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Charles E. ‘Ed’ Craddock, 1930-2013; Insurance broker rose to V.P.of firm, served in Korean War

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Charles E. “Ed” Craddock, a Holland resident who retired from a career in insurance, died Friday at St. Luke’s Hospital in Maumee. He was 82.

He was in failing health for two months and died from complications of a heart surgery earlier this week, his wife, Sally, said.

Mr. Craddock pursued a lifelong career in the insurance industry, specializing in commercial casualty and property insurance. After moving to Toledo from Connecticut in 1957, he joined Picton-Cavanaugh Insurance Agency as a broker, arranging transactions as a broker for fiberglass manufacturing titan Owens Corning and, eventually, rising to the position of senior vice president in 1977.

He was also active in various insurance groups including the Toledo Association of Independent Insurance Agents and other community groups until retirement.

After surviving a severe heart attack at 36, Mr. Craddock strove to stay healthy by playing ice hockey and baseball, dancing, and fishing.

“He was extremely active — no one could keep up with him,” Mrs. Craddock said. “He used to 100 push-ups a day up until last year, and 50 up until two months ago.”

An active member of Westgate Chapel Church, Mr. Craddock devoted his spare time to evangelical organizations such as the Evangelism Explosion Ministry and the Gideons International Toledo North Camp. He also attended biweekly Bible study meetings at Westgate Chapel, where he was considered “a man of prayer,” his friend Ruth Van Vlerah said.

“I feel priviliged that I got to know him for all of these years,” Mrs. Van Vlerah said. “He was a godly, gentle man. You couldn’t help liking him.”

Mr. Craddock was born on July 28, 1930, in Hartford, Conn., to Harry and Olive Craddock. Raised in Hartford, he attended business classes at the University of Hartford and started his career at the Aetna Insurance Co., before transferring to Toledo.

A veteran of the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he was a member of the American Legion Toledo Post 335 and marched in the annual Memorial Day Parade in Waterville Township.

After his first wife, Virginia, passed away in 1991, he remarried in December, 1992.

“At first, I didn’t really find him attractive, but he was an excellent dancer. When took me in his arms, I thought he was kind of nice,” Mrs. Craddock said. “We spent a wonderful twenty years together.”

He is survived by his wife; his sister, Peg Ziobron; stepchildren, Ed Barry, Jim Barry, Delana Barry, Kimberly Isabell, Susan Wineke, and Laura Chandler, and 12 grandchildren.

Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Walker Funeral Home, 5155 Sylvania Ave. Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Westgate Chapel, 2500 Wilford Dr., followed by a private interment at Toledo Memorial Park.

The family suggests donations to Westgate Chapel Mission Fund and Gideons International Toledo North Camp.

Contact Lorenzo Ligato at: lligato@theblade.com or 419-724-6091.

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