courtesy of Don Reichert The 30th Reunion Celebration of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Alumni (NIRAA) was held at the Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center, […]
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Meet the Member David Craig
story by Larry Burgess
David Craig died May 18, 2020 apparently as a result from a fall from a horse he was training. David was born in Clovis, New Mexico on June 5, 1947. He spent most of his childhood in Las Vegas, New Mexico with his parents, John and Wanda Craig and his three siblings, Carroll, Dan and Kathy.
David began his rodeo career in high school and continued throughout his college years. After high school graduation, he attended New Mexico Highlands University, later transferring to Casper College, Wyoming where he rodeoed under the renown coach Dale Stiles. While attending Casper College, he met Sally Rankin of Douglas, Wyoming. David and Sally were married in 1968. They raised three daughters, Lisa, Karina and Alicia. They have eight grandchildren.
David continued his education at the University of Northern Colorado State University, earning Master’s Degrees in electronics and industrial technologies. He worked in the oil and gas business as a drilling and production engineer. One of his more adventurous jobs was working with Charlie Winters installing fall-proof climbing equipment on FAA communications towers in Alaska.
David believed deeply in the value of education and eventually moved into that field as a career. He taught at Farmington High School and Chadron State College in Nebraska and finished his professional career as an electronics teacher at Campbell County High School and Gillette College in Wyoming.
Rodeo at all levels, high School, college and professional was one of David’s life passions. He competed in the bareback bronc riding in all three and while at Chadron State coached the rodeo team. He was a gold card member of the PRCA and a member of National Team Ropers. Recently, he and Sally would come to Arizona and David would compete in the team ropings in Wickenburg, Arizona.
David was a man of many interests and later in life he took up the sport of road cycling and racing as a USA Cycling competitor. He could be found with his bike wagon at senior pro bike races and national championships throughout the country either competing himself or supporting other racers.
Dave was a friend to all cowboys. Travelers, rodeo families and “friends of friends” passing through Wyoming knew they would find a roof, warm meals and even warmer conversation at the Craig home. Like any true rodeo cowboy, David loved life on the road and happily drove across the country, day and night, for reasons big and small. He was a loyal member of the NIRAA, a great guy, and a good friend. He will be sorely missed. Rest in peace, partner.