A memorial service will be held tomorrow (Tuesday) for artist and former Melton Times columinst Richard Cragg, who has died aged 70.
Diagnosed with terminal cancer last year, Richard died suddenly at his Melton home on October 19, coming as a shock to loved ones and friends.
Richard, who moved to to the town in 2002 with wife Julie shortly after his retirement, was behind a number of schemes to raise the profile of Melton Mowbray and its local artists.
In 2009, he worked to create pop-up galleries in empty shops across town, a successful scheme which led to an award for the Town Centre Partnership.
Three years later, Richard helped to create the Melton Arts and Crafts Trail, and organised the three-day ‘Paint the Town Red Festival’ in 2013, with the aim of putting the town on the map for the quality of its arts alongside its international reputation for producing pork pies and Stilton.
Richard wrote regularly for the Melton Times - his ‘Arts & Crafts Scene’ column covered local exhibitions and artists, and ‘Park Life’ shared his love for birding and wildlife.
Illustrated with his watercolours, this column featured descriptions of local sightings. In one issue he described a kingfisher as ‘a translucent blue dart from a crossbow - a fleeting glimpse each time, but enough to lighten one’s heart on a dark and dismal day’.
Richard was incredibly happy with his life and recently celebrated 40 years of marriage to his beloved wife.
He was fiercely proud of their two children, Rosemary and Peter, sharing in their achievements and struggles.
Richard regarded Rosemary’s partner, Doug, as a second son. He adored his grandchildren, William and Dylan, watching with joy and wonder at every step they took.
At only 70 years of age, Richard’s passing came as a shock to those who knew him. Diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2016, Richard still considered himself lucky. He will be sorely missed by his family, his friends, and the community he played such a huge part in.
The memorial service will be at Grantham Crematorium tomorrow at 11am, with family flowers only requested.
Donations Macmillan Cancer Support are welcome and may be sent to Shane Mousley & Son Independent Funeral Directors, Cranmere Road, LE13 1TB.