Nelsen Williamsburg


Joseph C. Crafford

August 21, 1923January 11, 2021

Joseph Crafford, 97, died peacefully on January 11, 2021 in Williamsburg, Virginia from complications of an injury. He was a lifelong resident of the Peninsula.

Joe was born August 21, 1923, to Dr. Mercer W. and Mary Josephine Crafford of the Lee Hall section of Newport News. Joe attended Morrison High School in Warwick County where he played football and baseball. Upon graduation, he enrolled in Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company’s Apprentice School, played football, and graduated in 1944 as a toolmaker. He enlisted in the Army to serve in WWII and was deployed to the Philippine Islands with the Army Corps of Engineers from 1944 until 1946.

Joe spent his career as a toolmaker for Newport News Shipyard, the Army at Ft. Eustis and Dow Chemical/BASF. He lived in Lee Hall until his retirement in 1980 when he relocated to Williamsburg. Joe was an avid outdoorsman with a lifelong passion for golf, hunting and gardening. In his later years, he was an accomplished woodworker specializing in period furniture and precision scale models of WWII military vehicles.

Joe was a member of Lebanon Christian Church and Warwick Masonic Lodge #336. He survived his wife of 64 years, Helen, who passed away in 2012 and his four siblings, M. Waller, William Ashton, Anne Page, and Myrna. He is survived by his two sons, J. Carter Crafford, Jr. (Lynn) of Fairfax, Virginia and Glenn W. Crafford (Susie) of Williamsburg, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life service will be scheduled at a future date. Condolences may be shared at


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Joseph C. Crafford

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Bill and Alita Small

January 16, 2021

Dear Glenn and Susie and family:
We are so sorry you have lost Joe. I enjoyed talking with him
in your garage workshop as he worked on his clever creations.
He was one of " the greatest generation" and we are all so grateful for what he gave to us and our country. It is ironic that all of our fathers also served in the Army during WWII and were in the Philippines during these same years. Please accept our deepest condolences at this time. Bill and Alita

Mary Wheat

January 15, 2021

To the Crafford Family
So sorry for your loss. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

Anne Williams

January 13, 2021

So sorry to hear of Joe's passing. He and my husband, Chuck, spent many hours on the golf course together and were good friends. Joe came by to see Chuck in 2015, only to learn that he had passed away in November. He spent some time with me that day and it was wonderful to share memories with him. My husband loved Joe so much, and I know that they are now together again. I would so like for Joe's son to get in touch with me so that I can talk with him personally. I can only imagine what a great loss this is to the family. Joe was one of the finest men I have ever known.

Anne Williams, Kingsmill