Craig Michael Bancroft, 70, of Coralville, formerly of Toledo, passed away peacefully May 20, 2021, at Keystone Place in North Liberty under hospice care with his wife, Jeanne, at his bedside holding his hand. A Celebration of Life in Craig’s honor will be held this summer; details to be announced at a later date.
Craig was born September 27, 1950, to Glenn and Bette Bancroft in Des Moines. He attended North High School and was a proud Polar Bear athlete and “Snowball King,” graduating with the class of 1968. He treasured the connections he maintained with his former classmates over the years. Craig received his degree in Education from the University of Northern Iowa in 1973 where he served as editor of the Northern Iowan.
He married Rebecca Knipe (Chyma) June 5, 1971, in Cedar Falls, and together they had two daughters, Noelle and Joy. He was a fun-loving, playful father, who enjoyed playing catch, badminton, and “sock war” with his daughters. He started his teaching career at South Tama County schools, teaching social studies and coaching junior high football and Varsity girls basketball. He was a long-time member of the Kiwanis club, enjoyed golfing at the Toledo Country Club, and breakfasts at the Big-T. Craig and Becca later divorced and Craig moved to Iowa City, manifesting his dream of living in Hawkeye country.
In 1993, he joined the Iowa City Community School District as social studies curriculum coordinator and teacher at Community Education Center. Several years later, he began teaching at West High School until he retired from the district in 2007. He deeply believed in the value of civic education as a cornerstone to healthy democracy. He enjoyed announcing sports events for West High and always rooted for the Trojans. However, in retirement, he often was a substitute teacher at City High and proudly wore red on Fridays.
Craig married Jeanne Hand Jones on December 21, 1996 in Amana, expanding his family to include her children, Shannon and Brian. Together Craig and Jeanne lived 24 years of adventure, embarking on multiple trips each year, from weekends in Chicago to more extensive treks through Europe. They were drawn to music festivals and concerts and often planned trips to align with their favorite artists and genres. They loved finding new musical treasures, like the unforgettable cajun music at Mid-City Rock ‘n Bowl in New Orleans. They treasured becoming grandparents together, welcoming Sahaas, Teya, Ajhar, Nalin, Sloan, Donovan, Sera, Beau, Remy, and Jackson into their family over the years.
Craig lived life doing the things he loved most: traveling with Jeanne, attending Hawkeye games and concerts, visiting with his grandkids, reading and watching movies, playing golf, going to National Parks and monuments, and enjoying great food and spirits. He was passionate about history and politics and took great pleasure in getting involved in community events. He was a voracious reader and avid user of public libraries. His favorite place to be was Kinnick Stadium at the University of Iowa alongside fellow Hawkeyes cheering “Go Hawks!”
In recent years Craig struggled with Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), a rare and under-researched form of dementia. In his final months, he was lovingly cared for by a team of compassionate caregivers at The Cottage at Keystone. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials are directed toward the Association of Frontotemporal Degeneration or to the Iowa City Community School District Foundation.
Survivors include his wife, Jeanne; daughter, Noelle (Jared) Borden and their sons Beau and Remy; daughter, Joy (Trevor) Mauskemo and their daughters Teya and Sloan; brother, Kevin (Laurie) Bancroft.
Preceding him in death were his parents Glenn and Bette; sisters, Marsha and Glenda.