Thomas Lee Craighill, a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and a deep-rooted Cardinals fan unexpectedly went to be with the Lord on Oct. 1, 2019.
Tom was born in Billings July 15, 1947 to the late John and Agnes (Davis) Craighill.
He was immersed in the Catholic community that would be his lifelong support from an early age. Tom attended Carroll College in Helena and graduated from Eastern Montana in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science in Business. He tackled a few occupations, Montgomery Wards Sales and Motor Parts Warehouse, to name two. In 1972, he was hired on with Yellowstone County Implement, commonly known as John Deere. For 42 years he made a second family out of all the staff and customers there. Tom blissfully retired in 2014, only to become the busiest retiree anyone had known.
Tom married the love of his life, Sandy Vale on August 23, 1969 in Livingston. Tom and Sandy were blessed with large and loving family of seven. With the wisdom of his wife, a bucket load of patience, love, and integrity, he taught his children many life lessons. He taught them how to fish, that Rubbermaid totes could be a great substitute for luggage, and gave them the best lesson ever: always have duct tape on hand. From the beginning of his fatherhood, Tom always lent a helping hand without hesitation, especially when it came to his children and enjoyed watching his legacy grow in his grandchildren. He attended musical and dance performances, school plays, baseball and soccer games, and graduations. Grandpa Tom was ultimately their biggest fan.
Living life to the fullest was an understatement when it came to Tom. He traveled, conquered new adventures, loved meeting new people, built equipment for Soup and Such, and built bookshelves and wishing wells for his kids’ homes. He had, however, one weakness: Tom had an insatiable sweet tooth that Sandy quite literally tried knocking out once. To know him was to love him. He was the kindest, most gentle giant that lived. He will be missed DEERE-ly.
Tom is survived by his beloved wife, Sandy Craighill, Billings; his son, Brian Craighill, Billings; his daughter, Diana Nyquist, Billings, her children Rachel, Eric, Matt, and Allison; grandchildren, Riley and Ronan; his son, Mike, and his wife, Antonia, Billings; their children, Kaitlyne, Parish and Aanya; his daughter, Jami Howell, Billings; her son, Jacob; his daughter, Teri, her husband Ben Dorman, Billings; their son, Sebastian and unborn son due in January; his daughter, Becky, her husband, Emory Hedegaard, Billings; their children Lexi, Joh, and Natylee; his daughter, Megan Craighill and fiancé Daniel, Billings; his sister, Pat (David) North, Billings; his brother, Earl Craighill, Mendocino CA; his brother, Bill (Mary) Craighill, Cedarburg, WI; and his sister, Carrie Craighill (Brent Marchbanks), Boise, ID.
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His parents, John and Agnes (Davis) Craighill, his brother, Jim, and his sister, Mary Craighill Verwolf Stevens preceded Tom in death.
In lieu of flowers, Tom would want you check your oil and inflate your tires and, if you wish, make a donation in his name to NAMI, a group that he cherished. www.namibillings.org
Viewing is at Smith’s Funeral Home 304 34th St. W. Billings Oct. 9, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Vigil at Smith’s Funeral Home 304 34th St. W Billings Oct. 9, 6 p.m.
Service at St. Pius X Church, 717 18th St. W, Oct. 10, 11 a.m.