James Alton Craig
12/9/1940 - 7/28/2022

James Alton Craig, Jr., 81, of Duncanville, passed away on July 28, 2022, in Carrollton, Texas. A graveside service will be held at 10:00 A.M., Wednesday, August 3, 2022, at Memoryland Memorial Park under the direction of Coker-Mathews Funeral Home.

Dr. Craig was born December 9, 1940, in Greenville, Texas, to James Alton Craig, Sr., and Alva Marie Decker. As a young man, he worked alongside his grandfather, father, and uncle in the family brick mason business. He graduated from Greenville Highschool and attended the University of Texas at Austin from which he earned an M.S. in Mathematics. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in Statistics from Southern Methodist University. 

While attending First Baptist Church Dallas, he met his future wife, Jan Vanderslice. They were married there on March 29, 1969, by Dr. W. A. Criswell. He and his wife lived in Duncanville for over forty years and raised their three children there. He worked both as a mathematician in the defense industry and as a university professor at several local colleges.  Some of his favorite activities were sailing, traveling in the mountains, listening to jazz and classical music, and reading. He especially loved history and was very knowledgeable about World War II and the history of England. He had a vivid memory and could recall many events from his life, going back as early as a year old. He could even remember the day of the week on which any given event occurred! As a child, he loved to listen to his elders converse, remembering many of the tales they told for the rest of his life. His children enjoyed listening to his stories. 

He is survived by his wife Jan V. Craig; sons David Craig and wife Jennifer, Jonathan Craig and wife Katie; daughter Rebekah Valerius and husband Lee; grandchildren William, Zach, Matthew, Caroline, Hannah, and Rachel.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his two brothers Bob and Bruce Craig.  Matthew Downey, a longtime family friend and elder at Community Bible Church where the Craigs attended for a time, will officiate the graveside service.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Dr. Craig's name to Coram Deo Academy - a classical Chrisitan school in the Dallas area that several of his grandchildren have attended. Dr. Craig was passionate about education and he loved the mission of the school. He always looked forward to visiting its annual Grandparents' Day.


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