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Craig Llewellyn Stump

Craig Stump was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and was the son of Dr. Robert Byron and Mary Golden (Griffith) Stump. Since his father was a doctor and his mother a nurse, it was no surprise to those who knew him that he had become a mechanical engineer. Craig always followed his own path, however jovial and polite he was to those who had other ideas. When, in retirement, his family repeatedly urged him to press Messages on his cell phone to see photos or read bits of family news, he would say, “That’s a good thought,” but he never did. What he really wanted was an iPhone with a rotary dial.

Craig Stump

After Idaho, childhood took him from Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri (where his father served in the Army, hoping to fight in Europe) to Denver (where his father actually spent the war doing surgery on soldiers coming home) and finally to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where Craig grew up. For high school, he went to Pittsburg to attend the Kiski School, a private preparatory academy. A favorite memory of his brother Don (who was ten at the time) involved a wonderful, terrifying drive in Cheyenne in Craig’s ’49 beetle-back Chevy. During a violent hailstorm, the recent high-school graduate took his kid brother on a spinning, side-sliding trip around the neighborhood on a slurry of June ice, knowing that his dad would be furious.

Having received his Engineering degree from the University of Wyoming, Craig worked briefly in the early Manned Spaceflight Program, helping to design life-support systems for space capsules. He was also involved with the Atlas Missile Program in Cheyenne, where he married Patricia Giggal, with whom he had three children: Leslie, and Cindy, and Michael. After a time at General Dynamics in San Diego, he accepted a position in missile development at the Naval Air Weapons Station. He moved to Ridgecrest, California, where he lived and worked for all but his last few years.

Though his day job was punctuated by periodic demonstrations of firepower for admirals and dignitaries, his after-hours were peaceful, reflecting his small-town upbringing and his independence. First, he started a hardware store, which failed. Then, he bought, refurbished, and rented out apartments and houses in town. He made things with his hands, played master-level bridge, and bowled in a league where he could (sometimes) roll 250. He loved driving his Nissan 240 Z, going deep-sea fishing, and traveling on cruise ships with his children and grandchildren.

In 1987, he met and fell in love with Faith Danker Maxey, the companion of his later years. A warm presence, a painter in oil, along walker, and a maker of wonderful eggs and salsa when company came for breakfast, she accompanied Craig on his last and biggest trip, his move in 2021 to Kona Island in Hawaii, where they lived at the Regency—a retirement and assisted-living community that they chose because it was near Faith’s son Jeff and his wife, Charlene.

Craig is survived by his wife Faith; by his brother Donald Van Guilder Stump and wife Eleonore; by his daughter Leslie and husband Randy True and by granddaughter Savannah Clayton and partner Jose Navarro and four great-grandchildren: Isaiah, Aubriana, Jesus, and Alani. He is also survived by daughter Cindy and husband Robert Michael Daugherty and by grandchildren Daniel Llewellyn Daugherty and Deirdre Ann Daugherty; by son Michael Robert Stump and wife Elizabeth (“Betz”) Stump and grandchildren Edward William and Kayleigh Anne Stump. Craig was preceded by his younger brother, Eugene “Gene” Stump, in 1972.

His charismatic personality served him well in life. He was a husband, father, and friend to many who will miss him deeply.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Habitat for Humanity, where Craig volunteered (https://www.habitat.org/).