Charles Edward McCraney Sr. was born on July 14, 1922 to the late Charles and Marie McCraney in Hammond, Louisiana. He attended Hammond Colored School for elementary and high school, where he met and married his high school sweetheart, Irene Booker in 1939; to this union five children were born.
Charles was drafted into the United States Navy and served his country during World War II. After completing his military duties, he returned home and pursued a career with Campbell's Funeral Home, where he became a licensed funeral director and embalmer.
His religious background began at an early age when he confessed his love for Christ and was baptized at Greenfield Baptist Church under the leadership of Reverend W. M. Mixon. He had a love for the Masonic family and joined the John G. Jones Lodge #4 of Hammond, LA in 1948, and in 1970 he joined the Harmony Lodge #2 in Seattle, WA. He was honored to service as Worshipful Master in 2000 and 2001. Later he became and remained Past Master Treasurer.
Charles and Katherine Shuemake-Taylor join in holy matrimony in 1953. To this union three children were born. That same year they united with New Hope Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Rev. Dr. C. E. Williams. Charles served on Usher Board No.1, the Building Service Committee and the Trustee Board. He loved his church and enjoyed the 8am worship service, attending faithfully until his health declined.
After coming to Seattle to visit his sister and brother-n-law before a planned relocation to Chicago, Charles was encouraged to apply with the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, only to find out after arriving the application window had closed. A gentleman behind the window saw his Mason ring and instructed him to come to the side. He was given an application and was hired the same day as a Pipefitter. After 28 years he retired as a General Forman. One year into retirement he started his second career lasting nearly two decades as a bus driver for Laidlaw/First Student.
Charles was an avid gardener and was a Seahawk season ticket holder during the Kingdome era along with a couple of his buddies and son-n- law. He enjoyed listening to jazz and the blues, with BB King being his favorite, as well as Christmas music during the holidays. He enjoyed playing Pinochle with his sons and grandsons on the weekends. Charles was also able to put a hurting on you in Domino's and Bid Whist. He also enjoyed a good Western movie and Mrs. Chancellor of the Young and the Restless. Anyone who knew him knew not to call between 11:00am and noon Monday thru Friday.
Charles leaves to treasure his memories his beloved and caring wife Katherine of 63 years. He is also leaving behind ten children and their spouses: Charles E. McCraney Jr. (Shirley), Rev. Mack McCraney Esq., Marguerite Winston, Ann Houston (Charles), Ora Lee May (Calvin), Moses Taylor, Karl Ray Taylor, Fertis Howze, Leatrice Newbill (George), Curtis McCraney and Cathy Sheridan (his niece he considered a daughter). Sister-in-law Evelyn Horton, brother-in-law Richard Shuemake (Florice). As well as three Godchildren: Carolyn Johnson-Davis, Bernita Johnson, and Morris Horton; 43 grandchildren; 74 great grandchildren; and 48 great-great grandchildren; and too many nieces and nephews, great and great- great nieces, nephews, cousins other relatives and friends to name. He was preceded in death by his baby son Edwin, four sisters, three nieces, and four nephews.
Charles left behind a rich legacy and will be missed by all.
Charles was a great man and was well respected by all. He truly loved and is truly loved by his family and friends. He will be missed, but never ever forgotten.
Visitation will be from 6pm until Masonic Services at 7pm Fri. July 10, 2015 and continue from 10am until time of funeral service at 11am Sat. July 11, 2015 all at New Hope Baptist Church 124 21st Ave. Seattle, WA 98122. Interment will be at 10:30am Mon. July 13 at Tahoma National Cemetery 18600 SE 240th St. Kent, WA 98042.