Craig Tjaden, 81, died peacefully Saturday, January 14 at Cedar Health in Charles City.
Visitation for Craig will be Tuesday, January 17 at Hauser Funeral Home from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., with the funeral being held Wednesday, January 18 at 10:30 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church with Pastor Bill Odermann officiating. Private inurnment will be held prior to the service.
Born January 5, 1936, Craig was a both a lifelong resident of Charles City and a life time member of St. John’s Lutheran Church. Craig graduated from Charles City High School (Class of ’54) and enlisted in the U. S. Army. He was stationed in Fairbanks, AL, and treasured his time and experiences there. After his discharge, Craig worked at Oliver Corp (later White Farm Equipment) for 39 years until the plant closed in 1990.
Craig married Kay Gilliatt on June 3, 1961, and they shared more than 55 years together, raising three children (Kurt, Kira and Kris) and making a lifetime of memories along the way. They traveled throughout the U.S. in their motor home, joined by grandchildren for special trips to Yogi Bear Park and other campgrounds; spent 15 years enjoying the warm winter weather and wonderful friendships built in Mesa, AZ; and visiting many countries throughout Asia. In all of this, however, the one constant was fishing. For more than 40 years Craig made at least one (and usually more) trips to Canada for walleye, northern, and bass. Others may (rarely) have caught more, but no one ever fished harder than Craig.
An avid sports fan, Craig followed the LA Dodgers, the Cyclones, and the Hawkeyes (much to Kurt and Kira’s disappointment). He enjoyed golf, tennis, and softball, and was one of the founders of the Charles City T-ball league. Craig was a long standing member of the Charles City Elks and an associate member of Our Savior Lutheran in Mesa, AZ.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Kay of Charles City, Kurt (Kristyn) and grandchildren AJ, Michael, Matthew, Daniel and Clare of Bettendorf; Kira (Phil) Oregon and grandson Eli of Oto; and Kris (Tim Kolankowski) Tjaden of Amherst, NY. Craig is also survived by his sister Janeane (Dick) Christy of Ottumwa and several nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to St. John’s Lutheran Church or the National Parkinson Foundation.
Hauser Funeral Home, (641) 228-2323, in Charles City, is in charge of local arrangements. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.hauserfh.com.