John C. Craver was "the grand old gentleman of Milford," said his business associate, Howard Riggs.

Mr. Craver, a partner in the Craver-Riggs Funeral Home & Crematory died Monday, surrounded by family, at Hospice of Cincinnati. He was 96.

Mr. Craver loved ones believe he will be remembered for his involvement in the community and his gentle, caring manner as a funeral director.

Mr. Craver was born one of seven siblings on a farm in Clermont County.

A lifelong resident of Milford, he was a graduate of Milford High School, where he was a basketball star.

In 1930 he graduation from the Cincinnati College of Embalming. He and his wife, Sue Woodward, purchased the business in 1936. Which the couple ran for more than a half century.

His final lesson, at age 97, was not to fear death but to simply see it as a transition.

His wife preceded him in death in 1987. They had three daughters, Mary Sue Vilardo, Emily Rich and Sharyn Kilduff. 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.