- 63 years old
- Date of birth: Feb 23, 1952
- Date of passing: Sep 10, 2015
|Let us always remember the joy that Craven brought to our lives.|
Craven left her family and friends on September 10. The huge void created by her absence can never truly be filled. We, her loving family and friends, can soften the shock and pain of her sudden departure by sharing special remembrances of this incredibly beautiful, radiant and compassionate person. Please populate this page with your stories, experiences, memories, introspections and pictures to celebrate and commemorate her life, one that enriched our lives as few possibly could.
"Thinking of you with so much love on your special day. You are surely missed! Love, Bonnie"
"As we know, in our hearts, Craven remains with us. But how is that so? For me, these beautiful words crafted by songwriter R. Le Gallienne most aptly bear testament to Craven's everlasting presence.
"She's somewhere in the sunlight strong,
Her tears are in the falling rain,
She calls me in the wind's soft song,
And with the flowers she comes again.
Yon bird is but her messenger,
The moon but her silver car,
Yea! Sun and moon are sent by her,
And every wistful, waiting star."
Craven's sweetness persists, her grace lives on. What blessings they are."
"I miss you, Craven. Cindy is teaching yoga at her house again and I think of you in every class. You left a big space here at Sea Ranch. No one will ever fill it. Your redwood tree is growing strong with all the rain we have had this year. Today, I will go there to hang a bluebird in your memory. Love you, girlfriend!"
"My dear, dear Craven.... I celebrate you and your friendship every single day of the year. I celebrate your birthday today as a heartfelt reminder of fun birthday celebrations of past, and to reconnect with you on this special day. As I wipe away my tears, always know how much you meant to me and how you enriched life with your spirit, silliness and extraordinary qualities. I love you, gayle"
"Happy Birthday my dear friend! I'm missing you, I miss your laughter and our long girlie checkins while I did your hair! I'll never forget what you told me that last I saw you "you go girl"! I'm still reaching and going there and I know you are somewhere rooting me on. Love you dear sister."
"Happy Birthday dear friend. We will never forget your wonderful life and how it made us better people. I celebrate you every day in my office with a little ritual where your picture is displayed on the wall next to my drawing board. I hope you can still hear me!!! I love you always, Al"
"So many of us have wonderful special memories of Craven and of our time that we shared with her. Her life was such a positive effect on our lives and we all benefited from her understanding, her love & her friendship.
This month we just happen to be cruising by some of her favorite beaches in the Caribbean and we know she would want all of us to live our lives as strong and as happily as she lived hers.
Cheers to you Craven!"
"On Cravens Birthday I will"
"I always think of you, Craven, when I walk by Craven's Island on Crows Nest every morning. We miss you out there (and everywhere)."
"We are so glad to have Craven's Island to walk to and remember our friend who we think of so often and so fondly."
"Thinking of you today Craven and Family. Opened a pocket in my large suitcase a couple of days ago. Not sure what made me look in that pocket which I never use but but found notes and souvenirs from our Italy trip. Craven's name scattered through out. Miss you and still find myself saying "I should remember to tell Craven...." Lucky for the time I had to spend with you."
"To Rob, Jordan, friends and family of Kakie's (Cousins from the South and we called her Kakie). I have been thinking of Kakie this entire week and then I realized it has been a year since she left. She was such a wonderful person and enjoyed life to the fullest extent. May we all learn a lesson from her--stop and smell the Roses!"
"This is such a bittersweet day. So sad for the loss of our dear friend, Craven, but also thankful to have had her in our lives. She profoundly touched so many people, "the blue bird of happiness".
To Craven's family & friends, we share your sorrow. Reading the heartfelt tributes to this beautiful, remarkable person, brings a smile to our tearful eyes.
Rhonda & Jeff"
"I make a solemn promise to you, my dear friend Craven, that I will forever remember this day. Your picture will always remain on the wall next to my drawing board so that I can look to you for guidance when I hit that wall we talked about while working on an art piece or one of my renderings. Having you close by puts me at ease. I will try to learn from your grace and your spirit. You will always be by my side. I love you. Your painting buddy and friend, Al"
"Today is a difficult day to accept - one year ago, about this time we lost a dear, precious friend. I will never forget the unseemingly call from Scott Graff....Naively I still have challenges accepting the loss of my dear friend. Hoping she will resurface from a long vacation. Silly me. I am thankful for all the love, devotion, teamwork and support from all those who came together at her memorial....that was a tribute.
I am thankful that Rob shared the video and photos in his recent tribute on September 7th. The video is a gift. I will continue to miss her every moment, cherish the wonderful moments shared with Craven and mostly thank her for giving me so much. With profound regret, I say good bye again....."
"For Rob, Jordan and all our family & friends, Today as we remember & honor Craven, her joy of living life & all her wonderfulness, she is deeply missed. We were so lucky to love Craven and to be loved by her."
"Craven has been gone now for a year. Her absence remains profound, the void expansive and deep. To my reach she seems so distant, to my mind so close.
Hidden in my cell phone I discovered a picture of Craven from several years ago that I just posted to this site. We were having lunch at one of her favorite places on St. Barth’s and she is raising her glass in thanks to being there and to all the many good things in her life. Lordy lordy, she sure loved those Caribbean islands!
I also found a short video of Craven taken in a hotel room in Boise ID when we were accompanying Jordan and Kate on their move from Seattle in 2013. I think you’ll agree it captures the essence of the sweet Craven we all love and whose memory continues to brighten each of our lives. I know she is grateful to all of you who continue to embrace your memories of her."
"To honor Craven on the occasion of her Birthday yesterday, we dedicated "Craven's Island", a small island in the middle of the street in her home neighborhood on Crows Nest Drive, in The Sea Ranch California. The Island represents Cravens love of the tropic Islands and on this island which her local friends and family see and pass daily, we planted a majestic Redwood tree, a Queen of the forest, to reign forever and to remind us of our friend and the love she gave us. I read the following words to mark the occasion:
There is a short saying I like, which I’m not sure who its attributed to, but it seems appropriate today, it goes:
'In planting a tree, we know we will never see it grow into its maturity. But in doing do, we are asserting our belief in the future and in future generations.'
As a Landscape architect, and one who was involved with the environment and landscapes where ever she went, Craven was responsible for planting more trees than all of us combined.
In doing so, Craven understood she would never see these landscapes or trees in their maturity, just as we know, we will never see this tree in its maturity. Like Craven did repeatedly in life; today we are asserting our belief in the future, in our need to continue and to grow. Craven expected if of her trees, and she expects it of us.
It's therefore fitting today, on Cravens birthday, roughly 5 months after we lost her, that we remember and honor her, by planting this tree. It will be our constant reminder that Craven is expecting us to go on, to grow, in to our maturity, come what may, with her love, with love and support for one another, especially for Rob.
At the dedication of Craven Island Redwood tree
The Sea Ranch, CA
February 23, 2016"
"I think of you every day, Craven. Thinking of Rob and your family today and sending much love. We wish you were here with us to celebrate many things. xxxooo ❤️"
"Craven loved her birthday, loved sharing it with others and all the special things that came with it. This will be the first where Craven will not be physically here to share it with her family and friends and oh how frightfully sad that makes us feel. But she is here nonetheless as she remains in all our hearts just as she was, sweet, caring, vivacious, lots of fun. And you will find she resides all around us, as she always will. We just need to stop for a moment and be present with her and she will be there, smiling. In the words of R. Gallienne;
She's somewhere in the sunlight strong,
Her tears are falling rain,
She calls me in the wind and soft song,
And with the flowers she comes again.
Yon bird is but her messenger,
The moon is but her silver car,
Yea! Sun and moon are sent by her,
And every wistful, waiting star!
Thank you everyone for all the love you hold and continue to share for Craven. Grace be with you all."
"My dear friend Craven, I sooooo miss you and all that you brought to this world and to my life. Dear memories and visions of all the fun times we enjoyed, celebrating our birthdays are most vivid today, on your birthday.
The eternal gift to all who love you are the wonderful , cherished memories we so fondly share of you, Miss Craven. Your friends bond together in your memory today and everyday.... guaranteed.
On that note, the angels are singing Happy Birthday and Hallmark sold out of Birthday cards today!!... you are always remembered.
As you always called me, "Gaylie Girl"......I love you."
"Craven's laugh was the best and if she thought something was particularly funny, she would laugh until the tears came. We miss you Craven. You are forever in our hearts."
"Remembering Craven's smiling face and contagious laughter...
I found this poem that reminds me of her.
"You -you alone will have the stars as no one else has them, In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of the stars I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars are laughing, when you look at the sky at night. You, only you will have stars that can laugh.
- Antoine De Saint Exupery
"Happy Birthday Craven"
"Thinking about Craven tonight. Went into tidy up my email and ended up reading all the emails I'd gotten from her over the years. Precious few. And needless to say I will never erase them.
It is funny the things you remember about someone who is gone. Freckles come to mind and these really cool boots she had. All of a sudden I just wish I could hear that laugh one more time."
"I just found out about Craven's passing, and feel a great void in the world. Though I hadn't seen her in years, I have deep and fond memories of time spent at their home in El Dorado County, and working with/for Craven on a project. She was such a beautiful person, a deep soul, a consummate professional and more fun than most people, that's for sure! I am so sad she is gone, and deeply regretful that I missed opportunities to be in her special presence."
"Today is Christmas Eve day 2015. Christmas was far and away Craven's favorite holiday. Last year we drove to Montana to spend the holiday with Jordan, Kate and Sadie (who had just turned 2). The just added picture shows Craven walking a snow and ice covered trail as the family enjoyed a chilly yet exuberant Christmas walk in the Montana woods.
Craven began preparing for Christmas months in advance. She cherished shopping for gifts (a real personal strength), sending cards, decorating the tree and our home, finding new holiday recipes, baking cookies, and fixing special dinners. She embodied Christmas cheer in all of her seasonal doings. And while we can never again experience her holiday cheer first hand our memories of it and her indomitable Christmas spirit will forever be honored and cherished.
Jordan and I invite you to raise a glass to toast Craven this Christmas 2015. She will be watching from her front row seat in the realm that is so lucky to now be enjoying her presence and cheer. Look up and you will see her smiling upon you, as she is us. With that beautiful smile she is wishing us all a very Merry Christmas."
"I think of Craven a lot. I was as moved as I have ever been in my life by the Tribute to her. It was an elegant gathering for our community sweetheart, our tomboy with the rusty voice and cheery demeanor.
We were given so much: Rob’s words — delivered as by a sage healer — included the thought that Craven will be everlastingly at peace due to the outpouring of love in the Hall; Scott, Colette, Kate, Jordan and Rob brought Craven back to us with details of her life that let us know it was a full, adventurous and happy journey."
"I have only had a place at Sea Ranch for less than three years but was fortunate enough to meet Craven very early on at the Posh Squash garden. In short time, as I kept running into her, it seemed to me she facilitated nearly every meeting, workshop, group, and event here. Every encounter with Craven always left me wanting more time with her. She was a marvel at the art of diplomacy –or better said, in the art of how to be in the world. What a tremendous inspiration to others in living fully and gleefully she was. I can hear so many conversations I had with her, because I treasured them long before she passed. I feel quite selfishly sad for myself that I won't ever see this beautiful person again, who was so artful at making me feel good, but I will think of her."
"When I finished graduate school, my first job as a city planner was for Craven at the City of Stuart. What a wonderful person to have for my first boss!! As I near retirement, so much of her joy, humor, and wisdom have carried me through my career. We laughed almost every day that we worked together, and when I remember her, the first thing I remember is her laughter."
"Written by Jan:
If you have a sister who is your best friend, then you know the lost place where I am... Every day I talked to her and felt whole and safe in the universe .. Now I'm floating rootless and tossed about like a balloon let go ... Where will I land? Who will catch me?"
"I met Craven many years ago at Camp Crystal Lake when I was a camper and she was my sailing instructor. She was always playing jokes on other camp counselors and actually managed to teach me how to sail, well a Sunfish anyway. Years later I walked into a new job in Tallahassee (1985) and who should walk around the corner but Craven Smith, as I knew her. What a great surprise and she looked just as I remembered her, a very pretty southern belle.
So our lives intersected again, as I worked for Rob and we all worked for Murley, well those were the days. My very favorite memory of Craven is how gracious she would be when you suggested something she definitely did not want to do. She would pause a minute, look like she was giving it due consideration and then say, "that's an idea". This meant it was definitely NOT happening under any circumstances.
We still do that in our family and laugh.
So travel lightly Craven as we all will miss you and your special ways."
"In the late afternoons I frequently walk Crow's Nest Drive, which takes me very close to Rob and Craven's home. Occasionally I would hear that little white convertible pulling up beside me, and I knew what was coming -- "hi handsome!" (Craven was not above fibbing) -- and there she would be, sitting in the driver's seat, lighting up the world with that smile. Invariably, she had a quick, hilarious story about something that had happened to her (or because of her) that day. Those brief moments always brightened my day -- but then again, for those of us who knew her, when were you ever around her that you did not leave with a smile?"
"I only recently had the pleasure of meeting and working with Craven. The little I truly know about Craven emanated in her work for and love of TSR and her art. I will cherish the two paintings we purchased from her and remember her love of life. Any fool can see it looking at them. My heart goes out to those who are closest to her, but believe the gifts she gave them before she left too soon are immense, and that they are also very lucky."
"I did not know Craven very long or as well as most others sharing their thoughts. We met as part of a tree removal "to do" involving a previous neighbor. Besides liking her instantly (oh that smile, that laugh, that infectious zest for life), I was able to watch "honey in action". She resolved a sticky situation with strength, humor, and plain old horse sense. What a negotiator!
What a loss to her dear family. What a loss to her great friends. What a loss to all who knew her. Blessings to those finding their way through such grief. Godspeed to Craven; may she be at peace. She was loved. She will be missed."
"I was new to Sea Ranch. I knew very few here. I was ever so fortunate
to meet Craven. Every time I saw her wonderful face, she greeted me with a huge smile, loud hello and more warmth and friendliness than I
have ever known. We would talk and laugh and always as I walked
away I felt such gratitude and awe for this spirited woman who was ever so alive and beautiful in every way."
"Void - the prospect of the rest of forever without Craven in the world is a true definition of that word. How can one small person have filled so much space, touched so many people? A positive force if there ever was one -- and both of those words (positive and force) are equally important in defining her. It's hard to imagine this place without her."
"I was fortunate to work with Craven for six years in her role as liaison to the Native Plant Committee. When I think of her, the words enthusiasm and passion come to mind. She always spoke of her family as the source of her love for plants. She was so active, but always made me think she had all the time in the world to listen to my ideas. I miss her laugh."
"There is a lot I want to say about Craven, but will begin with the way she would get tickled. The subject could be about most anything, a particular character in a book that she loved or an incident that she remembered. She might start with just a remark and then her eyes would get that spark, her voice would get louder and eventually her whole body would get into it letting us know her absolute delight that could not be contained with just a verbal retelling. A specific example: her recounting the evening she and Rob spent in a bar/restaurant in Austria last fall. No one else knew English and they didn't know any German, but everyone had a wonderful evening communicating with laughs and body language. Craven got more and more into the story, repeating it and savoring the memory so her happiness brought us all right there with her and Rob in that little eating place one night in Austria.
She could be that enthusiastic person I just described and then at other times quiet and thoughtful as she would listen and take part in our conversations about ideas engendered with the books and authors we shared.
We miss her very much, but also are deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to know irrepressible, passionate, beautiful, dynamic Craven."
"Craven was a joy to work with. A friend right from the start. I loved the time we shared together - our walks at lunch time, sharing our thoughts about our loved ones and the joys in our life. She loved life, her husband, son, daughter in-law and her precious granddaughter. Oh, how they will miss this wonderful lady - as we all will. But her beautiful spirit will be with us always."
"I often wondered what it must be like to be Craven... To be able to make me feel like I was the most important person in her world when we spent time together. She was at once a cheerleader, a confidante, a mediator and a model of human kindness. Her mere presence increased the fun of any event or gathering. She was artful in finding the elusive silver lining in any situation and in finding the perfect moment to celebrate... well, anything, really. "That's Right, I knew you could do it", were words of Craven's I heard many times. I hope these words, in her voice, with her laughter will enter my mind any time I have reason to be thankful. Craven is simply one of the loveliest women I've known and I am grateful for time spent with her."
"I once told Rob that I was "crazy about" his wife. On reflection I thought that might not have been the smartest thing but I couldn't help myself because it was true. Wherever I encountered her, in her DCEM job or the Native Plant Committee or the gym or just in passing she was always positive, smiling, supportive and understanding. And then there was that laugh. The last time I saw her was only a couple of weeks ago when she popped in to Gualala Arts to see the Yeager paintings. She looked physically beaten up from all the medical work but otherwise she was the same old Craven. Upbeat, "feeling good", love the portraits, see you at the gym, Craven. She told me that Rob had been a "surprisingly great caregiver" and that I might give him a call if I was in need of such. And then, as usual, we laughed. I deeply regret that I won't hear that laugh again or see that smile. We are all poorer for her loss."
"Words fail to describe the painful and premature void you have left.
Scott and I were so fortunate to have met you. And your contagious smile will always have a special place in our hearts.
You are missed and loved."
"This is a poem by Mary Oliver that I read at my mother's memorial service. I post it with great affection in memory of Craven.
Long Afternoon at Little Sister Pond
As for life,
I'm without words
sufficient to say
how it has been hard as flint,
and soft as a spring pond,
both of these
and over and over,
and long pale afternoons besides,
and so many mysteries
beautiful as eggs in a nest,
though warm and watched over
by something I have never seen –
a tree angel, perhaps,
or a ghost of holiness.
Every day I walk out into the world
to be dazzled, then to be reflective.
It suffices, it is all comfort –
along with human love,
dog love, water love, little-serpent love,
sunburst love, or love for that smallest of birds
flying among the scarlet flowers.
There is hardly time to think about
stopping, and lying down at last
to the long afterlife, to the tenderness
yet to come, when
time will brim over the singular pond, and become forever,
and we will pretend to melt away into the leaves.
As for death,
I can't wait to be the hummingbird,
"Craven taught me about true friendship....that we don't have to see each other or email or call each other everyday, maybe not for weeks. We are secure that our friendship isn't based on that. We know they are there, close by, always reachable and there is a balance and a security about that. When that person is gone we are shown just how that balance becomes unsettled, just that one dear soul gone and the balance of all the other friendships isn't enough to overcome the disruption. I will adore her always and will hold my memories close. Two dates to take note of; our first sunrise without our dear Craven was 9/11, a special day already now made more memorable for us all. And her memorial on 10/4. In the law enforcement "10 Codes", 10/4 means "Affirmative Acknowledgement""
"Not since the passing of my own family members have I been so affected by the transition from this life of a beloved one. Craven was my southern sister in a far away land. My connection to that "place" in the world. I keep hearing her voice in the gym, her laugh and her beautiful southern accent. There is a hole in our small community but aren't we lucky to have had her!"