Stihl distributor mourns passing of founder and CEO

Donald D. Crader, founder and CEO of Crader Distributing Co. in Marble Hill, Mo., and its sister organization, Blue Mountain Equipment in McKinney, Texas, passed away Feb. 23 at Southeast Hospital. He was 81.

Crader Distributing Co. has done business with many family-owned Stihl dealers for about 50 years. What started with the sale of a few chain saws out of Don Crader’s trunk has been built into one of the largest Stihl sales and distribution organizations in the world.

Don was born Jan. 2, 1933, in St. Louis, son of Buford Lawrence and Leora Back Crader. He and Nancy Dewitt were married July 19, 1952. She passed away Aug. 12, 1996. He then married Saundra Felty on Feb. 28, 1997.

He was a member of the Gideons, a supporter of the Southeast Missouri State University Foundation, and a member of Harmony Congregational Methodist Church.

Survivors include his wife, Saundra of Marble Hill; two sons, Stan (Debbie) Crader of Jackson and Val (Soni) Crader of Burfordville; two daughters, Teri (Mike) Basnett of Fulton, Mo., and Becky (Clay) Hurst of Jackson; three stepsons, the Rev. Randy (Paula) Sawyer of Fredericktown, Mo., Tom (Kim) Sawyer of Marble Hill and Dean (Chris) Sawyer of Whitewater; a sister, Carole Mornin of St. Louis; 15 grandchildren; seven stepgrandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Kenneth; and a sister, Barbara Powers.

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