Norman S. Craley, a broadcast engineer who worked 35 years at Washington’s WETA, died of cancer March 24 at the Capital Hospice in Arlington, Va. He was 65.
He had been diagnosed with metastatic esophageal cancer six months earlier and had chemotherapy, leading to a clear scan in February, his family told WETA, but the cancer took a rare and fatal course, spreading in his head.“Norm was a jack of all trades” who handled cameras, edited video and found his perfect match in master control, often working the night shift, wrote Joseph Bruns, the station’s chief operating officer, in a memo reporting the death to WETA’s staff. “His master control colleagues fondly remember Norm as reliable, a leader and the kind of guy who would do anything for anyone.”
Craley’s WETA career was interrupted when the Air Force called him to active duty in the Vietnam War, Bruns said. “Upon his departure, Norm wrote a letter to Wayne Coy, a senior manager at WETA, expressing his interest in returning to WETA after the war. Wayne noted on the letter for Norm’s personnel file, in a classic understatement, ‘Good man — worth rehiring.’ Wayne Coy got that right!”
“He was an important part of our team and will be greatly missed,” Bruns wrote. Craley loved WETA and had a special fondness for the late Elizabeth Campbell, the station’s founder, who kept working into her 90s, the manager said. “We appreciate all that Norm did for WETA as a valued employee and as a reliable and trusted friend and colleague.”
Craley, a resident of Alexandria, Va., is survived by his wife, Barbara; his children Brian of Leonardtown, Md.; Kevin of Dacula, Ga.; and Karen of Alexandria; grandchildren Nicholas, Aurora, Caelan and Navarre, and step-grandchildren Tatiana and Justin.
A memorial service and interment are scheduled for noon, April 24 , at Eco Eternity Forest, Camp Highroad, Middleburg, Va. The family welcomed memorial contributions to WETA and the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria.