Craig Steven Neckers, 71, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, died surrounded by his family on Thursday, October 7, 2021, after a valiant battle with ALS.

Craig was born on October 27, 1949 in Corry, Pennsylvania, to Doris and Carlyle Neckers.

He grew up in New York City, spending his childhood in the town of Clymer and at Light House Point on Lake Chautauqua.

Craig especially enjoyed the Boy Scouts camp (where he eventually became an Eagle Scout) and fishing on the lake. He also developed a deep love for music and learning at the Chautauqua Institution.

Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, parents and brothers, he attended Hope College in Holland, Michigan. There he made lifelong friends as a member of the Cosmopolitan Brotherhood “Good guys” – his closest friends of the fraternity) and, above all, met his future wife, Joan Hendricks. After Craig’s graduation, he and Joan moved to Albany, NY, where Craig attended Albany Law School.

On August 26, 1972, Craig and Joan married in Grand Rapids, where Craig continued his long and successful career as a litigator.

Craig and Joan joined Central Reformed Church in 1975. Craig’s faith guided his path in life. His closest friendships were formed at Central with a group that recently called themselves the “Zoomers” in honor of their weekly video happy hours during the pandemic.

Although his faith and his friends were of paramount importance to Craig, he loved and was devoted to his family above all else. Craig and Joan raised three boys: Joel (Kimberly Vic-tor), Todd (Kate Lauten-bach) and Scott (Jessica Sourile). Craig’s influence on his sons is no more apparent than in their choices of college (all three went to Hope College) or vocation (all three are lawyers). As a family, they loved the ski trips to Copper Mountain and spending time on Mackinac Island at the Grand Hotel. However, they especially loved the summers at their Silver Lake cabin in Rockford, Michigan, where Craig relished the annual wiffleball game, biathlon, fireworks and countless other traditions and activities.

He was also very happy to be the grandfather of Made-line, Elia, Griffin, Wells and Whitaker, and his grandchildren loved him very much. When his grandson, Wells (6), learned of Grandpa’s death, his response was “I wish we had more time with him. “

Craig was recently asked if he ever had “won” anything. Rather than responding like many would in reference to a sporting event or trial, he responded by stating: “Yes, I won Joan’s love and friendship and from that we made a beautiful family and we are blessed by a God who loves us and watches over us and gave us his grace. I am a winner. OK, I won Joan whom I love with all my being.

Craig was a lot to a lot of people. He was a stable and loving husband, father, grandfather, friend, counselor, mentor and legal partner. When Craig’s oldest son, Joel, at a young age asked Craig what he did at work, Craig’s response was: “I help people. Craig’s response is revealing of who he has been throughout his life. He worked hard every day to make the lives of others better and easier, and those around him benefited from his steadfastness, wisdom, generous spirit, and integrity (a trait he valued above all else). ).

Craig was predeceased by his parents, his sister-in-law, Suzanne (Evans) Neckers; and dear friends and mentors: Bud Ridder and George Brown.

He is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren and brothers: Douglas Neckers and Bruce (Susie) Neckers.

The family will honor his life with a visitation on Friday, November 5, 2021, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and a funeral service on Sunday, November 7, 2021 at 3 p.m., each at the Central Reformed Church, 10 College Ave. , NE, Grand Rapids.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be made to the Susan Mast ALS Foundation or the Children’s Food Basket.


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