MECHANICSBURG, PA — It is with a heavy heart we say goodbye to a good friend of the Sunbury Press family. James Craig, who wrote by the pen name “James Craig Atchison” passed away last Saturday, surprising all who knew him. Jim, as he was known to us, was passionate about his family, his writing, and hockey. He had embarked on a second career as a novelist in recent years. I’ll never forget our first meeting in my office in Mechanicsburg. While a little naive of the publishing process, he was nonetheless completely in as an author. He talked of personally promoting his work in an attempt to build a following in the hockey community. Upon the release of his first book, “Blue Lines Up in Arms,” he made appearances at minor league hockey rinks and book stores throughout eastern Pennsylvania. While a trickle of sales followed his efforts, he was committed to the next novel, “Blue Lines and Old Money,” due to be released in September.
Christin Aswad, his editor at Sunbury Press, described Jim as her “favorite author to work with.” Christin has been the editor for both of Jim’s novels. She was always moved by his positive energy and how appreciative he was for the help she provided.
Tammi and I shared a wonderful morning with Jim several months back, when he came to Mechanicsburg to have some author photos taken. While the weather was not the best, Jim kept things light and was amazingly patient while we switched venues to try to find the perfect background for him. The old trolley station proved to be the place. (the picture above was taken that morning)
I last saw Jim for Jubilee Day in mid-June. He joined a half-dozen other authors for the largest street fair in the eastern USA. While some of his peers gave up early and headed for home, Jim stuck it out, sitting at his table with his books and hockey gear, casually talking with anyone who would come his way. He sold a few books and thoroughly enjoyed the day.
Jim was a reminder to all of us to have passion for what we do. He will be missed.
Lawrence Knorr, President/CEO, Sunbury Press, Inc.
Following is Jim’s obituary:
James Craig, 69, of Lancaster, died unexpectedly Saturday, July 30, 2016 in Salem, NJ.
Born in Wichita, KS, he was the husband of Sandra (Tweedle) Craig of Lancaster, and the son of the late William and Bonnie (Atchison) Pupikofer.
Jim was a middle school teacher in the Ephrata School District for 14 years until his retirement. He was the author of the mystery novel “Blue Lines Up In Arms”.
In addition to his wife of 47 years, he is survived by 2 sons: Ryan Craig of Lancaster, and Jared Craig and his wife Kimberleigh of Millersville; a granddaughter, Marleigh of Millersville; a sister, Karen Craig of Cleveland, OH; and his mother-in-law, Clara Tweedle of Salem, NJ.
A funeral service will be held at 3 PM on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory, 441 N. George St, Millersville with Pastor Mike Sigman officiating. Friends and family will be received from 6:30 to 8 PM on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at the funeral home, and again one hour prior to the service on Wednesday.
Flowers are appreciated, or memorial contributions in Jim’s memory may be made to the Children’s Ministries at Grace Community Church, 212 Peach Bottom Rd, Willow Street, PA 17584.
A sympathy card would be appreciated.