Craig Flory

Posted: Sunday, February 21, 2010

Haines resident Craig V. Flory died Dec. 16, 2009, at Providence Extended Care in Anchorage after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 50.

He owned Craig's Repair, a garage specializing in foreign cars. He, his wife, Lisa, and their son, Jack Flory, also bred Labrador retrievers, whelping 35 purebred puppies at last count.

"He had an amazing way with animals," said mother-in-law Helen Streu.

He was born Aug. 15, 1959 to Charlie and Jackie Flory of Edna Bay. The third of their four children, he was named after the town of Craig and grew up in logging camps until an injury sidelined Charlie, who became a maintenance supervisor in Sitka, Juneau and Petersburg.

He was a standout wrestler for Juneau and Petersburg high schools, twice winning regional championships. Lifelong friend Mike Ward said back then Flory weighed "about 120 and benched 240 (pounds)." As an arm wrestler, Flory defeated men twice his size, Ward said, but he also understood how to make friends and keep them. He had an amazing number of good friends from all over Southeast, his family said.

After graduation from Juneau-Douglas High School in 1977, Flory apprenticed as a mechanic and plumber and worked for Madsen Construction. In 1988, he came to Haines to work for Ward in a seafood business. He was the engineer on the tender Mary Kay. He met Lisa while she was deckhanding for Stan Laing on the Pacific Queen.

They were married in Jan. 19, 1990, in Juneau. Before establishing his auto shop he also worked for Stickler Construction.

Helen Streu said her son-in-law could figure things out. Dropped off at her remote homesite in Willow with a pile of logs and a box of log spikes, he built a beautiful cabin with no experience or blueprints, she said. While they didn't always see eye to eye, they agreed that the most important things in life are friends and family.

"He worked with Jack in the shop, and taught him mechanical skills, and they hunted and fished together," Streu said. Flory was also a father figure to several of his son's friends.

Friends described Flory as a skilled outdoorsman who hunted moose, fished and crabbed. He and Lisa sailed the troller he retrofitted as a pleasure boat up from Vancouver Island to Haines.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his wife, Lisa Flory, and son, Jack Flory, of Haines; siblings, Collie, Jan and Frank Flory; brother-in-law, Jerry Owens, of Juneau; nieces, Selina Sinner and Jordan Flory; and nephew, Zach Owens.

A beach barbecue remembrance is planned for June in Juneau.

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