Obituary: Howard Wayne Craft

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After fighting a battle with his lung health, Howard Wayne Craft, with a daughter holding each hand, passed away on his own terms Monday, August 14, 2017. Howard was born on July 12, 1946, in Fort Worth to Velma Rae Bateman and Robert Craft. He graduated from R.L. Paschal High School, Class of 1964, before following his love for the Longhorns to the University of Texas where he was a Lambda Chi Alpha and received a Bachelor's in Business Administration..

A proud Texas Ex, Howard began his career as a CPA with Ernst & Young, which lead him to Cleveland, where he met his wife of 22 years. After he made partner with E&Y, they were transferred back to Texas, landing in San Antonio, where he lived for the next 30 years. During this time, he had two daughters, Ashley and Melinda. Later, Howard went to work for Tom Benson Enterprises, where he put together the purchases of the New Orleans Saints and Gross Bank, which he considers to be the highlight of his career. Other notable positions included being the Treasurer and Board Member of Any Baby Can, Inc, and the CFO of the Craft Association Management Corporation. After the sale of CAMC, Howard continued to do freelance accounting work, completing over 50 years as a CPA & CFP in the Central Texas Area.

Known for being a simple, yet specific, man, Howard always saw the world very black and white, which was good because he was colorblind and couldn’t see green or red anyway. Always interested in his daughter’s academics, and talking about their futures, he made a real impact on many of their life choices. Howard’s past times were also always a big part of who he was. Besides being an avid bridge player, both in person and electronically, he was a huge fan of all things sports, but especially playing Golf and watching Football or Basketball. 

In his final years, Howard moved from San Antonio to Lago Vista to be closer to his family and allow him to further enjoy being a grandfather to Hailey, Jason, and John Michael. He was always at every special occasion or school play, and loved to follow their adventures with their parents. He continued to closely follow his teams and kept up an active social life. While he will be greatly missed, his family is at peace knowing he was true to himself down to the final minute. 

He is now reunited with his mother, Velma; his father, Bob; and his sister, Jeannie Spencer. He is survived by Sister Pam Craft; Daughters Ashley Wood and Melinda Blanton; Son-In-Laws Jay Wood and John Blanton Jr; Grandchildren Jason and Hailey Wood, and John Blanton III; Former Spouse Laura Ives Craft; Nieces and Nephews Ken and Shari Reily, Alison Reily, Kate and Walker Lyle, Lea Spencer and Jared Molton; and many other beloved family members and friends. 

A memorial reception will be held Saturday, September 2nd from 9 to 11 am at the First Austin Baptist Church Fellowship Hall located at 901 Trinity, Austin, TX 78701. Please honor Howard’s memory by wearing your favorite Longhorn, Spurs, or Cowboys fan attire. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorial contributions be made in his name to either Noah’s Home of Hope, an organization that he had offered his services to in his final year, or the First Baptist Church of Austin, where he shared many memories with his family during church services and special occasions.

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