Vale Ron Crafter

Ronald Ernest Crafter spent his early childhood in Elson Street, Lockleys in the family home built by his father.

Ron’s long and varied working life began with farm work when he worked at Warrakilla the family property at Mylor. This included making many trips to the East End market with produce.

Ron loved sport of all kinds and was an outstanding sportsman himself, playing A grade football for Mylor for 16 years. He was the Mail Medal runner-up in the Adelaide Hills Association in 1933. The following year he played league football for West Adelaide and later returned to captain the Mylor team. He played on the Adelaide Oval in a combined side as a curtain raiser to the 1940 Grand Final.

He married Molly Keefe in 1939 and they lived at Willaston during the war when Tony was born. Through the war years, Ron drove trucks carrying uranium from Mount Paynter in the northern Flinders Ranges to Adelaide.

After the war he and Molly moved back to the Adelaide Hills, living in Hahndorf and then Littlehampton. Ron managed a farm milking cows, growing potatoes and other vegetables and preparing yearling horses for thoroughbred sales on Miss Betty Taylor’s property, Kinross.

During these years Greg and Trisha were born. Ron and Molly and Ron’s parents-in-law Len and Addie Keefe were all very active in the life of the town and the district. They made many friends and enjoyed life to the full.

Ron was then employed to manage a thoroughbred horse agistment property being established at Smithfield. The family moved there in 1950.

No sooner had Ron set up the enterprise and “rested” racehorses had arrived than the Playford Government acquired huge tracts of land in the area to establish the new satellite city of Elizabeth.  The property was sold and Ron’s position went with it.

It was at this time he and Molly decided not to continue on the land. Ron went back to work at the Weapons Research Establishment at Salisbury where he learnt the trade of machine engraving.

During those years he was an active member of the WRE lawn bowling club, winning three championships in one year. Catherine was born in 1954.

Ron and Molly decided to move to Adelaide in 1960 where education opportunities for their children were better. They bought their first house in Taperoo where they lived for the next 36 of their 57 years of marriage.

On Ron’s retirement in 1974 at age 60, he and Molly spent six months with their close friends Pat and Mary O’Brien on an around-the-world cruise. They enjoyed it immensely. For Ron, this was the beginning of a long and satisfying retirement, with many pleasures and good times to look back on.

Ron became a well-known identity around the Taperoo district, being involved in many community activities. In 2002 he moved to a nearby retirement village with his friend Jake, a trusty Jack Russell terrier. Ron continued as a helper at the Taperoo Meals on Wheels kitchen until his 90th year and remained active in the local community until his recent decline in health.

Ron will be remembered as a great family man. He was never happier than when the family gathered. And these gatherings often included an “extended” family of his and Molly’s and their children’s friends who were welcomed into the fold.

Ron’s immediate family gave him much pleasure and satisfaction as it grew. He took great delight in playing with, photographing, entertaining and thoroughly enjoying his grandchildren and, most recently, his great-grandchildren.

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