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Lyle Ross Crafton ’41

May 28, 2018, in Spokane, Washington.

Lyle was born on a small farm near McMinnville, Oregon, and moved to Portland when he was six. His father ran a roofing and shingling business, and by the age of 11, Lyle was working for his father. By the time he was 20, Lyle had his own business, in which he worked on and off for most of his adult life.

He graduated from Oregon City High School and attended both Reed and Lewis & Clark College before deciding to work full time at roofing and shingling. While roller skating at the Oaks Park Roller Skating Rink, he met Doris Rivers, whom he married in 1941. Their daughter, Cheryl Christine, was born three years later. On his 25th birthday, Lyle joined the U.S. Navy, serving as a navy shore patrol guard and aboard the troop carrier USS Laurens. In 1948, he purchased an interest in a farm implement business in Goldendale, Washington. After selling this business in 1954, he went to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service. Lyle spent the next 23 years traveling the 39 counties in Washington state, training, auditing, and setting up an aerial photo program for measuring field sizes from the air.

He and Doris divorced in 1956. Lyle met Lucille Campbell when he was performing an audit in Prosser, Washington, and they married in 1957. Lyle adopted her daughter, Barbara, and twin sons, Darrell and Gary, were born the following year. The family moved to Spokane, where Lyle became active with Boy Scout Troop 130, going on campouts with his sons and becoming a merit badge counselor.

When he turned 75, Lyle found that his roofing and siding business had become too demanding, and he began doing title work for Garry Montague. Lucille passed away in 2001, after 44 years of marriage. Lyle married Laura J. Scognamiglio of Spokane in 2003. Laura liked cruising and Lyle immediately took to it. They went through the Panama Canal twice and visited Alaska, Europe, and the Mediterranean islands. Lyle joined the Spokane Eagles Aerie 2 and served as their auditor for 11 years. He said he had always had a wonderful life that only got better after he and Laura got together. Laura passed away in 2017, and Lyle is survived by his son, Daniel, and his daughters, Cheryl Crafton and Barbara Reames.

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2018

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