Cassin Winchester Craig, 91, Foulkeways at Gwynedd
Abington High School graduate, former President of the Montgomery Bar Association
Cassin Winchester Craig, a practicing lawyer in Montgomery County for 46 years, died of a progressive neurological disorder July 8 at Foulkeways in Gwynedd where he has lived for over 10 years. He was previously a longtime resident of Fort Washington. He was 91.
Born in Philadelphia, Craig grew up in Germantown and Glenside. He missed a full year of elementary school after being hit by a trolley and surviving. He graduated from Abington High School in 1940 and entered Haverford College that autumn. Although he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942, he was asked to first attain his college degree before beginning active duty. He graduated in June 1943. He attended Harvard Business School’s supply school for one year of training and became an Ensign soon after. He was selected to serve as the first supply and disbursing officer on the USS Mason which escorted convoys from New York to northern Africa during World War II. The USS Mason was the first U.S. Navy ship commissioned with African American seamen whose story was celebrated in the book and documentary called Proudly We Served: The Men of the USS Mason by Mary Pat Kelly.
Craig was discharged from the Navy in September 1946 and enrolled immediately in law school at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated in January 1949. He took the bar exam in July and went to work for Wisler, Pearlstine, Talone and Gerber where he became a partner in 1957. In 1970 the firm was renamed to Wisler, Pearlstine, Talone, Craig and Garrity. He retired from the firm in 1995. While an attorney, Craig focused on trial work, adoptions, zoning and probate in orphans court, and later in his career, estate work. He was solicitor of the Montgomery County Housing Authority for 37 years, President of the Montgomery Bar Association in 1970, was active in the Montgomery Bar and Pennsylvania Bar and a Life Member of the American Bar.
While doing legal work for a local federal savings and loan, he met his future father-in-law William F. Brown through whom he then met Jean Brown. They were married in 1957. Through Brown, who emigrated from Scotland, Craig was a member of the St. Andrew’s Society for over fifty years and also served as its counselor. He was also a Scottish Rite Mason.
Craig also contributed his his time and legal skills to the community. For many years, he was solicitor for Hedwig House, which sponsors halfway houses for psychiatric rehabilitation. He chaired the Finance Committee and the Board of the Masonic Home in Lafayette Hill, and was a long time member of the Rotary Club in Ambler where he was a Paul Harris Fellow. He was also Rector’s Warden of the Church of the Messiah in Gwynedd, and later an active member at St. Thomas Church in Whitemarsh.
Craig battled and overcame numerous cancers in the last 30 years. He successfully survived surgery for melanoma (1981), colon cancer (1993), pancreatic cancer (1998). However, in recent years he was debilitated by the slow progression of Multiple System Atrophy.
Craig is survived by his wife of 56 years, Jean; and his three children Pamela Craig Delaney, William C. Craig and David W. Craig. He is also survived by six grandchildren: Matthew F. Delaney, Robert C. Delaney, Stephanie C. Craig, Gretchen M. Craig, Ian M. Craig and Lucas K. W. Craig.
A service to celebrate the life of Cassin W. Craig will be held on Friday, July 20 at 11 a.m. at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Whitemarsh. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to Foulkeways Fund, 1120 Meetinghouse Road, Gwynedd, PA 19436.
Arrangements by Shaeff-Myers Funeral Home.