Jacqueline Nelson Craven, 85, of Elkhart, IN, passed away peacefully and surrounded by family on June 18, 2020 at Elkhart General Hospital. A devoted and beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend, she will be missed by many.
Jackie was born in Three Oaks, MI on July 27, 1934. She was the daughter of Cecil (Wire) and Lawrence Nelson. She married Charles Thomas Craven on June 7, 1953, and they recently celebrated 67 years of marriage together. They share two sons, Craig and Monty.
Jackie was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Nancy Thorne; her sister, Peggy Sprague; her brother, Steven Nelson; her brother, Larry Nelson; and her granddaughter, Janell Craven. Her memory lives on in her surviving family members: Thomas Craven, Craig and Robin Craven, Monty Craven and Angie Bails, Bryon and Julie Craven, Nicole Craven, Scott Craven, David and Katrina Dawson, and her 6 great-grandchildren--Cortney, Brayden, Milo, Audrey, Logan, and Molly. Her 7th great-grandchild is expected later this year
Throughout her life, Jackie resided in many places: Dowagiac, MI; Union, MI; Middlebury, IN; Goshen, IN; and Elkhart, IN. She and her husband once owned Craven's Campground in Baldwin, MI, and both kept up a love for camping with family and friends throughout their lives. Those who knew her know that Jackie knew no strangers. Aside from camping, she often spent time with friends playing cards, participating in bowling leagues, playing BINGO, and dining out. She took extra pride in organizing her ongoing class reunions and get-togethers with her schoolmates from the Dowagiac High School Class of 1952.
Jackie's family will remember her as its sentimental leader and the life of the party. She spent endless hours documenting her family's milestones in scrapbooks and in writing, and she kept an open-door policy for her children and grandchildren. She was always ready with a new story to share over a card game or Scrabble--and a table full of some of her famous recipes.
A private memorial service will be held to celebrate Jackie's life at a later date. Cruz Family Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Osceola, Indiana is assisting with the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, please donate in her memory to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or to a charity of your choice.
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