RICHMOND, VA. - Allen Walter Craven, 78, died on July 23, 2008 in Richmond, Va., after a brief illness.
He was born in Goldendale, Wash. on June 2, 1930 to Opal and Samuel Guy Craven.
A quiet and proud man, he worked hard to support and provide for his wife and three children. A member of the United States Coast Guard, he retired in 1972 with the rank of chief warrant officer, level 4, the highest level achievable by an enlisted man. He then worked in the commercial sector as an electronics engineer before retiring in 1995.
Originally from Eastern Oregon, he lived in a number of locations of both the east and west coasts, as well as traveling abroad as part of his Coast Guard service. For the last 39 years, he and his family lived in Mt. Airy, Md., on a small farm where he kept sheep and a breeding kennel, Kasai Basenjis. He lived independently, caring for his wife and mentally retarded adult son, until two weeks before his death.
Included among the hobbies he shared with his wife were breeding, raising and showing Basenjis. They and a group of friends founded the Mid-Atlantic Basenji Club of which he remained an active member until his death. He was also active in the Carroll County Kennel Club.
He was also a wood carver, creating many pieces which he donated for use as dog trophies or gifts to family and friends.
Survivors include his wife, Iris Marie Denson Craven; two daughters, Denise Iris Craven Thornby and Heather Lee Craven; a son, Joel Brian Craven, son-in-law, Bill Thornby; granddaughter, Sarah Christine Thornby; two sisters, Connie Craven Beil and Judy Craven Hudson; two brothers, Richard and Pat Craven; and many nieces and nephews.
A private memorial service will be held at a later date in Eastern Oregon. Memorial contributions may be made to either the Basenji Health Endowment fund or the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance fund. Visit www.myeaglenews.com for links to these charities.