., Provo. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.walkersanderson.com.