Claude Frederick Morecraft passed away on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 at the age of 87. Born December 10, 1933 to Claude and Esther Sanders Morecraft, Fred was third oldest of ten Siblings, Don, Alice, Bob, Martha, Sug, Bud, Bill and twins Herman and Thurman who passed in infancy. They were a big family in a small house, a lot to feed and a lot to handle, a problem exacerbated (we’re sure) by Fred himself. He was notoriously ornery and notably hard working, traits he carried throughout his time on earth. Fred’s eighty-seven years were defined by a collection of experiences few, if any, will have again. A child of the depression, a husband, a Korean War veteran, a business owner, a public servant and a patriarch. Fred was himself a success story of small town 20th century America. From Today’s perspective, the arc of his life was fascinating, though he would never say so himself because it was not entirely uncommon for those of his generation. He would say he simply worked hard and did what was needed to support his family. But that would not be the full story. Fred’s family-a long line of Morecrafts starting with “Clark County John” – moved to the Marshall area two hundred years ago. They worked hard and led lives that were richer in experience than they were in wealth, two things Fred knew from an early age. The herd of Morecraft siblings were raised in a two bedroom house, sleeping multiple kids to a room and rabbit hunting any chance they had to help put food on the table. The home was without an indoor bathroom until the mid seventies, twenty-five years after Fred graduated high school. While in his teens, Fred saved to buy a gas oven so that Esther, his mother, could finally retire the wood cook stove she had used to prepare thousands of meals. The expensive purchase was left unopened for months. Not due to lack of gratitude, but for not knowing how to use it. Thankfully the impact of the delayed opening was minimal, as “Grandma Morecraft” needed little in the way of technology to feed the family. Though more appropriately defined as ransom, another purchase-this one not so expensive- had a much larger mark on the trajectory of Fred’s life and resulted in the marriage of Fred and Charlotte Fyfe Morecraft on October 18, 1953. That story is best told by Fred and Charlotte themselves, as captured by Joe McCammon in a 1995 issue of the Marshall Choice.”How’d you two meet?” I (Joe) asked, wondering how Fred had managed to hoodwink Charlotte. She answered, “I was with Fred’s cousin Anna one night, and we were cruising the Marshall square. “Fred interrupted, “Back then, we didn’t call it cruising-just simply driving around.” … Later, Anna would discover that she had left her billfold in Fred’s car, so she telephoned Fred at his home. Fred announced that he indeed had the billfold but had driven everywhere looking for the two girls. As a result, Anna would have to gas up his car if she wanted her billfold back. “So we met at Earl Sumption’s Standard Station. There , it took just 13 cents to fill Fred’s tank,” Charlotte remembered. (We are not confident leaving the billfold was accidental, nor are we surprised by Fred’s response.) Soon after their marriage at Dennison’s Asbury Methodist Church (just down the road from where Charlotte was raised by a former Detroit auto worker and an English immigrant) Fred served in the Korean War. Stories abound from that time, but a handful paint a particularly interesting picture of a small town Marshall boy on the other side of the world in a time that folks did not travel like today. Fred was drafted, involuntarily, as all are-though he may have brought it upon himself. After weeks of going to the draft office, he was fed up with the process and told the staff to just draft him already. And so they did. When he was to be picked up by bus for basic training, he and the other draftees as well as their families gathered early in the morning in downtown Martinsville. The bus came and went, never slowing to pick up a single one of them. In Korea, he got one phone call which he placed to the home of his parents. The line was faulty, so the family raced to the post office to be reconnected and continue the conversation. It cost $40.00. On his way home, the plane he and his fellow soldier were in caught fire but safely landed with a swarm of emergency vehicles providing a rather interesting welcome back to the United States. Rejoined in Marshall, Fred and Charlotte bought a house on fifth street which Fred continued to say was too expensive as recently as 2019. Meanwhile Charlotte maintained the cost was justified because they would have needed to buy a second car had they gone with a less expensive option in the country. She won as she often did with him. There they welcomed children Fred C. Morecraft (Angie), Molly Morecraft and Jeni Polinsky (Rich). In that time Fred worked at Flowers’ Sales and Service before starting his own commercial contracting business in 1972. Under Fred’s leadership, M&S Construction completed notable project such as the First National Bank, the Marshall Fire Station, the First United Methodist Church addition, and an expansion at Burnsides Nursing Home. The company also built Fred and Charlotte’s country house across from the Marshall Cemetery on Clarksville Road. This area was as much a part of Fred as he was of it. He amplified his impact with board membership for the Clark County Fair, the Casey National Bank, the Marshall City Council and the Marshall Fire Protection District and Ambulance Service. In recognition of his dedication, he was named “Citizen of the Year” by the Marshall Chamber of Commerce in the early 1990’s, an honor rarely, if ever, boasted about. One for balancing work and play, it was around this time that he would often answer the phone, “Charlotte’s mule barn, head ass speaking,” and then tell whomever was on the line that his equally-involved wife was standing on her head in the corner. Charlotte was, in fact, never standing on her head in the corner of the pink house, nor any other home they lived in. In his later years, he sold the construction company and became Grandpa Fred and Pappy to Penny, Danielle, Nate, Samm, Melanie, Tanner, Mitch, Andy, Abby, Ali, Emmy, Mae, Violet and Reese, and his presence was equally memorable but for different reasons. His cane and screeching noises were a constant nuisance to all of us, which he loved. His orange pickup truck would often be seen driving around town, stopping at the “filling stations” or parked outside construction sites. And he was a mainstay at Clark County’s great cultural institutions, such as Moonshine where he enjoyed taking the family, though his favorite joke was that he could not remember how to get there and he hoped we had brought extra underwear in case we got lost. Fred Morecraft’s life was a tremendous testament to the power of hard work and the levity of humor. Like so many that had come before, his time was rich with experience, which he used in service of those still here today. For that we are most proud and forever grateful. McCammon’s 1995 article quotes Fred as saying “I’ll retire when I die,” and he sure deserves a restful and celebratory break after a life well lived. Services in honor of his life will be 11:00 AM Wednesday at the First Christian Church if Marshall. Following cremation, burial will be in the Asbury Cemetery. Visitation will be 4-7 PM Tuesday at Pearce Funeral Home and 1 hour prior services at the church on Wednesday. For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to the Clark County Fair Association or Clark Co. 4-H Foundation. Online condolences are being accepted at pearcefuneralservices.com.