Family, Friends Remember Former Smith County Judge - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Family, Friends Remember Former Smith County Judge

"He just leaves behind a wonderful legacy of honesty, and truth and hard work," said Toni Halbrooks.  She said her father, former Smith County Judge Larry Craig and public service went hand in hand. 

"He was very selfless," said Halbrooks.  "He cared so much about other people.  He was so on fire for Smith County."  Back in 2002, Craig celebrated the end of his service as county judge after 16 years. 

"He was never resistant to change," said Halbrooks.  "Whatever it took for the county to succeed and have a positive move, he was all for it."  For years, Craig served tirelessly, not only as judge, but as an active member in the community and law enforcement.  The family man and pharmacist, turned politician, even appointed by then Governor George W. Bush to be chairman of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.  Its honors and experiences he didn't take for granted.

"He loved speaking in front of people," said Halbrooks.  "He loved giving advice.  He loved mentoring."

"Sometimes you don't realize until well into a relationship, or maybe even after someone has passed away, that they were somebody great to emulate, and fortunately, I got to realize that before Larry passed away," said Larry's son-in-law, Gary Halbrooks.  Craig even inspired those who would later follow in his footsteps.  Smith County Judge Joel Baker said Craig was a good man. 

"I looked up to him as a friend and a mentor and appreciated our friendship and his support of me," said Baker.

"A lot of lives have been touched by him, and county government has been changed by him," said Halbrooks.

Visitation for former Judge Craig will be held Monday, April 14 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Stewart Family Funeral Home.  Funeral services will be Tuesday, April 15, at Marvin United Methodist Church in Tyler at 1:00pm. 

Layron Livingston, Reporting.


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