Life Story / Obituary
Creative, loving, and kind, Theresa (Terri) Joan (nee: Small) Craddock lived a life rich in family and friends., Terri possessed a generous heart and an artist's eye. She loved wholly, was quick to give to others, and found beauty in everything. She unwaveringly supported those she loved and lived each day by the golden rule, "treat others as you wish to be treated." In doing so, she proved a powerful role model for all who were blessed to know her. A devoted and loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend, Terri was loved by all and will be dearly missed.
1953 marked the end of the Korean War, and the nation began to lean into a much-welcomed time of peace. The year proved to hold exciting firsts; the polio vaccine was developed, the first color television sets, transistor radios, and Corvette cars were on sale, while the first James Bond novel made its debut and Peter Pan, From Here to Eternity and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes filled the theaters. The middle-class standard of living continued to grow and appeared to have no boundaries; it was definitely a time of much hope. Nowhere was there greater cause to celebrate the possibilities of hope than in Racine, Wisconsin, as Wallace and Jacqueline (nee: Dubuque) welcomed their daughter, Terri, into their hearts and home on August 25.
The second of the Smalls' 12 children, Terri grew up in the family home that was built by her father and grandfather on Jefferson Street. The house bustled with activity and was rich in tradition. The family often spent days at the beach or local park and often traveled to Terri's favorite place, the family cabin, also built by her father and grandfather in Minocqua, WI. Terri was cherished by her 11 siblings, Kathy, Jim, Sue, Dan, Cindy, Tim, Jenny, Mary, Lori, Jeff, and Andy. Her favorite tv show as a child was "Father Knows Best," and she also enjoyed watching fireworks from a rowboat with her siblings on 4th July on Lake Michigan and Doll Buggy Parades. Family gatherings proved a special joy, especially the Small Family Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter Dinners, 4th of July Picnics, and the Halloween Costume and Trick or Treat Outings with the kids. Terri loved creating and trying new recipes on her family during the gatherings, which were usually a big hit with all.
Terri enjoyed a very close relationship with her maternal grandmother, Ethel Dubuque. They spent a lot of time together, and Terri especially enjoyed Grandma Ethel's tradition of taking her and her siblings to the movie theater.
As a teen, Terri fell in love with music and began collecting record albums. She loved listening to music. She has a very large record album collection of 10, 12, and 15-inch records. She enjoyed all genres of music and could always name the song title and artist of any song that came over the airwaves. Terri also loved art. She enjoyed drawing and painting pictures using watercolors and oil-based paints.
Terri attended parochial school for much of her education. After completing her schooling at St. Mary's Elementary School, Holy Trinity, and St. Catherine's, she graduated from William Horlick High School in 1971.
While Terri's first job was as a cashier at Jetzer's Five and Dime Store on Douglas Avenue in Racine WI, she later found work as a machinist at Welch's on 16th Street in Racine WI and Webster Electric. In time, she found work at Ametek-Lamb on Chicory Road in Racine WI, where she worked for 30 years, retiring in 2007 due to health challenges.
While shooting billiards at East Village Tavern, Terri's friend introduced her to Jim Craddock. The pair hit it off immediately and quickly fell in love. Committed to spending the rest of their lives together, the happy couple was married on June 30, 1976.
Blessed by the birth of their only child, Amber, Terri relished in motherhood. Whether swimming at the beach and quarry lake park, roller skating in Racine Zoo, attending Trefoil Oaks and Singing Hills Girl Scout Camp, biking, sledding, or attending flute performances and soccer games, Terri celebrated each moment she shared with her daughter.
Terri loved sharing summer trips to the family cabin in Minocqua, and camping and fishing in Whitewater and Bong with her family. She also enthusiastically passed her love of family gatherings onto her daughter. The family continued to celebrate every holiday at Terri's childhood home on Jefferson Street and sometimes at Hilda's. Terri ensured that Halloween would be a delight for all with her very creative costumes for herself and family. Summers, and several Christmases, often meant taking trips down to Thomasville, NC, to visit Jim's immediate family.
One of Terri's happiest moments was when Jim took her to Hawaii in April of 1987 for their honeymoon. Though she was severely sunburned, as a result of not realizing how hot the sun was, Terri enjoyed spending time on the beaches. They toured three of the Hawaiian islands, enjoying luau's, the waves, and experiencing many of the beautiful and natural wonders of Hawaii.
A woman of many interests, Terri had many hobbies. She painted pictures, sewed, and did needlepoint. She enjoyed ceramics, cooking family recipes, and listening to music. Terri also enjoyed sharing her garden's bounty with family and friends. She also found pleasure in crossword puzzles, solitaire, and books. For many, many years, Terri played recreational city league softball and volleyball, and also bowled, and continued to shoot pool/billiards. She loved fishing, camping trips and was also a licensed trapshooting/gun club member for several years.
A very talented artist, Terri enjoyed her art and crafts to the fullest. She delighted in going to any craft fair she could find in Racine and every autumn for Octoberfest in Appleton, WI during her annual sister weekends. She loved making special gifts for family and friends.
Blessed with three beautiful granddaughters, Danisha, Annika, and Amari Moten, Terri welcomed the joy of being a grandmother. She loved and cherished her granddaughters and treasured every moment she spent with them. She enjoyed watching Disney movies, camping, fishing, and reading with her grandkids and nieces and nephews, and hosted many a summer pool party in her backyard, reveling in the joy of being around her family. A huge sports fan, she especially enjoyed watching her grandkids and nieces and nephews play ball. There is no doubt she was their biggest supporter.
Many pets were gifted to share their lives with Terri over the years. She cherished her furry boys: Mikey, Remy, Shadow, Lionel, who preceded her in death, as well as Amari's puppy, Milo. Her feathered friends included: her African Grey Parrot, Kunta; a cockatiel named Chi-Chi; and a pair of parakeets named Parsley and Sage.
Clearly, life feels less certain in the absence of Terri's steadfast light and love. May it afford deep comfort to know that with each craft fair we attend, line we cast, Brewers or Packers game we cheer on, or favorite song we listen to with our beloved, we are living the best of Terri's legacy in our own lives. And in so doing, we keep her spirit alive, rippling out and inspiring others as she so inspired us.
Funeral services will be held at the funeral home Sunday, February 23, 2020, 4:00 pm. Relatives and friends may meet prior to the service 1- 4 pm. Private interment will be held at Holy Cross Cemetery, Hwy 32.