You never know what the appropriate forum is for a situation like this, but I think I've always treated UMTailgate.com as more of a tailgate family album than an actual website for public consumption. So with that, there's this...
Craig Wagoner will always be one of my favorite tailgaters. If you've been to the tailgate, you may not know his name, but you definitely know Craig. He's the guy with the ponytail. He's the guy that's always smiling...always having a good time. He's one of the most genuinely nice people you'll ever meet. For the last several years, I have had the honor of calling him my friend.
Craig has been a regular tailgater with the group for many years, long before I called it home on Saturdays in the fall. And in addition to being an always-active participant in tailgate themes and food preparation, Craig brought an ample dose of personality to our group.
While battling cancer this off-season, Craig had been planning for a while to get healthy enough to get to the Spring Game. Leading up to the game a couple weeks ago, we had heard that he was indeed going to make it out for it. With that in mind, our group gathered, braved the weather and set up shop in anticipation of seeing Craig...decidedly more important than actually going to that 90 minute "practice." But Craig had a setback the night before, and ended up unable to make it. Before leaving the tailgate to head over to the game, we grouped together in a circle and called Craig on the phone. I told him to keep fighting and that we'd see him in the fall. He told me to expect him to be there Labor Day weekend.
We all got to talk to him. I like to think we cheered him up that day. And we all got a chance to say goodbye.
Craig passed away on Easter Sunday. He will be missed more than he ever could have known. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family...from his tailgate family.
Visitation is this Wednesday, 4/27/11, from 2pm to 4pm, and from 6pm to 8pm.
The funeral is Thursday at 11am.
J Kevin Tidd Funeral Home
811 Finley Dr.
Albion, Mi. 49224-9712