William “Forrest” Cravens, 90, of Buffalo, passed away on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at Meadowbrook Health Center in Urbana.
William “Forrest” Cravens was born May 13, 1927 in Buffalo Hart Township to William “Walker” and Laura Cooper Cravens. He was born into a large extended family of 8 uncles and 3 aunts with 20 first cousins all living in or near Buffalo Hart Township. Forrest attended East Side school and was taught first grade by his cousin Arnett Smith. He graduated from Tri-City High School in 1944, having been active in FFA and 4H raising purebred Angus cattle. Forrest married his high school sweetheart Wilma Taft, January 24, 1948; she preceded him in death in 2002 after 54 years of marriage. They had a daughter Doris and three sons Keith, Terry, and Wayne. Keith continues the farming.
Forrest began farming on the same farm where he was born. In the early years he raised registered Angus cattle, hogs, and chickens, along with milk cows, and a large garden along with the corn, soybeans, wheat, oats and clover field crops. To supplement this he became a Burrus Seed Corn dealer which he and Keith continued for over 50 years. Forrest became intrigued with electricity upon his uncle wiring their home when he was around 8 years old. He went on to become an accomplished electrician, wiring many farm buildings and grain bins for area farmers and elevators.
He worked for the ASCS (FSA) as a bin and field measurer and was elected to the County Committee where he served 35 years and also served as Chairman. Forrest was elected and served as Tax Collector of Buffalo Hart Township. Forrest grew up attending, and belongs to, the Buffalo Hart Presbyterian Church where he served as Treasurer, Elder and Deacon. He has been a Master Mason for 64 years and was an advisor to his son’s DeMolay Chapter. Forrest was also one of the men that supported the first Little League Baseball formed in the Tri-City Area. He has been a life time member of the Sangamon County Farm Bureau and Buffalo Hart Unit, which was the last township unit to exist in Sangamon County.
Also preceding him were two sons, Wayne Allen in 1967 and Terry Lee in 1998; sister, Carmen Max; and brother, Lloyd Cravens.
He is survived by daughter, Doris (John) Lawyer of Champaign; son, Keith W. Cravens of Buffalo; granddaughters, Crystal (Greg) Bailey of Mahomet and Shawna (Ben) Cremeens of Jefferson City, MO; and great-grandsons, Trevor and Gavin Bailey; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation will be from 9:30-11:30 AM on Friday, April 20, 2018 at Buffalo Hart Presbyterian Church. Masonic services will begin at 11:30 a.m. followed by funeral services with Reverend Mary Jessup officiating. Burial will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park
Memorial contributions may be made to Buffalo Hart Presbyterian Church or American Diabetes Association.