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John and Rita Giannico

We send love to Nancy and the extended family over Mike's passing. He was honorable and wise, not to mention smart, talented and interesting. Quite accomplished at so many things. He lived a rich life. What more can one ask, he leaves behind many who knew and loved him dearly.

Michael (Mike) Alan Crager


Michael Alan (Mike) Crager of Fernandina Beach, Florida passed away unexpectedly on April 14, 2022, at the age of 72.

Mike was born in Quitman, Georgia to John and Billie Crager, both deceased. Growing up, Mike lived in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and California and graduated from high school in Huntington Beach in 1968. Shortly after graduation, and following in the footsteps of his Marine father and two Army brothers John and Bob, Mike joined the U.S. Navy Seabees. Mike proudly served our country in Guam, Okinawa, and Vietnam, serving during the war from 1970-1971. After returning home, Mike completed his BA degree in Construction Management from Fresno State University, now University of California, Fresno. Mike enjoyed a successful career working in commercial construction and owned his own company. Mike earned his State of Florida General Contractor License in 1980.

Mike was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed fishing, hunting, firearms, and target shooting. He achieved the U.S. Navy’s highest marksmanship qualification of “Expert” with both pistol and rifle. He was a licensed private pilot and airplane owner for many years and had just returned to his love of flying at the time of his passing. From childhood onward, Mike was always known for having many various pets. Later in life, he became a German Shepherd owner of several dogs, most notably his licensed service dog of 10 years, Atos, who was born and trained in Czechoslovakia and sadly passed in 2020. Mike and Nancy owned 3 equestrian farms which included 5 Tennessee Walking Horses, chickens, goats, 2 cats, and their dogs Atos, Bryx, Faith, Zoe, and Toby. We believe that our animals at home now are grieving the loss of their dear friend. Mike loved spending time with his family, his 2 children and 6 grandchildren. He was a great teacher of practical skills and life lessons. Mike was seen by all as a true patriarch of the family and dearly loved his wife.

Mike is survived by his wife of 50 years, Nancy Crager, whom he met in California, and their two children, daughter Alison and son Andrew and daughter-in-law Jennifer. He is survived by 6 grandchildren ranging in ages from 7 to 20, Michael Hitz, Bradley Hitz, Gabriel Hitz, Arisa Vukich, Nicholas Meyer, and Ryan Meyer. Mike is also survived by his sister, Jeanne, 2 brothers, Joe Crager and Tom Crager, Aunt Ada Francis and Aunt Barbara; 18 nieces and nephews and several cousins. On Nancy’s side, Mike is survived by her sisters Linda and Joy, her brother Bruce, and their children Tara, Kristen, Diane, Leyla and Cooper. Mike is preceded in death by his parents John and Billie Crager, and brothers John and Robert Crager.

A viewing will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2022, at 2:00 pm followed by a memorial service at 3:00 pm at Oxley-Heard funeral home in Fernandina Beach, Florida. His cremains will be buried with a service and military honor guard presentation at Jacksonville National Cemetery at 1:00 pm sharp in the Committal shelter.

In lieu of flowers, please contribute to your favorite charity or to the First Coast German Shepherd Rescue in Jacksonville at and navigate to the Donate page or Contact Us page to request a mailing address for a check.

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