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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

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Mourning the Passing of former Mission Viejo Mayor and Founding Father William Craycraft

Don Juan Ortega’s real life alter-ego had the privilege of knowing former Mission Viejo Mayor William “Bill” Craycraft.  Mayor Craycraft passed away last Thursday.  He was 70 years old.  One of the founding fathers of Mission Viejo, Craycraft was first elected to city office in Mission Viejo during the same election in which voters elected to incorporate the city.  In that first election, Craycraft was the highest vote getter and served as Mission Viejo’s first Mayor Pro Tem.  He served three more terms on the City Council and three times as Mayor (in three separate decades, no less) in 1989, 1997 and 2001.  Bill Craycraft was always a gentleman with a deep love and appreciation for his city of Mission Viejo.

Beyond his public offices, Craycraft lived a life full of community service, devoted largely to Mission Viejo.  According to a press release from the City of Mission Viejo, he “chaired the Mission Viejo Incorporation Feasibility Study Committee, helped to file with the Secretary of State the paperwork necessary to enable the planned community of Mission Viejo to incorporate as a city on March 31, 1988 and did so in time to qualify the fledgling city to receive first-quarter property taxes.”  He was also a strong supporter of youth sports, for which Mission Viejo has become nationally renown.  He founded the City’s Walk Against Drugs, held each October in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week.  He was active in Mission Viejo’s Rotary Club and was a strong supporter of the City’s annual Prayer Breakfast.  William Craycraft is an Army veteran who served admirably in the Vietnam War and was a continuous resident of Mission Viejo since 1974.

According to the City, “[t]he [current] City Council will dedicate tonight’s meeting in Bill’s honor. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall, 200 Civic Center.”

Godspeed, Mayor.


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