He was sitting on the davenport in the living room and he was in love. He had always held the belief that the Air Force gave him everything. It had given him purpose, it had given friendships so strong they were kinships, and in its way, it had given him a perfect life. Born on the day of love, February 14, 1933, to Ben and Mary Craven, Cecil Ben Craven had been devoted, kind, and loving from the start. He simply knew no other way. Whether it was a result of nature or nurture may never be known but it held true all his life until he died on May 19, 2019. Cecil’s life was filled with love milestones. At the beginning of his military career he served with a young man named Freeman Stearns who introduced Cecil to his sister. Sitting on that sofa in Freeman’s living room his life changed course. They were an instant match and Cecil married Sara Stearns on April 4, 1953. Together they spent the next 66 years traveling, helping others, doting on their family, and loving. Cecil first became husband, then father, then grandfather, and finally great-grandfather. Though most everyone had called him Chief, an honor he did not take lightly after 27 years in the service, his girls called him Gramps. As Chief he drew a hard line between right and wrong, knew that idle hands were the devil’s playground, regularly carried more than his share in support of his military brethren, and was always Air Force proud. But as Gramps he went camping, spent his days spoiling his granddaughters, and became King of the BBQ. He could take a steak the size of a grown man’s face and without fail grill it to perfection. Being outdoors where he could play hard and work harder was something he loved. Mowing the lawn or pitching a tent under the evening stars didn’t often make a difference to Cecil. He loved it all. Cecil found that a healthy dose of garlic salt, sharing a laugh, and the sweet breeze of summer were the real kickers for a great day. So too was sitting on the davenport with Sara by his side, Daisy sniffing out the treats hidden in his trouser pockets, and his granddaughters telling him all about their recent adventures. Those who remain to tell stories about Chief are his beloved wife Sara; daughter Linda (Julio); granddaughter Carolyn; and great-granddaughters Millie and Nichole. Remembrances for Cecil can be made to the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association.
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American Heart Association
710 2nd Ave, Suite 900, Seattle WA 98104
American Diabetes Association
180 Nickerson Street Suite 309, Seattle WA 98109