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In Memoriam - Craig Winters (1951-2009)

  • July 3, 2009

Craig Winters was a long time ally and friend of all of us at the OCA, and everyone in the anti-GMO movement, as well as a great fighter for holistic health and all things organic. In memory of Craig, all of us at the OCA pledge to redouble our efforts to campaign for mandatory labeling of Genetically Engineered foods, and to drive GMOs off the market. Hasta la victoria siempre/Until the final victory!

-Ronnie Cummins  




  It is with very deep sadness that I report that Craig Alan Winters passed away this morning, as a result of complications from his fight against cancer. Craig was incredibly courageous and upbeat throughout his fight against the disease, but in the end, his body was simply too ravaged to carry on.

I received a call this morning from Craig's best friend, Steve, who got the call about the news from Craig's dad. I called Swedish Medical Center this morning and they told me that he died at 6:30 a.m. of respiratory failure. Craig was born in 1951.

It will take me, as I am sure it will for so many of us, a long time to recover from Craig's loss. I know so many people consider him family. People have told me he is like a son to them. He has been like an older brother to me.

As the pain and sadness recede over time, I know that what will remain for me is a tremendous feeling of gratitude that I was able to work with Craig for so long on so many important issues facing our planet. He was a great boss and a terrific friend. There is so much to celebrate about his life.

I first worked with Craig on the board of EarthSave Seattle back in 1993. That was the Seattle chapter of the group inspired by John Robbins and his book, Diet for a New America. Our mission was to educate people about the impact food choices have on our health and on the environment. I was the EarthSave Seattle newsletter editor, and Craig was a marketing expert who contributed health columns to the newsletter.

During those years, I found Craig to be such a bright, upbeat, optimistic guy. He seemed to have an encyclopedic knowledge about nutrition and environmental issues. He often gave talks at events and attracted a devoted following.

In the late 1990s, Craig hired me to serve as the communications director for a new group he launched, called The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods. Craig worked for years to educate people about the problems surrounding "Frankenfoods," and coordinated with Congressman Dennis Kucinich's office to introduce legislation that would require genetically engineered foods to be labeled so people would know what they were purchasing. The legislation never made it through several Congresses during the Clinton and Bush years, but Craig resiliently continued to push for its passage and hoped to win the battle, finally, under the Obama administration.

Craig and I were both web designers by the late 1990s, and soon after Craig started The Campaign, he also started a new company, Full Spectrum Internet, with the intention of serving businesses that were making a difference for the environment or peoples' health.  I am indebted to him for helping make one of my biggest dreams come true - to make a living by assisting businesses that are trying to help the planet.

Craig also had many other big dreams, which he had hoped to realize in the coming years. Some of these included the launching of a fast food restaurant chain featuring raw and vegan foods; an effort to persuade Congress to adopt aggressive solar policies to solve our energy crisis; and the creation of a foundation that would tackle a number of important environmental issues. He cared very deeply about improving the lives and health of people.

I think most people will remember Craig as an incredibly bright, easygoing, fun-loving guy. He usually had a smile on his face, and he always had a can-do attitude. Much of that was developed from his extensive study of Dale Carnegie, Tony Robbins and other motivational teachers. Craig had a great way of drawing people into his life.

And as I watched Craig fight through his last months against cancer, including three back surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, I was struck by how much his baseline emotion in life seemed to be gratitude. We talked a lot about how grateful he was for his life, for all the experiences he has had, for all the people he has met. He truly enjoyed his ride through life.

Craig worked so hard and did so much to try to create a better world.

I count myself blessed to have known him.

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I'll let you know about any service or memorial as I learn details.

If you would like to share any memories/thoughts with this list as a way of grieving or of celebrating Craig's life, please write me, and be clear about which comments you would like to share with this list. Otherwise, I'll assume that your e-mail is meant to be private.

Best, Cameron Woodworth  

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