Gearhart Funeral Home

11275 Foley Blvd NW, Coon Rapids, MN


Craig E. Trandem

November 7, 1949January 27, 2020
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Craig E. Trandem Age 70, of Blaine Went home to be with the Lord on Jan. 27, 2020

Preceded in death by his father, Everett Trandem; brother, Vernon Trandem.

Survived by his wife of 38 yrs., Diane; children, Christine Frei, Anna (Craig) Bourdeaux, Aaron Trandem; grandchildren, Abby Frei, Haley Frei, Grayson Bourdeaux; mother, Gail Trandem; siblings, Greg (Connie) Trandem, Kandace (Richard) Bergstrom, Lee (Marilyn) Trandem, Dawn (Tom) Husom, Mark Trandem; further survived by other relatives and friends.

Funeral service 11:00 am Monday (2/3/2020) at Mount Olive Lutheran Church (700 Western St. Anoka) with visitation starting at 10:00 am

Interment with Military Honors Morningside Memorial Gardens

In lieu of flowers, memorials to Mount Olive Lutheran Church



  • Justin Husom
  • Anthony Thompson
  • Kevin Kuklock
  • Matthew Trandem
  • Aaron Trandem
  • Mike Trandem

  • Mount Olive Lutheran Church


  • Visitation Monday, February 3, 2020
  • Funeral Service Monday, February 3, 2020
  • Interment with Military Honors Monday, February 3, 2020


Craig E. Trandem

have a memory or condolence to add?

Paul Seeling

February 2, 2020

Craig was a favorite cousin and I regret we lost touch as we got older. I cherish our childhood memories with his bothers and sisters and with our other cousins as we enjoyed the wonderful family times together at Grandma & Grandpa Northway's.
May the good memories of Craig help keep him warmly in the hearts of all who knew him.
My deepest sympathies to his family.
Cousin Paul J. Seeling



Craig E. Trandem was a man for whom actions would speak louder than words. His life motto might well have been “if it isn’t logical, it’s not important.” The qualities of being fair, just and the ability to recognize what was right were clearly driving forces in Craig’s life. He was also the kind of person who could respect a “do not disturb” sign, whether it was real or implied. He was analytical and observant, with an ability to be simultaneously spontaneous and keenly perceptive. Craig was modest in his actions and extremely literal in his thoughts and in the manner in which he communicated with others. When Craig said something, he meant it. All those who knew him appreciated this trademark quality.

      Craig was born on November 7, 1949 at St. Mary's Hospital in Minneapolis, MN. His parents were Everett & Gail Trandem. Craig was raised in Blaine, MN. Even as a small child, Craig wanted to understand what was right and what was wrong in any given situation. As Craig grew older, he realized the importance of being treated fairly, and in return, he treated everyone around him the same way. This belief in fair play served Craig well throughout his life and despite his natural shyness; he enjoyed a solid group of friends.

      Since Craig sought to treat those around him with respect, he often found himself in the role of playing peacemaker within his family. He was comfortable in working through the types of sibling rivalry situations that quite often occur, because he loved the challenge of conflict resolution. He would look at the most reasonable and practical ways to settle any disputes. Craig was raised with six siblings: Vernon, Greg, Kandace, Dawn, Lee, and Mark. Craig was constantly involved in activities with his siblings. Craig and his siblings had the typical rivalries while growing up, but they shared many life experiences.

      During his childhood, family and friends viewed Craig as a quiet and reserved person with what most would consider a calm and tranquil demeanor. In fact, he was a fairly curious child who had the ability to entertain himself and didn’t require much in the way of outside stimulation. A great deal of Craig’s free time was spent learning how and why the things around him worked. He was an active child who loved being outdoors and absorbing all the sensory input that nature could provide. He took part in wrestling and baseball. He was a boy scout, part of the honor society, and library club. In his spare time he liked to play with the kids in the neighborhood. Craig's memorable achievements included being in the top of his class.

      The fact that he was curious was an asset to Craig while he was in school. He possessed strong study skills and good concentration. He relished the task of scrutinizing problems, investigating all of the options and then solving them. Craig enjoyed tackling the project that was right in front of him and working it straight through to its conclusion. Sometimes, he would become so involved in the process of problem solving that he would lose awareness of his surroundings. Experience was Craig’s best teacher. He graduated from Spring Lake Park High School in 1967. His favorite class in high school was typing because he was the only male in an all female class. The teacher he enjoyed learning from the most was the strictest teacher. In addition to being in the top tier of his class, he is remembered for his wrestling.

      The same qualities that served as assets for Craig while he was in high school were tools that built success in his college years. His ability to work through problems and assignments without wasting time and energy demonstrated to his instructors that he possessed a real “stick to it” attitude that allowed him to succeed despite an underlying desire to defer making difficult decisions. Craig was an analytical and an independent thinker, qualities that allowed him to develop and implement effective strategies and techniques to meet his college workload. He started college at Anoka Ramsey Community College before being drafted/enlisting in the Navy.

      Those who didn’t know Craig well might have thought him to be objective and somewhat emotionally detached, but family and friends who were close to him knew that he was capable of unexpected flashes of humor. Craig’s good friends tended to be “thinkers” like himself. Even though the circle of friends was somewhat small, it was a strong and loyal group, and Craig liked nothing better than to spend his free time with them. Craig was well known for always being up front and open, never hiding his true feelings, qualities that drew deep loyalty from his friends because they understood and appreciated him for the person he was. Another quality that people admired in Craig was his ability to link cause and effect and apply the appropriate connection in his assessment of any new situation. While growing up, some of his best friends were Tom and Char Bloomquist amongst many other neighborhood friends. Later in life, he became friends with Jeff and Sue Hamilton, Brent and Terry Sams, Denny and Ruthie Kipples, Bobby and Claire Commers, and many others.

      This same loyalty and up front honesty Craig shared with his friends carried over to other aspects of his life, including his relationships with his family. On July 11, 1981, Craig exchanged wedding vows with Diane Kuklock at the Zion Lutheran Church of Hopkins MN. The marriage became a solid relationship, due in part to Craig’s skill at bringing fresh energy and clarity to meeting Diane's needs. He was a great listener who enjoyed the couple’s “together” time, especially when it came to celebrating special occasions.

      As the family grew, Craig was easily able to adapt to the changes and challenges of parenthood. Craig was blessed with three children, Christine, Anna and Aaron. They were also blessed with three grandchildren, Abby, Haley and Grayson. Craig was never impulsive in dealing with family problems. Instead, he would carefully think things through before implementing the solution in a logical and objective manner. Craig was a strong, clear communicator who excelled at eliminating confusion by making matters crystal clear to all those involved. At the same time, Craig’s inventive nature could turn some of the boring old household chores into a fun activity for the family.

      In his work life, Craig was the kind of person who had no difficulty in taking on a project and seeing it through to its completion. He excelled at dealing with those pesky details that can derail some people, and once he understood exactly why he was working on a project, he could go full steam ahead. For Craig, being able to grasp the logical components of any task was significant to him in appreciating its importance. Even if he worked alone on an assignment, Craig was able to incorporate and welcome new insights from co-workers, and he would readily use them if they improved the process. His primary occupation was business owner, sales and mentor. He was employed for 30 years working in the construction industry under several different companies and roles.

      Craig was a Radio Operator in the Navy. He understood his duty to serve his country and the importance of getting a job done. He was comfortable with the routines of the military and even liked them to some degree, especially when it came to grasping the clear instructions and guidelines he was expected to follow. He was in Spain during the Vietnam War. Through his hard work and dedication, he achieved top secret security level. He received several awards including a National Defense Service medal, Meritorious Unit Accommodation Ribbon.

      Craig’s curious and inquisitive nature influenced his choice of leisure pursuits as well. He applied his strong concentration and analytical skills as to how things worked to his choice of activities. He particularly enjoyed the “alone” time his hobbies provided. His favorite pursuits were bowling, golfing, music and socializing with friends and family. Craig was content to enjoy his hobbies alone but was also willing to share his interests with others.

      Religion and faith were important to Craig. He held dear the faith and values he derived from his beliefs. He was a member of Mount Olive Lutheran Church for 37 years. During that time, he was on the board of education and volunteered at the food shelf, communion and ushering.

      Craig appreciated the occasions when he was able to travel and get away on a vacation, which happened more when he retired in 2015. He enjoyed learning about different locales and was open to exploring new and different places. Favorite vacation spots included trips to South Padre Island, Texas and road tripping to all 48 continental states. He thoroughly enjoyed the task of gathering and analyzing travel information as he prepared for an upcoming trip.

      Craig passed away on January 27, 2020 at home. After fighting stage 4 lung cancer for 8 months, his heart gave out suddenly. He is survived by his wife Diane, mother Gail, his children Christine, Anna and Aaron and his grandchildren Abby, Haley and Grayson. Services were held at Mount Olive Lutheran Church. Craig was laid to rest in Morningside Memorial Gardens.

      Craig strongly believed that talk is cheap. He was the type of person who would show others his feelings through his actions. He was practical and realistic but was able to be flexible when the need arose. He was curious about the things around him and tried to experience life directly rather than sit back and talk about it. The experiences he treasured most were those he shared with his loved ones. Craig E. Trandem will be greatly missed.