Longtime NR leaders, Dr. Craig and Tom Doar, pass


By Raymond T. Rivard and Jordan Willi
New Richmond News

New Richmond lost two of its longtime leaders this past week when Dr. James “Jim” Craig and attorney Tom Doar died.

Craig passed on Wednesday, June 15, while Doar died Monday, June 20.

Both were longtime residents and members of the business community who were also deeply involved in community organizations and affairs.

James Craig
Dr. Craig, 88, the son of Harold and Marcia Craig, was born in Baraboo, but spent his formative years in Stoughton.

After graduation from high school, Craig attended UW-Madison and became a doctor in 1952.

After serving in Korea, Dr. Craig landed in New Richmond, where he stayed his entire career.

Jim married county nurse Carolyn Jean Adams, at the Methodist Church in Lake Delton in 1961.

Jean Needham, the CEO at the hospital worked closely with Dr. Craig through their time together on New Richmond’s health care campus.

He served as president of the clinic group during the time Needham served as CEO at the hospital.

“At that point in time, the hospital and clinic were separate organizations,” Needham said. “Each had to make decisions, but with him he was always the professional, he was always able to get to the heart of whatever the issue may be and he focused on what was best for the patient. He always had the patient at the center of whatever was being decided; he was a strong leader for the clinic. Those who worked with him, respected him and he had a way of getting to the crux of things. He was an excellent leader; a strong leader.

“He was really interested in what was happening in the community. He was instrumental in helping to get the New Richmond Area Community Foundation off the ground and that has been something he continued to be interested and involved in. His love of New Richmond and always trying to make it a better place continued … we lost a great guy. We will miss him.”

Tom Doar
In addition to being an attorney and banker, Doar was well-known for his work in the business world as well as around the community.

Doar was remembered this week by Doar, Drill & Skow attorney Jim Drill.

“Tom gave me my first job out of law school in 1961,” Drill said. “I learned about law in good company, including that of Tom and his brother, John Doar, as well as Warren Knowles.

“Tom was a great teacher of the art of practicing law. He was a wonderful man with a wonderful family. He was also a multi-talented person, being a lawyer and banker among many other things.”

In addition to his skills in the law and banking realms, Drill said that in the 1970s, “Tom was chief boss at WCCO radio and television.”

“He was a great friend. As a professional, he always had time to talk to me and the other young lawyers. Although we had differing opinions, as most people in our profession often do, it amazed me that we never had a cross word while I was his employee or as his partner.He was just a delight to know and be around. I talked to him on June 4 for about 40 to 50 minutes and had a great conversation. He is was a tremendous person. 

“After learning of his death, I told my children — who all knew him well — and my oldest son, Peter, said, ‘Tom would always engage me in great conversation and I was hanging on every word he said. He was a fantastic man.’ It was fitting that he lived until he was 95 years old.”

An obituary for Dr. Craig is included in this edition of the New Richmond News. However, the obituary for Mr. Doar was not yet available as of press time.