Charles “Chick” Loucraft: 1934-2011

One of our regular contributors, Eileen Loucraft, is married to the nephew of Chick Loucraft who passed away this week. Thanks to Eileen for sharing the following memories of Mr. Loucraft:

Charles “Chick” Loucraft 1934-2011

How does one talk about someone that is so loved? I don’t think anyone has ever said a bad word about Chick Loucraft.

He grew up in the Highlands of Lowell, and went to high school at Keith Academy. It was love at first sight!! The minstrel shows, the athletics, teaching and drivers ed. His friendships with students and Brothers alike that lasted for years. He did his best to keep that High School experience he cherished alive for the young men of Lowell, but sadly lost that fight in the end.

His wife, his kids and grandkids. They were everything to him. He was the patriarch of the Loucrafts. The only adult male left after 1970. He watched over his Mother and his Aunts in their later years and made sure they knew someone would be there if they needed him.

He made a double eagle at Trull Brook in Tewksbury. Many years later his son got one too on the same hole!

His best friends from high school were his best friends for life. Cards on Friday nights. Weddings, funerals, births… Parties at Mount Pleasant. You could always count on him.

He visited everyone, and everyone visited him. Whether he was opening his home on Christmas eve, or had 15 people in a 3 bedroom cottage at the cape..all were welcome.

Eucharistic minister, singing at funerals and weddings at St. Margaret’s, Reunions for Keith in Massachusetts and Florida. Embracing Lowell Catholic. So much so that Lowell Catholic gave him an honorary degree.

He was always there for everyone. He was a humble gracious man who was always thankful for his Family, Friends and his Faith.

We have been blessed for having known him. We miss you already.

— Brian & Eileen Loucraft

6 Responses to Charles “Chick” Loucraft: 1934-2011

  1. Marie says:

    Chick Loucraft will be missed. His commitment to education particularly at Lowell Catholic High School and its legacy schools Keith Academy and Keith Hall inspired many. Alums were especially pleased that Chick could join the “All Lowell” Class of 1960 at our 50th Reunion back in October. Admirers may make contributions in his memory to the Charles and Margaret Loucraft Scholarship Fund, c/o Lowell Catholic, 530 Stevens St., Lowell, MA 01851. RIP

  2. Steve says:

    Chiky was also loved and respected by students and staff out at Greater Lowell Tech, where he worked for years. He was the kind of guy who was never too busy to stop and talk to you. I always enjoyed talking to him, because aside from being a good guy, he was very smart. If he gave you some advice, you’d do well to take it. If he gave you an opinion, it was well thought out. He was a wonderful singer, too.

  3. George DeLuca says:

    I have a story about Chick that I posted on FB as soon as I heard (unedited):

    “I had Mr. Loucraft as my drivers ed teacher at Keith. The day of my drivers exam, I was sitting on the steps at Keith and he approached me and said, “are you ok?” I said I was nervous about the 3 point turn because I hadn’t had much practic…e with it, and he said “Come with me.”

    He took me out and we did the 3 point turn on a hill until I felt confident. We went back to Keith and went right out with the DMV guy. He sat in the back and shot the breeze with him the whole time, leaving the guy just enough time to issue instructions. It really took the pressure off. The 3 point turn happened without incident, and I gained a lot of confidence.

    I’ll never forget his compassion and understanding, and especially the way he reached out when he sensed my nervousness. Thank you Mr. Loucraft … please say hello to my mom for me!”

  4. Eileen L says:

    Thank you everyone!! The number of people and stories at the wake on Thursday and at the funeral on Friday were so inspiring. Chick was the best and he will be so missed!!

  5. Nancy Sullivan Downes says:

    I want to reiterate to the Loucraft and Merritt families how deeply sorry I am for your loss of this most amazing and loving individual.

    I had the pleasure and privilege of growing up with Mr. Charles “Chicky” Loucraft and his family in the Highlands. This past week, as I traveled down the street where he resided to visit the home I grew up in two houses down from the Loucrafts, I could feel the sense of loss. He was the mayor and ambassador of that neighborhood.

    Over the years, as one neighbor suffered the loss of their beloved spouse, Mr. Loucraft was there as their “protector”- checking on them to see if there was anything he could do or offer them. He would bring the neighbors communion who were physically not able to leave the house while quietly grieving their loss. He was their ray of sunshine who would help lift them up and get them through the day – during the most difficult time following their loved one’s passing.

    How do I know this? My mother was one of those fortunate neighbors and friends who had Mr. Loucraft by her side. Following the lost of my dear father almost 5 years ago, Mr. Loucraft was right there for my mother. With his very warm, kind and passionate demeanor, he would check on her – making sure she was okay, bringing her communion and just offering his support through his keen gift of gab and very contagious sense of humor. I have never forgotten how he was the one person that could bring a smile to her face as she grieved the loss of her sole mate and the love of her life- my father Jim.

    He will always be in our hearts. I’m forever grateful to have had this extraordinary individual in our lives. He was indeed one of the great- a man with integrity who put everyone in his life before him. As a loving husband to Mrs. Loucraft and devoted father to his four children and grandfather to their children, and dear friend, mentor and guardian to so many, he truly was an inspiration to us all!

    It’s now our turn to offer our condolences and support to his family – opening our hearts and sharing with them the lifetime of wonderful memories and joyful times together as they celebrate a life well lived.

    May Mr. Loucraft rest in piece and watch over all of us. What I really didn’t have a chance to say in words while paying my respects at his wake, “To Mrs. Loucraft, Charlie, Jennifer, Chris and Roberta- you are all in my thoughts and prayers and my mother’s, as she shed those compassionate tears when hearing about of the loss of her wonderful friend. She offers her sincerest condolences to all of you – and her thanks for having that wonderful man touch her life and being there for her during her time of loss.

    It was once told to me by a well-known resident of this city – “that the line at a man’s wake says a lot about the man”. This certainly was exemplified at the wake of Mr. Loucraft- as lines of people surrounded the funeral home, waiting to say goodbye and paying their respects to this wonderful man who had somehow touched their lives. He was a legend and one of the finest individuals who made a difference in both the community he lived in and served and in lives of all us who were blessed by his presence.

    God Bless the Loucraft family. I know that there was a line of angels comprised of past family and friends waiting at the gates of heaven to welcome him into their special place. I know my father was one of them waiting with open arms to express his appreciation to him for watching over all of us upon his passing into the place of peace.