Irving Jr. a good friend. Was in my German class taught by Herr Enser. I ran into Craig in Provo at the MTC going to Germany on a mission. I believe he had a younger brother but I can' remember his name. Very shocked at how young he was. My condolences to his family.
Peter Van Alstyne
It is very pleasing to read Manfred's memory of Craig Watts from our amazing era at Highland. I feel it would be well that I also contribute a few thoughts about Craig. Please forgive me the very personal perspective in which I will compose this tribute.
I moved to Highland from West Los Angeles in my Junior year, and I knew so very few of you most of my Highland career. It's absolutely no one's fault but my own. I was really shy and that's the way it was. But, I had lived in Europe a few years earlier and became passionate about the German language. I signed up for Herr Enser's German class, and sat next to Craig Watts. We became instant friends. We really clicked. Turned out, we had several classes together. Craig was a loyal friend to a huge swath of our studentbody. He had the most bubbly, and witty personality. His passion was photography, and I remember him leading the Highland Ram out on the field during football halftime every home game. Yes, a live ram. Remember that? It was cool.
What nobody knew was that Craig had, what most of us would consider, a troubled home life. Craig lived "the straight and narrow" against incredible odds. Craig, his mom and his brother were truly an inspiration to those who knew of their challenges. I respected Craig immensly for who he was.
Following graduation Craig and I would always meet at 8:30 AM in front of the Marriott Library at the "U of U" to visit for about 20 minutes. We talked about the draft, missions, and passing our classes. Craig served his mission in Germany while I served in Southern Brazil. We corresponded a few times. His mission was a struggle for Craig due to health issues, but he hung in there doing his duty.
After we both returned home, I married Mary Ann Hadlock (class of 1969). I asked Craig and Bill Bauman to be my Best Men, and they have always meant a great deal to me. A couple of years later, my wife and I moved to the east coast for graduate school and then employment for a number of years. Craig had been a news reporter in Cheyenne, Wyoming and was glad to be back in Utah. When we moved back to Utah, Craig and I got back together and it was as if we had not seen each other for only ten minutes.
Over the following years, Craig was happily self-employed in the printing and photography business. I hired him to do considerable work for my employer, and he was truly excellent. We got together nearly every week.
Craig begain to have health problems, and he honored me by asking if I'd drop by his home to give him a blessing after work. I was always glad to do so. At one point, he was hospitalized for a horrible sinus infection that failed to respond to treatment. After he was released from the hospital, Craig was more somber, pensive and serious in thought. We got together weekly, I sent him business, and he struggled.
One afternoon, Craig called me at work and asked, with a tone of voice I had never heard from him before, if I would come to him as soon as possible to give him a Latter-day Saint Priesthood blessing. I was moved to tears as I encountered him. He did not look well, and seemed sort of sad. We had a wonderful visit, I promised to come see him the following afternoon, and I went home to my family.
The next day, my wife came to tell me we had received a phone call from Craig's mother reporting that Craig had passed away that night. His body was found on his bedroom floor that morning. I was stunned and grieved. Oh, how I sorrowed.
Craig's mother and brother honored me with the invitation to deliver the eulogy at Craig's funeral service a few days later. I cannot remember what I said, but I can remember what I felt. I was filled with gratitude to have had Craig Watts as one of my dear friends. And, my love and gratitude for him has grown very much over the decades since.
Craig Watts stands as a remarkable example of goodness, endurance, and friendship in the Highland Class of 1968.