Craig Alan Haight, 90, passed away at home surrounded by love on May 8, 2022. Battling vascular dementia for the past 10 years, Craig also succumbed to the progression of bladder cancer. He was predeceased by the love of his life, his “sweetie,” Elizabeth (Betsy) Haight, who passed away December 7, 2021. Their relationship was a beautiful love story.
Craig and Elizabeth raised four children, David (Audra) Haight, Deborah Haight Elliott, Susan (Rodney) Dibble and Linda (Sande) Ferrante. Their unconditional love and support for their children created a loving foundation for them to build their lives and families. His love for his sons in law and daughter in law was as though they were his own offspring. Craig’s impeccable wisdom, witty sense of humor, and abiding faith provided guidance and a solid foundation for the future generations of the family.
Craig truly enjoyed fatherhood and cherished his eight grandchildren, Brittany (Rob) Lomuscio, Nicole (Joe) Foti, Matthew (Kristen) Dibble, Kristin Ferrante (Robert Marmolejo), John (Julie) Ferrante, Dylan Elliott, Sean Elliott and Jillyan (Addison) Hull, and eight great-grandchildren, Elizabeth Foti (7), Kinsley Lomuscio (6), Joseph Foti (5), Kyle Dibble (4), KarlieghLomuscio (3), Isabelle Dibble (2), Casey Lomuscio (7 mos.), and Romulus Marmolejo (1 month), as well as countless nieces and nephews whom he adored.
Born in Baldwin, Long Island, Craig excelled in school, scouting and sports. He attended Johns Hopkins University on a full academic scholarship and graduated with honors. His calling for the ministry came when he befriended a Baptist pastor while at Hopkins leading him to Union Seminary in NYC. Craig was ordained in the United Methodist Church in 1956. Serving in four churches between New York and Connecticut, the last one being the New Paltz United Methodist Church, Craig’s ministry followed the teachings of Jesus exhibited by his altruistic compassion, genuine acceptance of others, and unencumbered passion for standing up for what he believed. At the age of 45, Craig switched the focus of his career to human resources with his final fulltime employment as the Director of Human Resources at SUNY New Paltz retiring in 2000. Craig’s passion for the ministry remained as he continued to perform weddings, baptisms, and funerals, as well as guest preach, to share his wisdom and devotion to his faith with others.
Craig spent most of his life in service to others. In addition to his ministry, Craig was the Chaplain of the Seaford, NY Fire Department for several years, served four years on the New Paltz Board of Education, and organized a few ecumenical community programs and outreach services in New Paltz. Craig was instrumental in the development of the New Paltz site for Gateway Community Industries which provided job training for people with disabilities, of which he served as Director for many years.
Craig was also an avid activist. In his early days at Hopkins during the Civil Rights movement, Craig joined the crusade in reclaiming equal rights for people of color. Attending rallies, marches, and back-room meetings, Craig not only had the good fortune of getting to know Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he learned the value and power of collective voice and action. This carried through to later years when he spoke out against the Viet Nam War in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. With his supportive wife and four children in tote, Craig participated in several rallies and marches protesting the inhuman actions of war.
Two of Craig’s favorite places were their cottage on Amston Lake in CT and the family lake house, Fiddler’s Bow, on Pocotopaug Lake in East Hampton, CT. Pocotopaug Lake was where his “sweetie” taught him how to sail when they first met, and years later Craig refurbished her Comet wooden and canvas skiff and taught some of his children how to sail. Craig was also the existential hiker and camper, hence his nickname “Camper Craig.” Always well prepared, his love for the outdoors took him on various excursions with the Boy Scouts, his children, and grandchildren. In 1970 the family traveled across the United States for 5 weeks in a yellow paneled station wagon towing a pop-up camper, yes, just like National Lampoon’s Family vacation. Craig also hiked part of the Appalachian Trail for two weeks by himself when he was considering switching careers so he could be “closer to God.”
Craig’s family and friends will remember him for is quick wit and corny jokes, sharp intellect, compassion, willingness to help others no matter what, and as a trusted advisor and counselor. Craig leaves behind a legacy of service to others, finding joy and faith in whatever path he took, and instilling unconditional love in his family for generations to follow.
The Haight Family wishes to extend our sincere gratitude and respect to the staff of Woodland Pond for the many years of love and care they gave Craig and Betsy, especially the team at Memory Care (Garden View) where Craig spent the last 8 months of his life.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations be directed to Hudson Valley Hospice so others can benefit from the compassion and expertise of their amazing team Donate Now | Supporting the Hudson Valley Hospice Foundation (hvhospice.org)and Family of New Paltz Donate (paypal.com) who serves people with many needs.
Copeland-Hammerl Funeral Home is honored to assist Craig’s family with his funeral arrangements.