John S. "Jack" S. Cragen

October 17, 1942 - June 28, 2016 

John S. "Jack" S. Cragen

October 17, 1942 - June 28, 2016 

Obituary for John S. "Jack" S. Cragen

HAMILTON - John S. “Jack” Cragen, 73, beloved husband of Joan (LaBonte) Cragen, passed away on Tuesday, June 28th, at home in his sleep. Born in Beverly, he was the son of the late Walter J. and Rose A. (Deschenes) Cragen.

Jack grew up a Ryal Side, Beverly Panther and was a graduate of the Claude H. Patton Vocational School at Beverly High School -- affectionately known as “The Trade School” in Jack’s many stories. Throughout his teenage years, Jack was proud to play the snare drum for the Saint Mary’s Cardinals Drum and Bugle Corps. During his high school years, he ran cross country and the mile for the track team. Jack is a veteran, having served in the United States Air Force. He used his Trade School education to support his family as a printer and happily retired from Friend Box Company in 2004.
Jack was a talented musician. After his years in drum corps, he played professionally and enjoyed teaching young drum enthusiasts their ratamacues and paradiddles. Jack also enjoyed golfing with his friends, his family and especially his wife, who preferred the Middleton par 3 course because it took away the advantage of Jack’s ‘monster’ drive.

Jack loved York Peppermint Patties, Devil Dogs, chocolate frappes, breakfasts with friends, homemade cheeseburgers, Abraham Lincoln, reading, watching any sport on television, and the movie Brian’s Song. With all his accomplishments and hobbies, Jack was still best known for his ability to make people laugh and his own, distinctive, staccato, soul-filling laugh.

Most of all, he was a devoted and loving husband, friend, father, grandfather, brother and cousin. In addition to his wife of 50 years, Joan, he is survived by three daughters, Allison Kelley and her husband Moe of Wenham, Shannon Corwin and her husband Ben of Hamilton and Colleen Johnson and her husband Elijah of Worcester; his brother: Thomas Cragen and his wife Maureen of West Springfield; three grandchildren: Pammy and Maggie Kelley and Gabriel Johnson; along with many nieces, nephews, and friends.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at the Church of Saint Paul, 50 Union Street, Hamilton on Saturday at 9:00 A.M. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Visiting hours will be held at the Campbell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot Street, Beverly on Friday from 5 to 7 P.M. Memorial donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made in Jack’s Memory to Autism Speaks, Inc., 85 Devonshire St., Boston, MA 02109. Information, directions and condolences at

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  • 525 Cabot Street
    Beverly, MA
  • 978-922-1113

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