Craig David Ort, 63, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, at Marshfield Medical Center in Rice Lake, Wis.
Craig was born Dec. 10, 1955, the third of five children born to Ralph and Grace (Huven) Ort in Rhinelander, Wis. Craig was a special child from the very beginning. He had many challenges in his life, including that he had autism. He spent most of his childhood in Monico, Wis. Craig did not have the pleasure of attending school, but spent many hours wandering in the fields and climbing apple trees.
Craig’s early interests were listening to tractor stories with Auntie and going for rides in whatever trucks had room for him. He particularly liked when his dad took him for rides in big logging trucks. Craig enjoyed country music, with Hank Williams always bringing a tear to his eye.
Craig lived in Chippewa Falls, Wis., for several years at Northern Center. In the late 1970s, he moved back to Rhinelander and lived at the Jolly Fisherman. In 1995, he moved into a group home in Chetek where he found an amazing caregiver, Skip (Ruth) Selkow. In 2003, Craig moved into Skip and Rusty’s (Raymond’s) home in Chetek. He happily resided there up to the time of his death.
Truly, Craig found his second family with the Selkows. They all enjoyed attending church together, as well as riding four-wheelers, snowmobiles and, of course, for Craig, a highlight was riding in Rusty’s truck. Craig had the opportunity to camp often in the summer months and enjoyed their family gatherings. People all around Chetek knew and loved Craig, as he was out in the community every day.
Craig is survived by his mother, Grace Ort; his sister, Lisa Ort-Sondergard; three brothers, Mark, Kirk and Bradley; 10 nieces and nephews; and 13 great-nieces and great-nephews. He is further survived by Ruth and Rusty Selkow, Melinda Hayes, Charles Cross, Angela Capes, Rick Selkow and Karen Stout.
Craig was preceded in death by his father, Ralph (Dan); sister-in-law Jenny; his grandparents, Walter and Florence Huven, and Edward and Irene Ort; and his special Auntie and Unk, Jeannette and Alois Huven.
Although Craig did not speak during his life, we often wondered about the profound thoughts he had. We are sure Craig ran through the pearly gates into his father’s arms, finally saying all of the things he never could here on this earth. We are eternally grateful for the love and care given to Craig by the Selkows.
Visitation was at the Rembs Funeral Home in Marshfield, Wis., on Monday, Jan. 28, with a prayer service afterwards. Craig will be interned at the Hillside Cemetery, next to his father. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to the Little Wolf Jr./Sr. High School Special Education Department in Manawa, Wis., in Craig’s name.
Condolences may be sent online at www.rembsfh.com.