In Memory

Craig Dear

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09/07/22 03:09 PM #1    

Neal Kloepfer

Craig Booth Dear, 76, of Woodbury NJ, son of John and Lucille Dear of Albuquerque NM, died July 26, 2022 in Philadelphia of complications from a stroke.

He was a 1963 graduate of Highland High School in Albuquerque NM and University of Texas at El Paso in 1966 where he majored in physics and was a member of the varsity golf team. There he met and married Julie Ann Elkins of Columbus MS. After a year in Socorro NM on the faculty of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, they moved to Orlando FL where he worked at Winter Park Pines Golf Club and qualified for the PGA Tour. He won four tour events in four years and retired at 28, accepting a position at a private club in Sapphire Valley NC.

He was named director of golf at Beckett NJ and moved to Woodbury in 1979. Eventually he leased two golf clubs in South Jersey -- Blackwood and Pinecrest -- and for years conducted leasing and management seminars at the annual PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.

He was preceded in death by his younger brother Douglas and is survived by two other brothers, John Arthur Dear Jr. of Carrollton TX and Terrance Dear (Lea) of Castle Rock CO.

He is survived by his wife; daughter Meredith Leigh Dear Riedel who lives in Durham NC with her husband Detlev Christian Riedel; son Barry Wayne Dear of Woodbury and wife Denise Wilson Dear; son José Bento Ntenvo of Capetown, South Africa as well as four grandchildren--Alexis Nicole Dear Weir, who lives in Castle Rock with her husband Jacob; Tyson Alexander Dear and Cameryn Elizabeth Dear, both of Woodbury, and Jada Wilson of Woodbury; as well as three great-grandchildren: Hannah Meredith, Evelynn Faith and Neill Clayton, all of Castle Rock.

Other survivors are sister-in-law Lee Ellen Love Elkins of Hammond LA, two brothers-in-law John Gregory Elkins of Woodbury NJ and James Michael Elkins of Alexandria LA, four nieces: Denise Lynn Dear Smith (Howard) of Scottsville KY and their children Calvin and Amber; Rebecca Dear Landreth (Allen) of Bowling Green KY and her three daughters: Jennifer Lutch (Justin) and son James Alexander, Annika Dear-Williams, and Kerri Williams; Mary Katherine Dear and her children George and Abigail, all of New York NY; and Elizabeth Elkins Bailey (Darrell) and their sons Conor and Cline, of Madison MS, and nephews Tucker Elkins (Jessica) and their children Austin and Presley Anne , all of Madison MS, and Gregory Elkins of Runnemede NJ.

He was a private pilot, licensed boat captain, big game hunter throughout sub-Saharan Africa, supporter of Special Olympics, Blind Golfers Association, Disabled Veterans of America, several shooting organizations including the National Rifle Association and the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs. He was also a champion of and mentor to many young men, becoming a surrogate father and role model for them for the past 53 years. His generosity and kindness will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

A celebration of life memorial service will be held at 5pm on Saturday, September 24, 2022, with visitation from 3-5pm, at Budd Funeral Home, 522 Salem Avenue, Woodbury NJ 08096.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in his name to Special Olympics, Blind Golfers Association, Disabled Veterans of America, or the National Rifle Association.

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