SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - All of us here at WTOC said goodbye to an irreplaceable presence, colleague and friend at the station - Craig Harney.
Craig passed away last weekend after fighting cancer at the age of 65.
Wednesday many of us who knew and loved Craig attended his funeral ceremony at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and burial at Bonaventure Cemetery.
Watch the entire funeral ceremony here:
Craig was our Creative Services Director but as we heard at his funeral service, so much more to those who knew him and the community that he loved.
Craig's passing has us reflecting on his life, his impact on ours and the innumerable qualities that made him so special to all of us.
“There’s just too much to say about Craig. How do you summarize 65 years of Craig Harney into just a few minutes? There are too many stories, too many moments, too many nicknames, everyone had a nickname, too many one-liners and just too little time. Something we painfully learned on Saturday," said WTOC General Manager Larry Silbermann.
Craig’s faith, love of family, friends, community, as well as the craft of story telling that he mastered were front and center.
“I can’t help but think that as Craig approached the gates of Heaven, Monsignor Bourke was probably there to say, ‘Hello Craig, I’m glad you’re here. Did you bring your camera? I have a few more stories to report for the archives," said Father Gerry Schreck during the funeral service.
“Craig’s gift for telling stories, his positive outlook, his passion for our community, which extended well beyond the streets of his beloved Savannah, is what made him so endearing to all. Be it the story of a business titan, a Civil Rights leader, a monsignor or waving to a farmer on a tractor in a parade, Craig’s words, pictures and actions always lifted us up," Silbermann said.
That’s part of Craig’s legacy that will live on in all who knew him, admired and loved him.
“...Then in His mercy, may He give us a safe lodging, and a holy rest and peace at the last. Rest in peace, Craig, and thank you," Father Schreck read.
As the service ended, and those Craig held dear filed out of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, pallbearers selected by Craig himself ushered his casket down the front steps of the church to the motorcade.
“Everybody’s talking about how Savannah’s not going to be the same without Craig, and I think that’s probably right. But let’s make it in a positive way. If everybody could take a little piece of what they learned from Craig Harney, and use that in Savannah, Savannah would be a better place,” said Rob Roberts III, one of Craig’s pallbearers.
Craig’s final journey down the streets of the city that he loved ended at Bonaventure Cemetery where he was laid to rest under the live oaks and Spanish moss, surrounded by those he loved, and loved him.
Silbermann closed his remarks at the funeral service by saying, “...That is Craig’s impact on all of us, he taught us all how to love a little bit better. And we must now lean on those lessons to get us through today, and the next day and the next day. And ultimately, it is that love that will keep Craig forever alive in our hearts and become his everlasting legacy.”