June 26, 1944 - March 8, 2019
Funeral: 1 p.m. Saturday, March 16, 2019 in the Sanctuary of All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 5001 Crestline Road, Fort Worth, TX 76107.
Memorials: Should friends desire, in lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to: Local Grants Program of the Tarrant County Historical Society, P.O. Box 470962, Fort Worth, TX 76147; Tarrant Area Food Bank, 2525 Cullen St., Fort Worth, TX 76107 (www.tafb.org/donate); Cancer Care Services, 632 South Henderson, Fort Worth, TX 76104 (www.cancercareservices.org/contribute); or a favorite charity.
Margareth “Marty” Meihaus Craddock, 74, a highly esteemed historic preservationist and devoted wife, mother and grandmother, died peacefully at home Friday, March 8, 2019.
Marty was born June 26, 1944, in Hollis, New York, to Margaret Schwarz Meihaus and George Arthur Meihaus. A 1962 graduate of Arlington Heights High School, she later received degrees from Pine Manor College and the University of Texas where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi. She made her debut at the 1964 Assembly Ball. She married John Michael “Mike” Craddock on October 15, 1966, and they honeymooned in Monterey, California, a place they would return many times to watch magnificent sunsets. In the early years of her marriage, she taught English at Arlington Heights and Southwest High Schools.
In 1984, Marty was named Executive Director of the Historic Preservation Council for Tarrant County. During her tenure, she worked tirelessly to educate the public and city officials about the importance of historic buildings and neighborhoods to the character of a city and its cultural and economic vitality. For Marty, a career pinnacle was chairing the initiative which resulted in the publication of the multi-volume Tarrant County Historic Resources Survey, an inventory of historic resources throughout the area. This tour de force led to the designation of more historic landmarks locally than in any other Texas county and remains the industry standard.
Never seeking the spotlight, she was a powerful force in the community. Through her sustained efforts on dozens of civic committees and task forces, Marty helped to shape Fort Worth’s visual landscape and inspired new generations of citizen activists and community organizers. She led the charge to save downtown’s Sinclair Building and played a key role in the adoption of the historic overlay district for the Mistletoe Heights neighborhood. An expert consensus builder, Marty was a founder of the West Side Alliance and helped North Hi Mount residents and their neighbor, the Osteopathic Medical Center of Texas, establish boundaries for the latter’s expansion. Marty was integrally involved in drafting the city’s first historic preservation ordinance and serving on the Lancaster Advisory Committee that resulted in the redesign of the streetscape following the removal of the Interstate 30 overhead freeway at the south end of downtown. Marty was a generous mentor and friend to countless architects, planners, preservationists, neighborhood leaders, and elected officials. She was as gracious as she was tenacious and was famous for working collaboratively to achieve the best outcome for her beloved community.
Marty received countless honors, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s President’s Award for Outstanding Service to Preservation, the Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Award for Historic Preservation, the Fort Worth Preservation Awards Committee’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Historic Preservation, and Altrusa Club’s prestigious First Lady of Fort Worth award in 1983. She was named an honorary member of the Fort Worth Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Texas Society of Architects.
Marty enjoyed philanthropic pursuits important to the city through her membership in the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Scenic Fort Worth. She was also a member of The Assembly, Junior League of Fort Worth, Jewel Charity Ball, Fort Worth Garden Club, Fort Worth Lecture Foundation, and Trout Unlimited, among others.
While Marty had numerous career highlights, her biggest joy was her family and many loving and life-long friendships. She was a devoted daughter who learned the thrill of fly-fishing from her parents – both of whom were excellent at casting a line. She enjoyed sharing her love of fishing with her friends who would accompany her on trips to Gunnison, Colorado, and other beautiful destinations in and out of the country.
Her sons and grandsons were her greatest love and she devoted herself to their happiness. She delighted in traveling to Washington, D.C., to dote on her grandsons. She also enjoyed the company of her beloved dogs, reading, playing bridge, and needlepoint.
Marty was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years. She is survived by her son, Frank Carnrike Craddock and his wife, Elizabeth “Liz” Leoty Craddock, grandsons, Jackson Thomas Craddock and William Patrick Craddock, all of Washington, D.C.; her son, John Patrick Craddock of Fort Worth; brother, George A. Meihaus III and his wife, Carolyn Meihaus of Austin; nephew George Andrew “Andy” Meihaus and his wife, Robin Kriza Meihaus, grandnephews, George Andrew “Drew” Meihaus Jr. and Benjamin Graham Meihaus, all of Charleston, S.C.; sister-in-law, Catherine “Cathie” Jackson and her husband, Len Jackson of Fort Worth; and a host of friends.