13 Oct 1987 — San Jose, California
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS
DR. R.N. CRAYCROFT, LOS GATOS SURGEON
DATE: Tuesday, October 13, 1987, Section: Local, Edition: Morning Final, Page: 5B
Los Gatos surgeon Robert N. Craycroft, 70, died of cancer Friday at O'Connor Hospital in San Jose.
A ninth-generation American, Dr. Craycroft opened his Los Gatos practice in the middle 1960s. He retired earlier this year.
The Craycroft family traces its American ancestry to the March 15, 1641, arrival of two Craycroft brothers from London in Jamestown Colony. Descendants settled in what would later become Indiana in 1750 and Craycroft's father, the late John Craycroft, came to California from Illinois in the late 1880s.
An amateur sportsman, Dr. Craycroft raced both cars and boats, the latter in San Francisco Bay, the former at Pebble Beach, Laguna Seca and Bakersfield. He also collected classic cars and at one time owned a 1931 V-16 Cadillac Phaeton. Bob Gillespie of Watsonville, a retired commercial and Navy pilot and friend of Dr. Craycroft, said the Los Gatos physician was a good pilot as well. Only recently, the two had shared ownership of a P-51 Mustang, one of the hottest fighter planes to come out of World War II.
''Among our flying friends were Hap Harper and the late Bob Love," recalled Gillespie.
Harper is reported to have introduced air traffic reporting on radio in the Bay Area in 1957. San Josean Love is credited with having shot down seven Russian-built MIG-15 fighter planes over Korea during that war.
Dr. Craycroft, who was born in Fresno, moved with his parents to Richmond to live as a young man and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California at Berkeley, then went to the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco.
He was exempted from military duty during World War II because of a shortage of civilian doctors and in 1943 was assigned to Tulare County Hospital as a resident.
Dr. Craycroft returned to Berkeley after the war and opened a private practice there, where he began his long surgical career.
Surviving are his wife, Martha Craycroft of Los Gatos; four daughters, Colette Craycroft of Santa Barbara, Anne Craycroft of San Jose and Yvonne and Janet Craycroft, both of Santa Clara; and a son, Warren Craycroft, a computer design engineer temporarily working in France.
The rosary service will begin at 7:30 p.m. today at St. Frances Cabrini Church, 15333 Woodard Road, San Jose. Funeral services will be held at the church at noon Wednesday followed by burial at Mission City Memorial Park, Santa Clara.