SPECIAL TO CONTRACTOR
RALEIGH, N.C. — Harold H. Craig, 84, retired owner for 55 years of Craig Plumbing Co. here died April 3 after a long period of declining health.
"During his five-decade career as a plumbing contractor, my father established a benchmark for honest, ethical and professional business conduct matched by none," said his son, CONTRACTOR columnist H. Kent Craig. "His continual, often anonymous workings behind the scenes to provide plumbing and mechanical services as well a friendly ear and always a helping hand to the less fortunate than he brought out an overflow showing of appreciation and respect at his funeral.
"The chapel at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home in Cary, N.C., was filled past capacity by those whose lives he touched so deeply and personally."
At the time of his official retirement in 1999, Harold Craig was the oldest licensed Master Plumber in North Carolina, Kent Craig said. CONTRACTOR's 50th Anniversary issue in July 2004 featured an interview with Harold Craig as a representative contractor for the entire period of the magazine's existence ("55 years in the plumbing business with no regrets," pg. 7).
In the interview, Harold Craig was asked about the biggest single change he had seen in the plumbing industry in his 55 years in the business. He answered: "Without a doubt it would have to be the change from cast-iron drain pipe and galvanized steel DWV and water pipe over to plastic. Plastic pipe revolutionized our industry more than any other thing."
Asked if he would be a plumbing contractor if he had the chance to start over again, Craig replied: "I would because I love plumbing, and as long as there will be people there will be a need for plumbers. Plumbers more than any other trade have improved the health and quality of life for most of the people in this world. But mainly I would go back into the plumbing business because I love the people."
When asked about the future of the plumbing industry, Craig answered: "Gravity will always make water roll downhill and people will always need clean water and safe sewage disposal so there will always be a need for qualified plumbers. ... Technology will continue to improve pipe and fixtures, but plumbing will always need qualified licensed Master Plumbers to run plumbing businesses."
Harold Craig is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mildred King of Raleigh; son Harold Kent Craig and wife, Kristi; grandson Brian Craig and fiancé, Rachael Belcher; and two brothers, Ollen Craig and Rev. Alvin Craig, both of Hagerstown, Md. He was preceded in death by two children, son Kerry Harold Craig and daughter Mildred Hope Craig; mother and father, Rev. M. H. Craig and Dovie Cook Craig; one sister and seven brothers.
Memorial contributions may be made to The American Cancer Society, 11 S. Boylan Ave., Raleigh, NC 27603.
Condolences may be sent to the family in care of H. Kent Craig at [email protected]