Craig Archibald

Obituary of Craig Archibald

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ARCHIBALD, (JOHN) CRAIG February 21, 1951 - June 09, 2024. Craig, our beloved husband, father, and Pop passed away after a late term cancer diagnosis in April 2024. Craig will be missed by his loving wife of 42 years Mary Lou (née Rush) adoring sons Timothy and his three girls Eleanor, Chloë and Amelia, and John and Claudia who was like a daughter to Craig. Craig’s sister Janet Ottewell of Toronto, brother Stephen and wife Jane of Kingston, and their children will treasure a lifetime of memories with Craig. He will be remembered fondly by Mary Lou’s siblings Catherine (Paul) Burns, Karen (Rob) Stone, Mike (Wendy) Rush, Maureen (Richard) Donald, David Rush, Mother-in-law Mary Rush and an abundance of nieces and nephews. Craig was born to June and Huestis Archibald in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. ‘Arch’ spent his youth in Etobicoke where he shared a passion for making (and blowing up) military models, music, tennis and sports cars with big brother Steve and best friend ‘Ebs.’ After attending McMaster and Brock, Craig taught at Ritson Elementary in Oshawa, making his own Pop who was a former Principal at Ritson very proud. In 1980 a mutual friend in Oshawa introduced Craig to his future wife Mary Lou who was living in Victoria at the time. Craig was ready to take a sabbatical from teaching and made his way to Victoria to visit Mary Lou and hike the West Coast Trail. He never did make that hike, but he did end up spending the rest of his life with Mary Lou, moving from coast to coast before raising their family in Ontario. In 1982 Craig returned to university with Mary Lou, pursuing his lifelong love of the arts at Mount Allison University, New Brunswick, where he excelled in sculpture, printmaking, painting, and photography. After graduating in 1986, Mary Lou and Craig returned to the West Coast where he taught life drawing and explored music and art with students in an alternative program on Vancouver Island. It was a desire to start their family surrounded by their extended families that brought Mary Lou and Craig back to Ontario. Craig spent his second career as a full-time educator at Lansdowne-Costain School where he devoted himself to his students and peers. “Mr. A” was known for his diligence in the classroom and integration of art and music into learning. Former students have vivid memories of his dramatic reading of the Hobbit with a unique voice for each character (taking the big moments to the gym stage for extra effect), singing anything by Bob Dylan and the Beatles with Mr. A hammering out the tunes on his guitar, and his efforts to make every moment and lesson matter for his students. Always a devoted Dad, Craig loved nothing more than spending time with his boys, sharing interests in tennis, soccer, music, and history. Summer road trips to New Brunswick to visit Nana, tennis, and beach time in Southampton with lifelong friends, and March break skiing with friends and family hold special memories. Craig spent school holidays lovingly restoring the family home with his boys by his side. He was a talented and skilled carpenter with an eye for detail and a commitment to using materials and design that respected the integrity of the 1918 family home. After his retirement Craig returned to sailing and found the other love of his life, a forty- foot sailboat by the name of Gabrielle. She led Craig into a community of kindred spirits and friends, including his cherished County neighbours (and in-laws) Mike and Wendy who have many stories to tell about their adventures on ‘Gabby’ in and around the County. When he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, the philosopher and thinker in Craig found his way by accepting and inspiring his family with his courage. In the short weeks before his death Craig focused on family. John and Claudia spent countless hours comforting and caring for Craig. A memorable weekend was spent reminiscing with his sister Janet and her children, who had just lost their husband and father Frank to cancer. Mary Lou and Craig took a road trip to Kingston late May where joyful days at a property overlooking Lake Ontario included sharing stories with (brother) Steve, Jane, and their sons. Tender moments were spent with Tim and his much-loved granddaughters who fed him chips, cuddled, and entertained their Pop, blissfully unaware that this would be their last visit. Craig spent his last week at Stedman Hospice in Brantford cared for by the most compassionate team of caregivers one could ever hope for in their final days. A private and proud gentleman, Craig was mindful of and grateful for the gentle and respectful approach to his care. The day before he died Craig spent hours in the Hospice gardens with his family, sharing a farewell toast with his boys, cherishing the feeling of the sun and wind on his face, and perhaps imagining he was sailing his beloved Gabrielle again. On his last day, with his wife and two sons by his side, Craig opened his eyes wide for one of the last times and said, “That was fun!” At Craig’s request there will be no funeral service. His family will honour and celebrate his life in all his favourite places. Donations to Stedman Hospice, Brantford Stedman Community Hospice ( or your local food bank in Craig’s memory are appreciated. “May you have a strong foundation when the winds of changes shift” - Forever Young – Bob Dylan
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Craig Archibald

In Loving Memory

Craig Archibald

1951 - 2024

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