Craig Lane Berry passed away at his home in Fortuna on the morning of September 23, 2021 at the age of 78. He passed peacefully and privately, surrounded by his family, just as he lived his life.
Craig was born to Marguerite and Jim Berry in Palo Alto on November 6, 1942. He moved with his parents and brother to Eureka in 1947, where he spent the rest of his childhood. He was extremely proud to call Humboldt County home.
He graduated from Eureka High School in 1960 and then studied civil engineering at Humboldt State College and San Jose State College, graduating from the latter at the top of his department in 1965. He also studied for his MBA at both Columbia University in New York City and the University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 1967.
After working for the Bechtel Corporation and Transamerica in San Francisco for three years after receiving his MBA, Craig returned to Humboldt County in 1970 to assume control of Forbusco Lumber in Fortuna. Craig was a third-generation lumberman, as his grandfather had founded the Big Jo Lumber Company in Santa Fe, New Mexico and his father had a myriad of lumber businesses in Humboldt County, including Forbusco Lumber after he founded it in 1947. Over the 51 years as its President and CEO, Craig built Forbusco into the leading supplier of building materials in Southern Humboldt.
Craig was passionate about Forbusco’s role in the Fortuna community. He prided himself on providing good employment opportunities and assisting whenever he could with Fortuna’s development, particularly to causes benefiting children. His family has heard many stories about how Craig’s selfless advice and efforts helped Fortuna grow and survive times of crisis.
Craig also prided himself on his role as partner to Leah Mantooth and father to his son, Jeff. He was the dad who would help decipher homework at 2am despite just wanting to get some sleep. He never missed a single one of his families’ events, and he was always there to provide solid advice and encouragement, including during the last hours of his life. He was truly selfless as a partner, father and neighbor.
In his personal time, Craig was an avid hunter and fisherman. He was also an accomplished woodworker, having built most of the furniture in his house, and he certainly enjoyed fast cars.
Craig is survived by his partner of 41 years, Leah Mantooth of Fortuna; his son, Jeff Berry of Los Angeles and Jeff’s mother, Kathleen Berry; his step-daughter, Lynett Pray of Boise, Idaho; his granddaughters, Faith Pray and Trinity Pray, also of Boise; his brother and his wife, Ken and Karen Berry of Colorado Springs, Colorado; his niece, Alisha Crawford, also of Colorado Springs; his nephew, Brian Berry of El Cajon; and the employees of Forbusco Lumber in Fortuna.
The family is planning a memorial service and wake for the Spring of 2022 at Forbusco Lumber in Fortuna and an announcement will be made on the logistics of that event in early 2022. All who wish to attend are invited.
The family would also like to thank Dr. Donald Baird for years of wonderful care.
Donations can be made in his name to the Boys and Girls Club of Humboldt County.
The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Craig Berry’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.