The Rev. Dr. Robert Crafts, Jr., Captain, MC-USN retired, a mission-focused priest who served congregations in the Diocese of San Diego, died November 7, aged 85.
He was born in Cleveland, and earned a degree from Yale before being trained as a medical doctor at Case Western Reserve University. After retiring from the Navy, he prepared for the ministry at Nashotah House, and was ordained in 1989.
Crafts first served as priest in charge of St. John’s, Indio, California, conducting services in both English and Spanish to serve the needs of the diverse community. He moved to San Diego in 1998, and served for many years as port chaplain to the Mission for Seafarers, where, as his family remembered, he “combined his commitment to Christ, a desire to connect with and serve others, a deep love of languages, the joy derived from sharing a good book, and his long naval experience.” He was also vicar of St. Elizabeth’s in San Diego for six years and assisted in several other congregations.
Crafts was preceded in death by two children and a grandchild and is survived by Carol, his wife of 57 years, two brothers, three children, seven grandchildren and a great-grandson.
The Rev. Dr. Albert Dashiell Perkins III, who served Alabama congregations for more than three decades, died November 7, aged 91.
Perkins was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and after attending the University of Mississippi, he served for three years in the U.S. Air Force and was later a Navy reservist.
He studied at Sewanee Theological Seminary, and after his ordination in 1961, served for 13 years as vicar of St. James, Alexander City and St. Barnabas, Roanoke, Alabama. He became rector of St. John’s Church in Montgomery in 1974, where he served for 21 years, returning to St. Barnabas to complete his active ministry. He was secretary of the Diocese of Alabama for 29 years, and was a leader in diocesan commissions for mission, youth ministry, and renewal. He was an active supporter of Camp McDowell, the diocesan camp and conference center.
He was a leader in numerous civic organizations, including Montgomery’s Consumer Credit Counseling Service, Mental Health Authority, and Crime Prevention Program. He received the Episcopal St. George medal for his long service to scouting and was part of the ecumenical preaching rotation at the Church of the Pines at Lake Martin for 50 years. Perkins led a men’s Bible study on Fridays for more than 30 years, conducting the final session the day before he died.
Perkins is survived by his wife of 64 years, Virgie, their three children, and 13 grandchildren.
Sister Letitia Prentice, CSM, who had a longtime ministry to campers and retreatants, died November 25, aged 95, in the 67th year of her profession.
She was born Charlotte Seabury Prentice, in Tacoma, Washington, the youngest of five children. She studied at Washington State College and worked as a bookkeeper at Bank of America in San Diego before moving to Wisconsin in 1953 to enter the novitiate of the Western Province of the Community of St. Mary.
She took the name Letitia, “joy,” and her friends remembered that her many decades in religion “were filled with kindness, dedication to others, deep friendships, joy and hard work.” Her early years in the convent were spent scrubbing floors and baking altar bread, but her gifts for leadership and teaching were also nurtured. She ran the community’s summer camp for many years and was the director of the DeKoven Retreat Center in Racine. She served as sister superior of the province and on the board of numerous ministries.
In retirement, she joined Sister Dorcas in founding Mary’s Margin, a house of hospitality in Mukwango, Wisconsin, where they guided individuals in the “Inner Peace Corps,” created an organic garden, and built a labyrinth with prayer stations in the woods. She spent her final years at St. John’s on the Lake in Milwaukee. She is survived by her sisters in the order, and by many friends, former campers, and members of her extended family.