C. Wayne Craft, 80, of Newport, RI, passed away at Newport Hospital on December 29, 2021, after a brief illness. Born in Kingston, NY, to Charles and Ruth (Bergdoll) Craft, Wayne spent most of his life in the New York Hudson Valley, where he met and married the love of his life, Carol (Vanasco) Craft, while attending NFA High School, and raised four beautiful children. After a long career as a sales representative and then manager, working for APA Transport and Yellow Freight, Wayne tried his hand at something completely different and collaborated with his son Terry and daughter-in-law Sally to open The Chocolate Goose confectionery in New Windsor, NY. After moving to Newport in 1995, Wayne and Carol opened Newport Chocolates on William Street, where they manufactured and sold fine chocolates and gifts.
A main motivating factor for Wayne and Carol’s move to Newport was Wayne’s love of the water. Upon retiring from the chocolate shop, Wayne took a job as a docent on the ship “Amazing Grace”, where he enjoyed giving historical tours to tourists from all over the world. A lover of history, Wayne developed the same passion his wife had for antique collecting and interior design and together over the years they restored and decorated several historic homes. Wayne was an avid reader, a “fixer of anything”, and an aviation buff. He learned to fly in his forties, taking several solo flights.
A proud member of the Newport Elks Club, Wayne built incredible lasting friendships in Newport. Wayne had an amazing spirit and love for life and a wonderful sense of humor. He took interest in people and always spoke his mind. Wayne will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Wayne’s family would like to thank Wayne’s good friend Harry for his amazing friendship and all his love and support.
Wayne is survived by his wife Carol, his son Terry and daughter-in-law Sally Craft of Walden, NY, his daughter Lori Samuelsen of East Moriches, NY, his son Scott and daughter-in-law Annie Craft of Garrison, NY, his daughter Kelly Coen of Montgomery, NY, his six grandchildren, Paul, Elizabeth, Lauren, Warren, Kristen, and Jac, his two great grandchildren Julia and Scotty and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, sister Joanie Bivona of New Paltz, NY and his son-in law John Coen of Montgomery, NY.
A memorial service honoring Wayne’s life will be held in Newport at a date to be determined.
Contributions in Wayne’s honor can be made to the local Newport Elks Club, c/o Scholarship Fund, 141 Pelham St., Newport, RI 02840. The Memorial Funeral Home in Newport is caring for the family.