December 27, 1923 ~ May 5, 2021

Born in: Des Moines, IA
Resided in: Hamden, CT

Marcus Rollins McCraven, age 97, died peacefully in the company of his family on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at his home in Hamden, Connecticut. He was born on December 27, 1923 in Des Moines, Iowa to parents Marcus and Buena McCraven. He married his wife Marguerite Mills, who survives him, in 1947 in Washington D.C. He was predeceased by his brother Carl C. McCraven (Eva).
Marcus was a wonderful family man who embraced spending time with his loved ones. In addition to his wife, Marcus is also survived by his three devoted children: Carol McCraven Ivy (Jonathan Sr.), Stephen McCraven (Clemence), and Paul McCraven (Cynthia). Additionally, he leaves behind his six cherished grandchildren and two great-grandchildren: Makaya McCraven (Nitasha), Kinga McCraven (Dionne), Jonathan Ivy Jr., Victoria McCraven, Alexandra McCraven, Jamil McCraven, Maya McCraven, and Jaya McCraven. He is also survived by his nephew, Carl Bruce McCraven, Agnes Zsigmondi McCraven (mother of Makaya and Kinga) and Jessica Benyayer (mother of Jamil), and many other beloved nephews, nieces, and family friends.
After graduating from high school, Marcus enrolled at Howard University, but was drafted into the U.S. Army during his first year of college. He was listed as an expert rifleman, but he went on to serve as a supply clerk with an engineering regiment in Papua, New Guinea and in the Philippines. Returning to the United States, Marcus continued his studies at Howard University and graduated with his B.S. degree in electrical engineering.
Upon graduation, Marcus was hired at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. Marcus then moved to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, where he worked on the nuclear defense system. His area of expertise on the project was diagnostics, and he was instrumental to the early development of nuclear weapon testing. He then joined the research staff at the California Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. During this time, he was also appointed to a national commission to study peaceful uses for nuclear energy. In the 1960s, he left California and moved to Connecticut, where he worked for Phelps Dodge. In 1970, he joined United Illuminating Co., where he ultimately retired as Vice President of Environmental Engineering.
Marcus was a dedicated leader within his community. He served on numerous boards, including Quinnipiac University, the American Red Cross, and the Peabody Museum. He was a lifetime member of the NAACP and was a founding member of the Beta Tau Chapter of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. He was awarded honorary doctorates from Quinnipiac University and Albertus Magnus College. He also was an Associate Fellow at Davenport College at Yale University.
Marcus had many interests and hobbies that brought joy to his life. These included gardening, bird watching, and traveling the world with Marguerite. He was an avid golfer and bowler, and he loved doing crossword puzzles. He lived his entire life with integrity, devotion to family, and love for humanity.
Services will be held on Wednesday, May 12th at Dixwell Avenue Congregational Church, 217 Dixwell Ave., New Haven, CT. Services will begin with visitation from 10:30 a.m. to noon, followed by a church service at 1 p.m. and burial at Grove Street Cemetery. Following interment, the family welcomes all to a reception at Orchid Café, 5 Science Park, New Haven. In lieu of flowers, you may send gifts of remembrance to Dixwell Avenue Congregational Church or the Marcus and Marguerite Scholarship Fund, c/o Quinnipiac University. Arrangements are in care of BEECHER & BENNETT FUNERAL HOME, 2300 Whitney Avenue, Hamden.

Services

Visitation: May 12, 2021 10:30 - 12:00 pm

Dixwell Ave. Congregational United Church of Christ
217 Dixwell Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511


Funeral Service: May 12, 2021 1:00 pm

Dixwell Ave. Congregational United Church of Christ
217 Dixwell Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511


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  1. Paul and your wonderful family … Know our hearts are with you.
    Paul … I can only imagine how proud your Dad was of you, your accomplishments, your capacity to give … and to raise your amazing family. Please … pace yourself … and be very proud.

  2. Dear Paul, Cynthia, and the McCraven Family,
    Your Albertus Magnus College family is keeping you in prayer in this time of loss. Your father lived a life of integrity and impact, and the greater New Haven community always will be better for his contributions and commitments.
    In peace,
    Marc Camille

  3. Steve,
    I am very sorry for your loss, your Dad was a very kind and considerate person I remember as we grew up.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  4. Mon très cher Steve,

    C’est lors de ton mariage avec Clémence que j’ai rencontré Marguerite et Marcus, avec ta très jolie famille.
    When you marry Clémence, I met and loved Marguerite, Marcus and your beautiful family at this wonderfull house surrounded by trees and nature.
    I remember in Marcus how he paid attention with such kindness to anyone, his way of being full of humor and joy.
    Your father was a great, wonderful man.
    I share with you and your family your sadness, I think of Marguerite, and I send to you all, my prayers and love.
    Marie-Aimée

    • Thank you so much. I was a wonderful day and so nice to have our families join. Marcus was special and taught how to enjoy each other and show love and gratitude to everyone. He will be missed. Thank you for send us Clemence. We love her.
      Cynthia McCraven(Paul)

  5. Dear All
    I’ll always remember Marcus dressed in his beautiful dark blue jacket during Clemence and Steve wedding in Hamden 🙂
    I warmly think of all of you
    Philippe

  6. Dear All
    I’ll always remember Marcus in his elegant dark blue jacket during Clemence & Steve wedding at Hamden 🙂
    I warmly think of you all
    Philippe

  7. Marcus became my father when I came to this land. He was a warm, accepting, encouraging, and proud man. A dignified honest and generous person who opened many doors for others. I have learned from him a lot. He will be missed.

  8. Dearest Paul and the McCraven Family,

    I’m so sorry for the world to have lost one of the best. I was so fortunate to have spent time with Marcus in the later part of his life. I was honored to drive Marcus for a few years to the annual charity golf tournament honoring scholars of the future by his beloved fraternity. I also was so honored to play with him in those tournaments, listen to his stories and share a whole day in his company. I always felt blessed. I will miss him.

  9. On behalf of all the members of the Hamden Senior Men’s League we offer our most sincere condolences to the family on the passing of Marcus. To say that he was our most distinguished alumnus would be an understatement. He was gracious, humble , a good sport and a very fine golfer. Our league will not be the same without his presence.

  10. Dear Marguerite, Agnes, and McCraven Family,

    We are so sorry for the passing of Marcus. He was a kind, insightful person who greatly contributed to the goodness in this world. We always enjoyed his company, the great cocktails he made as we sat on the porch in your wonderful home. We fondly remember Marcus and Marguerite attending my son’s wedding, Barbara’s 50th birthday party, and other important life events. We will greatly miss him.

  11. Our family was deeply saddened to hear of Marc’s passing and our thoughts are with the entire McCraven family.

    What began as a collegial professional relationship with our father Henry W. Jones III in the 1960s at Phelps Dodge developed into a close friendship lasting until our father’s passing in 2016. Our father had the utmost respect and admiration not only for Marc’s excellence as a fellow engineer, but also for his gentle spirit, warmth, integrity and steadfast dedication to community service. It was those enduring qualities, and more, that made our father so very proud to count Marc among his most treasured friends.

    We very much regret out inability to attend Marc’s services, but please know that each of us will be there in spirit. We extend our deepest condolences to Marguerite, Carol, Stephen, Paul and the entire McCraven family.

    Henry W. Jones IV
    Elsbeth J. Kozel
    Amy P. Jones
    Sarah J. Gabriel

  12. Judge Clarance Jones and Maureen Jones
    750 N. Tamiami Trail # 1208
    Sarasota, Florida 34236

    Your life of service to community and family, as well as your intelligence, and humility are an everlasting blessing to all of mankind. You are deeply missed. May God Bless and comfort Paul, Cynthia, and their family.

  13. Dr. Ann Garrett Robinson and Family,
    Dear Marguerite, Paul and the McCraven Family,
    Our Robinson Family of Dixwell Avenue and Prospect Street extends to you our sincere condolences at the loss of your beloved Marcus R. McCraven.
    As popularly said in our community, “We go way back!” I’ve known you since the 1960s as my Alpha Kappa Alpha Soror and as my late husband Charles professional colleague in Social Work. I met Marcus later in the past two decades at Dixwell Avenue Congregational UCC Church.
    Marcus brightened the day many times in our family with his remarks, at the Dixwell Avenue Church and Willie C’s Barber Shop on Dixwell Avenue about the intellect of my one and only grandson, R.J. Robinson Thomas: ‘That boy’s the smartest boy I ever saw’ or ‘That boy’s the smartest boy I ever saw’ typified Marcus’ remarks.
    Marcus’ kindness combined with his intellect made him special, a role model for my beloved R.J., for other young men, and for all committed to promoting progress and advancement in coming generations in our community.
    We Robinsons’ appreciated and are thankful for Marcus’ uplift philosophy and most assuredly, Marcus will be missed. Bless you and we are praying for you and your entire Marcus R. McCraven Family.

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