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Memphis insurance executive Jack Craddock was civic, political leader

By Hannah Bailey, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

July 10--Jack Jay Craddock lived a life worth celebrating. A respected insurance executive and political activist, he was a man of influence who wore an impressive number of hats.

Mr. Craddock died July 5 of congestive heart failure. He was 82.

Born in Humboldt, Tennessee, he graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. After college he joined the Army as an adjutant for the 937th Army Combat Engineer Group, earning the rank of captain. In 1957, he joined Boyle Investment Company, where he remained for 43 years until his retirement, serving as president of the Boyle Insurance Agency from 1972 to 1998.

His wife, Alice Bell Craddock of Memphis, said his loyalty to Boyle Investment Company was a testimony to his faith in the company. He served on the board of directors of the Insurers of Memphis, the Tennessee Insurers Congressional Liaison Committee, and was a member of the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers.

Beyond his successful career in the insurance industry, Mr. Craddock made his mark on the community in his devotion to civic duty. He held a position on the Advisory Council of St. Mary'sEpiscopal School, the governing committee of the Memphis and Germantown Young Life, and was a founding member of the Memphis Jobs Conference. He was also a trustee of the University of Tennessee from 1981 to 1990 and served on the Chancellor's Roundtable.

Mr. Craddock spent much of his life as an activist for the Republican Party. He served as the Shelby County Chairman of the Winfield Dunn for Governor Campaign in 1970, the Howard Baker Campaign for the Senate in 1972, and as the Finance Chairman for the 1973 National Republican Governors Conference in Memphis.

In 1974 and 1978, he was Shelby County Chairman for the Lamar Alexander Campaign, and the Shelby County Co-Chairman for the Reagan-Bush Campaign in 1984. He served as the Chairman of the Shelby County Republican Party from 1985 to 1987. And in 1984, he was presented with the Americanism Award.

State Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons said Mr. Craddock, a close friend, was "a mentor" to him. The two met working together on the 1974 Lamar Alexander campaign when Gibbons was still in college and Mr. Craddock was the campaign manager.

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"He taught me a lot about politics and public service, but the most important thing I learned from Jack was treating others with respect. That was a very important thing to him, to always respect others and treat them appropriately. "

Besides his wife, Mr. Craddock leaves a daughter, Kempie Jenkins of Memphis, and two grandchildren.

Visitation will be at 11 a.m. with a memorial service at noon Friday at St. James Anglican Church at 461 S. Prescott. Canale Funeral Directors has charge. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, any memorials be sent to St. James Anglican Church.


(c)2014 The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.)

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Distributed by MCT Information Services



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