John Craft, director of Phila. Civil War museum

John J. Craft
John J. Craft
Posted: December 14, 2013

John J. Craft, 77, of Devon, a former museum director and educator, died Sunday, Dec. 8, of lung disease at Bryn Mawr Hospital.

A Civil War history buff, Mr. Craft was drawn to the Civil War Library and Museum in Philadelphia, where he was executive director from 1995 to 1999. He started with the museum in 1983, organizing exhibits and doing research. Later, he helped establish a volunteer board of governors, on which he served.

Mr. Craft's first career was in public education. He retired in 1993 after more than 30 years with the Philadelphia School District.

In his last position, as director of adult education, he ran a citywide network of programs providing educational and job placement services for thousands of full- and part-time adult students and out-of-school youths.

During his school years, he was appointed to the Governor's Commission for Labor and Manpower Policy for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Area Manpower Planning Council, and the Private Industry Council of Philadelphia.

For many years, Mr. Craft supported efforts to preserve Civil War battlefields and other historic sites. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

Mr. Craft also volunteered to officiate at YMCA swimming meets, and for programs to aid those struggling with alcoholism and substance abuse.

Mr. Craft received a bachelor of science degree in economics from Villanova University, and took graduate-level education courses at the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University.

Born and raised in Drexel Hill, he graduated from Upper Darby High School. "He was president of his class for all four years," said his wife, the former Deborah Dunphy.

In addition to his wife of 54 years, he is survived by sons John Jr. and Christopher; daughter Pamela Craft DeLuccia; a brother; and seven grandchildren.

A Funeral Mass will be at St. Monica Church, 635 First Ave., Berwyn, at 11 a.m., Friday, Dec. 13. Visitation is from 10 to 10:50 a.m. Interment is private.

Donations may be made to Surrey Services for Seniors, 28 Bridge Ave., Berwyn, Pa. 19312.


bcook@phillynews.com

610-313-8102

 

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