In the final line of the obituary Paul Cracroft penned for himself, he says: "Since I can no longer write letters to the editor, this obituary will be my last hurrah!"
Well, not so fast, Paul. We have a "hurrah" we'd like to add.
We don't know what Paul Cracroft crafted for his epitaph, but we like "He elevated the debate." For decades Cracroft used his touch with words to craft pithy and often poignant comments about the ebb and flow of life. In his sunny obituary he says, "Wherever life has taken me, I've kept writing."
He wrote plays about the army, Sam Weller's bookstore and Book of Mormon characters. And in letters to the editor he weighed in on topics ranging from light rail to Andy Warhol. A March 2004 a letter in the Deseret Morning News reads, "The same jury that could sentence Martha Stewart to 20 years for telling a couple of little white lies should come up with a similar approach to John Kerry." A couple of months later he offered, "For Staying Put in Zion, the world-record surprise gold medal will be shared by the LDS Church and Nordstrom."
In an October 2005 letter his eerie retelling of a surreal "dream" led to the conclusion, "How easy to find fault, how difficult to offer meaningful assistance!"
He was named our Letter Writer of the Month for that one.
We won't go into all the comings and goings of his busy life here. He recorded such things much better himself with a trademark twinkle in his own obituary on Valentine's Day.
He not only showed people how to live, he taught them how to record their efforts.
He thought his "last hurrah" would be the final paragraph of his obituary.
But we opt for the first graph:
"Ironic, huh? First time my pic's run in the paper in years, and I'm not around to clip the obit. Tough! I was called up by heart trouble, cancer, diabetes, etc. elderly man's stuff. But few have had a more delightful time on earth than I and you can bet your last buck I'd have hung around, given the choice."
As Marvel's Stan Lee would write at the end of his rousing tales of super-heroes: "Nuff said."