American Patriotic 10

Philip E. Craker

August 12, 1930 ~ October 18, 2021 (age 91)



  Ret. Colonel Philip Earl Craker, age 91, of Reedsburg, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on October 18, 2021 at Reedsburg Area Medical Center.

  Phil was born on August 12, 1930 in Reedsburg, to Victor and Elmina (Powell), becoming the fourth generation to tend his family’s century farm.  After graduating from Reedsburg High School in 1948, he attended the University of Wisconsin, earning his bachelor’s degree in Animal Husbandry.  More importantly, it was there he met and became engaged to the former, Gloria Way, his wife of sixty-seven years.  Phil and Gloria were united in marriage on December 19, 1953 in Mt. Vernon, WI.

  In 1952, Phil was drafted into the military, serving overseas in Korea.  He gave a combined service of twenty-six years in the Army, National Guard, and Army Reserves, and was honorably discharged in 1978.  Phil also dedicated over thirty years to the Winfield town board—including 18 years as town chairman—and was integral in the creation of the rural fire department.  He was a faithful member of Reedsburg United Methodist Church, volunteered frequently at VFW Post 1916 (where he could often be found cracking eggs), and was involved with many other organizations—truly living a life of service.

  Perhaps his greatest service—and challenge—was keeping his always-expanding horde of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in line.  Family always came first, and though he may not have said it out loud, his love for his family was always felt in his actions and in the words he didn’t say.  He is remembered for his quick smile, mischievous wink, embellished stories, and signing his notes with a simple “CU”.  As a descendent of Phil, you couldn’t go anywhere without running into someone that knew him—and had a memorable story to tell about him.

  Phil is survived by his wife, Gloria (Way); his six children: Robin (Jean) Craker, Holly (Lynn “Puny”) Mittelstaedt, Nancy Kaney, Jamie (Ken) Catterson, Chris (Tammy) Craker, and Tracy (Julie) Craker; twelve grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Georgia (Way) Post and Audrey (Babler) Way; special family friends: AFS daughter, Bende Gronemann and Steve Albers; numerous cousins, relatives, friends, and neighbors.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Victor and Elmina, and stepmother Frieda (Schlieckau)Craker.

  Visitation will be held at Hoof Funeral Home on Thursday, October 21, 2021 from 4 – 7pm.  Funeral services will be held at VFW Post 1916 on Friday, October 22, 2021 at 11am, with visitation beginning at 10am and luncheon to follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the charity of your choice are preferred, followed by a nip of brandy in Phil’s honor.  Special thanks to the staff of the Reedsburg Area Senior Living and the staff of Reedsburg Area Medical Center for the care and compassion given to Phil and his family.

  The Hoof Funeral Home is serving the family.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Philip, please visit our floral store.


October 21, 2021

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Hoof Funeral Home
312 N. Park Street
Reedsburg, WI 53959

Second Visitation
October 22, 2021

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Reedsburg V.F.W.
200 Veterans Drive
Reedsburg, WI 53959

Funeral Service
October 22, 2021

11:00 AM
Reedsburg V.F.W.
200 Veterans Drive
Reedsburg, WI 53959

© 2021 Hoof Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy