Skip to comments.Captain Robert Craig, Ocean City Beach Patrol, Maryland- "OC Family Grateful"
Posted on 05/25/2009 1:07:06 PM PDT by real_patriotic_american
OC Family Grateful
Saturday, April 25, 2009 was a beautiful day, and it was made even more wonderful by the outpouring of affection expressed toward Captain Robert S. Craig at his Beach Memorial Service. The Craig children and family appreciate all that was done to honor our Pop, a man so many in Ocean City have known and loved for so many years. The Beach Memorial was truly memorable and more special than we could have possibly imagined. We have many people to thank for their efforts in making it happen.
We learned very quickly that organizing such an occasion is a massive undertaking, but the support of the Ocean City Beach Patrol (OCBP) and Lt. Ward Kovacs, our principal contact there, together with Captain Butch Arbin, was unfailing. We very much appreciate the weeks of preparation as well as the ministerial services of Lt. Kovacs, who is also a seminarian.
We extend special thanks to the speakers who so respectfully honored Captain Craig: Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (former OCBP); Delegate Jim Mathias; Worcester County Commission President Louise Gulyas; Mayor Rick Meehan, and Tom Perry, (former OCBP and representing the larger lifesaving community). Thank you all so much for your kind remarks. We are also extremely appreciative of the lovely solo performed during the wreath ceremony by Mary Mumford.
Ocean City officials stood ready to serve: Mayor Rick Meehan, City Manager Dennis Dare, Police Chief Bernadette DiPino, Emergency Services Director Joe Theobald, and Public Relations Director Donna Abbott all contributed to the day. We would especially like to thank Bruce Gibbs, Superintendent of Maintenance, and his exceptionally able staff, for setting up the beach.
Additional thanks go to Chief Chris Larmore, Asst. Chief Kevin Kirstein, and Deputy Chief David Cropper, all of the Ocean City Fire Department for providing the ladder truck and large American flag at the boardwalk arch. The very talented Alison Carmody of Flowers by Alison designed the beautiful memorial wreath and provided the podium flowers. Bill Kelly (assisted by Don Patel) distributed programs; PFC Bruce Stender patrolled the beach on his stalwart steed; and others from the town and county were quietly present. We are also grateful for the photographers: Al Harrison and Kristin Joson (OCBP) and her assistant, Karen Attick, who documented the event, described as the end of an era.
Other OCBP members (past and present) played major roles, and for this we are grateful: we thank Captain Butch Arbin (for his heartfelt eulogy); Lt. Mike Stone (who served as emcee); and Sgt. Ryan Cowder along with Sgt. Nick Thompson (who served as honor guard at the wreath). Johnny Jarvis and Bobby Wagner led the lifeguard procession.
Lucky Jordan (former OCPB) stood in for Captain Craigs brother, Frank [also former OCBP and who was unable to attend]; Lucky represented the earliest generation of lifeguards. SRT Daniel Kirstein represented the youngest generation, and we thank him for his role in ringing the bell. We appreciate the many lifeguards, past and present, who attended and who joined the honor guard.
Dr. Sean Williams (OCBP) played an integral part, in 52-degree water, in the release of the wreath to the sea. We also extend our gratitude to the United States Coast Guard, particularly Master Chief Don Carter and BM1 Christopher Karpf of the Ocean City Coast Guard Station. These fine servicemen arranged for the Coast Guard vessel to receive the wreath and carry it out to sea.
The memorial service concluded with the retirement of Unit 1, which seemed to touch the hearts of most in attendance. Thank you, Jason Hudson and Scot Wells of Ocean City Emergency Services for working with Capt. Arbin to execute that solemn ceremony. The Boardwalk procession, as well as Captain Craigs last tour of Ocean City could not have happened without the support of Sgt. Kathy McCauley of the Ocean City Police Department. Thank you, Sgt. McCauley for coordinating the procession, which continued on to Whaleyville, and thanks also to Sgt. Hal Shields (Worcester County Sheriffs Dept.) and the Berlin Police Department and to all the officers involved.
We are grateful for the contributions to the beautiful graveside service at Whaley Cemetery from Carolyn Conners, Joan Demko, Holly Hearne, and Sharon Walsh, and we appreciated the role played by Chip Dashiell (former OCBP) and his Masonic brothers in the service.
The reception that evening provided an opportunity for friends and former lifeguards to get together, and we thank Shirley and Brice Phillips, as well as Brian Mushrush and his extremely accommodating staff at Phillips Crab House, for all they contributed. Joel Brous of the Flamingo Motel and Malcolm Van Kirk of the Bay Sails Inn reserved blocks of rooms so that out-of-town guests could be assured accommodations on that busy weekend, and we thank them for that. We would also like to thank Susan Jones, Director of the Ocean City Hotel Motel Restaurant Assoc. for her contributions.
Finally, as many know, our family has experienced much loss over the past several months, and we would like to offer a special thank you to Kirk Burbage of Burbage Funeral Home for his many kindnesses.
The Craig Family