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Engr. Craig Siedelhofer dies of cancer at 47

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By Dorie Cox

Engr. Craig Siedelhofer died Nov. 17 of cancer in Roanoke, Virginia.  He was 47.

Mr. Siedelhofer began working on boats about seven years ago, according to his resume and was first mate and engineer on a variety of yachts including the 45m M/Y Constance Joy, 50m M/Y Triumphant Lady, 30m M/Y Serenity II, 40m M/Y Spirit, 45m M/Y Lady Sandals and as engineer on 50m M/Y Fighting Irish and 50m M/Y Tuscan Sun. He was captain and engineer on the 30m F/V Polo V.

He most recently worked as relief engineer on M/Y Serengeti, a 130-foot (40m) Westport, for about a month, according to Chief Stew Melissa Miles, his girlfriend of about six years.

He had recently been experiencing pain, according to Miles. She most recently worked on the 125-foot Broward M/Y Aquasition and the 145-foot Westship M/Y Fighting Irish.

“He was at his brother’s when he was diagnosed,” Miles said. “He thought he had kidney stone pain but it was liver cancer.”

Although he held a captain’s license, Mr. Siedelhofer enjoyed being in the engine room and had intended to take more courses to advance his Y4 certification, Miles said. He had an engineering mind as well as military training in the U.S. Air Force, which was often put to use on yachts, she added.

Engr. Craig Siedelhofer
Feb 2, 1971- Nov. 17, 2018

“If you’re not early, you’re late” was one of his theories, Miles said. “On board, he would run the deck. It was like, ‘Everyone be quiet, let Craig run things.’”

He had a great sense of humor, and was known for quickly assigning nicknames to fellow crew and friends.

“We use those nicknames for each other, too. I said, ‘I think you should have been a standup comedian.”

Although he enjoyed people, Miles said she joked about his work in the engine room, “ ‘The older you get, the more ornery you get, but it’s perfect – you’re in the engine room and not dealing with guests.’”

Miles said many crew considered him a mentor, including her.

“I’m freelancing now, and during the day I think, ‘I’ve got to tell Craig this.’ He taught me everything – how to tie lines, how to correctly polish, how to 2-step a boat,” Miles said. “He was my best friend. I could vent, share observations or call with funny stuff.”

Mr. Siedelhofer previously was a carpenter and worked in construction, Miles said, and was also an avid fisherman.

Mr. Siedelhofer and Miles had lived in Neptune Group crew accommodations in Fort Lauderdale. The two met while listening to a 1980s tribute band at Dicey Riley’s Irish Pub. She said he loved music, especially blues and Lynyrd Skynyrd, but he played Frank Sinatra to cook one of his specialties: Italian food.

People often commented on his bright green eyes and asked if they were contact lenses, Miles said. And he had some “battle scars” from years of manual labor.

“He was missing a finger nail – it blew off with a nail gun – and he had a bad fall on a boat, fell on his face and had stitches and surgery on his nose,” she said.

Many people will miss him, especially Miles.

“I’m used to him being away,” she said. “But this time he’s not coming home.”

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton. Comments are welcome below.

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About Dorie Cox

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

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5 thoughts on “Engr. Craig Siedelhofer dies of cancer at 47

  1. Lorri

    I took this beautiful picture of Craig, along with many others. 😢 Those beautiful green eyes will be missed every day from here on out . I loved him very much and will always cherish our years together working on yachts and otherwise. I talked to him just before he died, and he felt very optimistic that the new cancer drug he was trying was working well, and was shrinking the tumors inside of him. He kept telling me, that he was a fighter, and that he was going to beat this. “I’m not going out like this Lorri Dawn”, he would say, “Not without a fight! ”
    And I was praying, and hoping, that he was right. And I too felt a great sense of optimism that it was true, as he was most definitely one of the strongest souls I’ve ever met. . 🙏🏼❤️
    We wished each other a Happy Thanksgiving and that was that. 😢How very sad. So so heartbroken. The world has lost a very great man. “All hail da’ King!”
    Rest in peace Montgomery. Rest In Peace. ❤️

  2. US Veteran

    The US Air Force do not have “Privates.” They have Airmen. And Air Force personnel do not serve in the US Navy. The “Indy” was an aircraft carrier decommed in 1998. There is a littoral combat ship (LCS-2) but it wasn’t commissioned until 2010.

  3. Mark Hughey

    Rest in peace Craig and I will see you in the Resurrection after the 1000 year millennium and you will awaken to a whole New World my friend !! 🙏🏻📖

  4. Y. Bud Beaulieu

    I was one of his mentors on engineering as he started in this industry, in the last few years we lost sight of each other due to work.
    I am sad by his passing, he will remain in my memory forever as a good friend.
    We met on M/Y Lady Sandals, I was chief engineer and he was a deckhand. He was fussy about properly folding a flag and if it was my watch he would refold it. He work with me in the engine room and we would joke and have fun.
    He knew how to be serious, or professional, as needed and he was easy going. He would properly wear a uniform because of his military training and at time he was very private and would keep his opinions to himself which is important in this industry.
    He helped me bring my own boat from Connecticut to Fort Lauderdale. Due to bad weather we took the Intracoastal Waterway and it prolonged the trip by several weeks, but he insisted that finish what we started together, even if we were expected on the new job sooner. He was reliable and committed. We had a lot of fun and talked about boot camp and yelled at each other like a drill sergeant. He loved fishing and marine life and the true sailor life. He and his brother were close and shared a house in Kentucky for a while They worked construction and fished commercially on their little boat from New Jersey where he grew up.
    I got him a job as first mate on Ice Bear in Seattle because of his fishing abilities. He loved and made the best of shore leaves with several common friends. He did a trip to Asia in part on a motorcycle and worked on a friend’s ferry boat in a yard with Vietnamese.
    I was always very confident in his abilities, he was a hard worker even in dirty work, always willing to learn and help while keeping to his principles.
    I will miss him greatly,
    Y.Bud Beaulieu

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