Craig A Reukauf, age 72, of New Smyrna Beach was stricken unexpectedly Friday.
Born on March 30, 1947 in Buffalo, he was the son of the late Betty and Roy Reukauf. Craig was a graduate of Simmons School of Embalming in Syracuse and became a licensed funeral director in 1966. In 1967, he became a licensed real estate agent. While serving his internship in Queens, he met and married the love of his life, Kathleen Wey in June 1968.
They moved to Lake Luzerne in 1970 where he joined the Brewer Funeral Home serving as a funeral director and owner until 1999 when he sold the business. He and Kathy raised four children. In addition to his duties at the funeral home, prior to the implementation of the 911 emergency system, he also handled all the emergency calls for Luzerne, Hadley and the town of Day twenty four hours a day. He was a member of the NYS Funeral Directors Association, as well as the Adirondack Funeral Directors Association. Craig was active in the community, serving as Scout Leader, health insurance plan administrator for the Chamber of Commerce, Co-Chairman for the Fall Festival, volunteer at Hadley-Luzerne Central School, President of the Luzerne Cemetery Association and many other church and town committees. He extended himself to everyone he met and told everyone “call me anytime if you need anything.”
He worked as a real estate agent since 1967 and thoroughly enjoyed it, often simply sitting down and advising folks. He and his wife Kathy owned and managed several multi-family residences and built several homes in the area. Since 2003 they spent most of the year in New Smyrna Beach where he served as President of the board of their condominium association and helped manage the condo complex. Known as the “Mayor” of the complex he was involved in all aspects of the daily operation and upkeep of the grounds. It was often said of him “Does he ever sit down?” He cared for each and every unit and knew each of the families, whether they were owners or renters. With joy in his heart, he carried their luggage, took out their garbage, trips to the airport and unexpected trips to the hospital day or night. He frequently had an over-full van of grandkids or seniors going on various adventures and had created many memories with all ages playing cards around the kitchen table. He gave his whole self to everyone.
It was on the beach in New Smyrna that he discovered his love of fishing. It was a busy and wonderful time. Summers were spent in Lake Luzerne with all the children and grandchildren and many family members until 2017 when they sold their home and spent all 12 months enjoying their beloved Florida. In addition to owning their condo at Win-San, they spent two years living at the Mediterranean condo where he jumped right in and worked on many projects. In addition to their time investing in their condo communities, Craig and Kathy were active participants in their church, as well as serving the homeless from the soup kitchen.
After much consideration, they decided to sell their condo on the beach and build a new beautiful home in a 55 community in Deland. Together they designed and planned for their home, currently under construction. They had very recently met dozens of new friends and were excited to begin this new phase of life full of community and support. The day before Craig passed, he had been riding his bike and attended a joyous 4th of July party.
Craig will always be remembered for his outrageous generosity, passion for life, loyalty, attention to detail, risk-taking, his immense love of his family and a one-of-a-kind sense of humor. To know him is to know his love for the Lord and he truly worked every day to be the hands and feet of Jesus. His reach was further than any of us will ever know. Our hearts have a huge hole in them but we know he is now dancing at the feet of Jesus and singing His praises in that unmistakably, distinct off-key voice.
Survivors besides his wife 51 years include one son, Thomas and his wife Kelly Reukauf (Crowley) of Dunnedin, FL, three daughters Beth and her husband Mark Tooker of Saratoga Springs, NY, Amy and her husband Jay Oppenheim of Shrewsbury, MA and Sarah and her husband Wes Ion of Hamburg, NY, ten precious grandchildren, Emma and Riley Reukauf, Aidan, Madeline, Brady and Dawson Tooker, Keegan (wife Priska) and Tate Oppenheim, Parker and Zak Ion, two great-grandchildren Thalia and Kyren Oppenheim, one brother, Daniel Reukauf and his wife Nancy of Suffolk, VA, two sisters, Jane Reukauf of Orchard Park, NY and Mary Beth and her husband Halsey Van Lew of West Falls, NY, several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Funeral services will be conducted 4pm Wednesday, July 10th at Edgewater Alliance Church. The family will begin receiving friends at 2pm at the church. Committal service will be Thursday 10am at DeLand Memorial Gardens.
Donations to Edgewater Alliance Church for missions.