WEEMS—Craig Brian Murray ascended into heaven on December 1, 2020, following a 25-year battle against cancer. His mother and father, Vicki and Brian Murray, were at his side and comforted him with the Lord’s prayer in his final moments on earth.
Craig was born on April 2, 1993, in Hampton.
He is survived by his devoted older brother, Justin Berkeley Murray, sister-in-law Samantha; aunts; uncles; and parents, Brian and Vicki.
Craig was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 2, relapsed at age 4, and again at age 7. He was given the gift of life by his brother when he underwent a bone marrow transplant at Duke University, to start 14 years of cancer-free life.
His joy for life encompassed all aspects of Craig’s being. He began playing golf at the age of two with his father, and won three parent-child golf championships at his home course in Williamsburg; the last being only three months following his transplant in 2000.
Craig took a keen interest in all sports, but truly excelling in golf and baseball sports statistics. Following complications from his bone marrow transplant, Craig’s participation on the field and course were severely limited, but he always cherished being with the team. Following a move to Dubai with his family in 2004, Craig continued to play baseball, until complications from his bone marrow transplant made it unsafe for him to continue. Even though he was unable to be on the field as a player, he interviewed for and was selected as an infield umpire; he had found a way to participate on the field with his peers—a true inspiration.
While in Dubai, Craig joined the Boy Scouts of America, starting at the rank of Tenderfoot, being selected by his fellow scouts as Senior Patrol Leader, and earning the designation of Eagle Scout in 2012. His Godfather, retired U.S. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Brian Peterman, a fellow Eagle Scout, made the trip to Dubai for his presentation.
Following school in Dubai, Craig attended his senior year of high school at Oak Hill Academy, where he was selected as the manager of the junior varsity basketball team. He thoroughly enjoyed interacting with all the players, many who went on to play Division 1 College Basketball.
To his parents’ delight, Craig was admitted into seven different colleges and chose to attend West Virginia Wesleyan University. Craig excelled his first semester and was selected by the head basketball coach as the team manager for the varsity team. Craig relished being with the “guys” and helping the team at every turn.
In 2014, as a result of all the chemo and radiation at a young age, Craig was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, cancer of the small bowel. He celebrated his 21st birthday by having a legal Heineken with his Dad, hiding out in a side room at the Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters in Norfolk. Following surgery to remove the cancer, Craig recovered with his parents, and—once up to snuff—moved to Northern Virginia to live with his brother and sister-in-law, where he worked at his brother’s company for 18 months. When his brother relocated to the West Coast, Craig found an apartment, roommate, new job and got on with his goal of living life to its fullest. His devotion to the NATS was unequalled and he was surprised with a World Series Ticket by his Dad to attend a home game.
In June of 2019, Craig suffered a mild heart attack and had a stint placed in a clogged artery, again, not complaining and always doing what was asked of him by the medical professionals. Last winter, Craig accompanied his parents, brother and sister-in-law on a week vacation to the Colorado mountains where he challenged his older brother to snow-tubing races. This past June, his parents took him and his best friend in life, Ben Meadows, on a road trip across country to see all the wonderful sights and parks America has to offer.
Craig will always be an inspiration not only to his family, but to the many friends whose lives he touched with his kindness, and zest for living. His entire life was blessed with prayers from people in his churches. From Hampton to Williamsburg, Dubai to Fairfax, and culminating in Weems, the loving support for Craig was a big reason for his perseverance and determination to live life to its fullest without complaint or regret.
The family held a remembrance Sunday, December 6, at Campbell Memorial Presbyterian Church in Weems.
A celebration of Craig’s life will be held at noon June 12, 2021, at Campbell Memorial Presbyterian Church.
They request donations in lieu of flowers be made to the Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters, Norfolk, in memory of Craig Brian Murray.