Obituaries: James P. Cradler(1928-2007)

December 27, 2007 11:00 pm
Cradler (Submitted photo).
Cradler (Submitted photo).

James P. Cradler died of pancreatic cancer in his home on December 26, 1928. He was 79 years old. Jim was born in Pacific Grove to a Quaker family.

He attended Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore., graduating with a degree in forestry. During a summer break in his collegiate career, Jim met his first wife, Elizabeth Winder, at Sequoia National Park where both were working. The pair was married in Whittier in 1950, and gave birth to two daughters, Christine and Karen.

Jim worked as a structural steel project manager in Los Angeles County and was an adept and detail-oriented handyman and carpenter. He independently designed and built the first home his family owned and throughout his life repaired and maintained an impressive collection of antique clocks. Jim enjoyed spending time with his wife and daughters, and taking his family on several extended road trips across the U.S. He also loved the outdoors and was an avid camper, skier, hiker and golfer.

Upon Elizabeth's death after 50 years of marriage, Jim relocated to Gasquet, California in 2000. He joined Del Norte Habitat for Humanity and quickly became one of the organization's most enthusiastic members, volunteering countless hours towards the planning and construction of both homes the group has finished. In the spring of 2006, Jim's daughter introduced him to Rena Davis of Crescent City, and after a six-month courtship the couple was married in an impromptu ceremony in Armenia during a Habitat for Humanity build project. Jim and Rena honored their one-year anniversary in September 2007 by legalizing their marriage in the U.S. with a wedding ceremony attended by family and friends.

Jim's family remembers him as a loving husband, a caring brother, a supportive father, a proud grandpa, and a man of many talents.

He is survived by his wife, Rena Davis Cradler; brother and sister, John Cradler and Ruth Hunt Williamson and their spouses, Ruthmary Cradler and Wayne Williamson; sister-in-law Esther Nelson; daughters, Chris Cradler and Karen Davis and their spouses, Larry Ferguson and Mark Davis; grandchildren, Sarah, Jennifer and Colin Davis and Gregory and Amanda Ferguson-Cradler and their spouses, Yulia Kashutina and Ben Williams; and step-children, Barbara Mote, Scott Davis, and Randy Davis.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, Dec. 31 at 2 p.m. at the United Methodist Church at 7th and H Streets in Crescent City.

All are welcome to attend and celebrate Jim's life. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Del Norte Habitat for Humanity, the American Cancer Society, the Promote Our Pool (POP) Foundation, or a charitable organization of your choice.