New Richmond:
(715) 243-5252  |  
River Falls:
(715) 425-8788

Dana Lynne Craig 08/27/2022

Dana Lynne Craig left this world to be with her Creator on Saturday, August 27, 2022. She passed away at Westfields Hospital, in the loving care of the staff and her family. Dana was born on January 11, 1965, at Holy Family Hospital in New Richmond, WI, the daughter of Dr. James L. Craig and Carolyn A. Craig. She is survived by her mother, Carolyn; her brother, Paul, wife Kimberly and daughter Michelle; her Aunt Lois Droes, and cousins Christopher, Dawn and Cheryl Droes; her Uncle Mackey Adams, and cousins Brian and Amy Adams. She is also survived by her former husband, Kenneth Gendrich.

On a beautiful fall day, October 6, 1989, Dana’s life changed forever in a single car accident in the Colorado Mountains. She was on her way to Steamboat Springs, CO, just getting up to speed outside the little town of Silverthorne, when for some strange reason, her car jerked quickly toward the right side of the road. She corrected, and her car jerked again toward the left lane. Another correction took her back to the right side of the road, where a little branch on a young aspen tree brought the roof of her car down on her head – causing the closed head injury which left her severely impaired.

Dana’s pre-accident days were filled with fun and achievements. She graduated from the New Richmond High School in 1983, as class co-valedictorian. Many activities centered on band, where she played a clarinet. In parades, she served as Rifle Squad captain, designing routines to accompany the music. She thrived on new challenges, and learning to play a baritone sax for Jazz Band was one of them (The instrument was almost as big as she was). Other activities: high school theater – “West Side Story”; Pom-Pon Squad Captain; Badger Girl’s State; and 4H Club, serving as St. Croix Co. 4H Queen & modeling an outfit she made at the Wisconsin State Fair. A fun, part time job was working at Dueber’s Fabric Store, often creating samples for display at the shop.

After high school, Dana attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she enjoyed playing clarinet in the UW Band. She graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 1988, having served two full semester internships at 3M Corporation in St. Paul. Newly married, she lived in suburban Denver, Colorado, where she worked for Bandgap Corporation. She was planning to pursue graduate studies in Biomedical Engineering.

It has been almost 33 years since Dana’s accident. From super achiever to super survivor, she could hear – and understand – and enjoy music! Though unable to talk, she enjoyed visits by The Deerfield Gables staff, fellow residents, and family.

“Eat a Rock, Dana” were the closing words of a very touching letter of encouragement that Dana received while in Denver’s St. Anthony’s Hospital recovering from the injuries sustained in the accident. It was from UW-Madison’s Band Director, Mile Leckrone. “Eat a Rock”, you ask? “If you are tough enough to be in the Wisconsin Marching Band, you are tough enough to eat rocks”. Dana was an amazing survivor – and proved many times that she was tough enough to eat rocks. She will be profoundly missed by all of those who loved her.

A Celebration of Dana’s Life was held on Saturday, September 10, 2022 at 1 pm at Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services 728 S Knowles Avenue New Richmond, WI and streamed live through the link just below this obituary.  Visitation was alson on Saturday, September 10, 2022 from 11 am – 1 pm at the funeral home. Please wear Badger red in remembrance of Dana.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to The Deerfield Gables, Employee Educational Assistance Fund,, or to a charity of your choice.  Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services.

Click here to watch Dana’s Celebration of Life


  • Elaine Anderson Posted August 28, 2022 10:31 am

    Carolyn, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Sadness and joy. You and Dana have been such an example for us to follow. My love and care to you and your family. Elaine A

  • Gail Fox Posted August 29, 2022 6:42 am

    Carolyn, So very sorry to hear of your loss of your daughter, Dana. My heart goes out to you. My prayers are with you in your grief. God Bless You in your constant care, love and devotion through all of these years for Dana. You have shown us what LOVE really is. Gail

  • Julie Larson Posted August 29, 2022 6:54 am

    Carolyn…I am truly sorry to hear about Dana. She was a beautiful, intelligent, and lovely girl. So many years of strength and struggles that no one will ever know, but my hope for you and all of your loved ones….peace, during this difficult time. The class of 1983 were blessed to have her💛

  • Ruth Weinkauf Posted August 29, 2022 3:39 pm

    Thinking of you at this time. Sending hugs.

  • Laurel Olson Posted August 29, 2022 3:49 pm

    Carolyn we are so sorry to hear of Dana’s passing. It was our pleasure to spend Palm Sunday dinner with you and Dana. I can only imagine how difficult her death is to you but we both know she is in space where she is fully capable. Love you 💓

  • Margret Swanson Posted August 29, 2022 4:48 pm

    Carolyn: I’m holding you in my heart as you grieve the loss of your remarkable daughter. My deep sympathy to you & your family as you remember Dana.

  • Fay Kopp Posted August 29, 2022 9:52 pm

    So sorry to hear of Dana’s passing. I will be sending prayers to help you through this time of sorrow.

  • Steve Abler Posted August 30, 2022 1:15 pm

    I knew Dana from the UW band. Her first year was my last. The news of her passing brought me sadness commensurate with the gray, foggy weather here, but she is enjoying eternal sunshine. I am deeply sorry for your loss. May the God of all comfort bring all of us the comfort that only He can.

  • Tama Posted September 7, 2022 10:42 pm

    Carolyn, now she can do all the things she loves and because you cared and loved her, your angel to watch over you.

  • Nancy and Bill Maloney Posted September 10, 2022 11:30 am

    Carolyn, Our sincere condolences to you and to Family. Our Love and prayers are with you. I believe your endearing love and communications to Dana with your visits impacted her life in a way only a Mom could provide to her child and sustained her until God called her home. Rest in Peace sweet Dana.

  • Maggie Landeck Posted September 20, 2022 2:39 pm

    I’m s good friend of the family.. I’ve followed her situation for years. my deepest sympathy to her family

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *