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Jean Ann Craig, 74, a long-time Park Rapids area resident, entered Heaven's gates Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 at Essentia Health Center in Fargo, N.D. surrounded by her loved ones.

Jean was born Jan. 13, 1939 in Oak Lawn, Ill. to Henry and Edna (Bethel) Phelps. At the age of 10, she moved with her family to the Park Rapids area where she attended Park Rapids Public High School and grew into womanhood.

On March 29, 1955, she was united in marriage to Fritz Craig in Park Rapids. This union was blessed with seven sons and one daughter. Jean devoted herself to making a warm and loving home for her family.

She was a wonderful cook and baker who will be long remembered for her delicious fudge bars and all kinds of other homemade goodies that she would make from scratch.

In addition to caring for her family, Jean worked as a seamstress for the Ringers Manufacturing Company for a number of years. She later worked as a cook for Wimpy's Caf and the Pine Manors Treatment Center both of Park Rapids. In the mid-1980s, she began working as a personal care assistant for a number of individuals until her own health failed her in 2000. From the beginning of her illness, she was cared for by her daughter, Barbara and for the past year by her son, Jim.

Jean was very talented and for many years made and sold silk floral arrangements and birdhouses she herself designed and constructed. For nearly a decade, she held an annual craft show on the opening day of deer hunting at the C'mon Inn in Park Rapids.

For the past 14 years, Jean battled chronic leukemia with a valiant determination. This past May, Jean's health was further complicated when she underwent heart bypass surgery. Throughout all her ups and downs, Jeans optimism and enthusiasm was infectious to all those around her.

Above all, Jean will be remembered for the depth of the love she had for her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Jean will be lovingly remembered by her husband, Fritz, her six sons, Robert Craig of Crossville, Tenn., James of Park Rapids, Mark (Val) of Park Rapids, Ron (Rose) of Burnsville, Brian (Andrea) of Menahga, and Donald of Park Rapids; daughter, Barbara Craig of Park Rapids; 18 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; sister, Mary Phiefer of Gilman, Ill. as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

Jean was preceded in death by a son, Timothy who died in infancy; siblings, James, Stephen, Katherine, George, Thomas, Patricia, Michael, John and Shirley.

Funeral services: 2 p.m. Friday Nov. 29 at Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids.

Visitation: one hour prior to services.

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