Cover photo for Joel Miller Craig's Obituary
Joel Miller Craig Profile Photo
1954 Joel 2022

Joel Miller Craig

November 20, 1954 — October 23, 2022

Joel Miller Craig

November 20, 1954 - October 23, 2022

Durham, North Carolina – Joel Miller Craig of Durham, N.C. passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, October 23, 2022. He was 67 years old.

Joel was a Durham native. He grew up next door to his grandmother on Erwin Road in the Hollow Rock community, and attended Hope Valley Elementary School, Sherwood Githens Junior High School and C.E. Jordan Senior High School, where he sang in the jazz band, and met his beloved wife, Kimberly Stokes Craig

Joel earned his B.A. in History at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1977, and his J.D. from UNC School of Law in 1980, and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Order of the Coif academic honorary societies, and a member of the staff of the North Carolina Law Review. In 1980 Joel joined the law firm of Newsom, Graham, Hedrick & Kennon, P.A., then the largest and longest operating law firm in Durham, eventually becoming a partner. In 2003, Joel and several other attorneys struck out on their own, opening the new firm of Kennon, Craver, Belo, Craig & McKee, PLLC in Durham.

Over almost forty years of practice, Joel litigated medical malpractice, personal injury, commercial disputes, and civil rights cases in state and federal courts across North Carolina. In addition to his hard work and advocacy on behalf of his clients - including the City of Durham - Joel was also a personal and professional counselor to the members of his own firm, providing thoughtful guidance and support in difficult situations.

Across hundreds of cases, including numerous jury trials and arguments before the North Carolina Court of Appeals, North Carolina Supreme Court, and The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Joel took special care in advocating for his clients, developing lifelong friendships with those he represented and advised. Joel was an active member of the North Carolina Bar Association (Litigation and Health Law), Defense Research Institute, and N.C. Defense Attorneys Association.

Joel was an avid Carolina Tarheels fan and alum, a long-time member of the Durham Rotary Club, and a dedicated husband and father. Joel loved to travel with his family, especially to hike and paddle in the North Carolina mountains. For the past decade, he has enjoyed traveling to visit his children in California, Connecticut, Louisiana, and Washington state. He always took these opportunities to explore the outdoors, and sample the local food and beer. At home, Joel enjoyed cooking, going for walks on the American Tobacco Trail and Triangle Land Conservancy trails, and gathering with his extended family. Joel was a devoted husband for 44 years, a loving and supportive father and new grandfather, and uncle and great-uncle to nieces and nephews and their spouses and children. Joel was predeceased by his mother, Carolyn Miller Warden and father, Joseph William Craig. Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 44 years,Kimberly “Kim” Stokes Craig of Durham, three children, Lauren Craig McCloy (Kellar), of Twisp, Wash., John “Jack” Thomas Craig (Sarah), of Old Lyme, Conn., and Davis William Craig (Haley), of Raleigh, N.C., granddaughter Ruby Gael McCloy of Twisp, Wash., brother Jeffrey Craig of Raleigh, N.C., and sisters Julie Lebria, of Raleigh, N.C., and Janis Warren, of Charleston, S.C.

The Craig family would like to thank close family friends Tom and Janet Cheek, Jeff and Sheila Hill, as well as the many friends, neighbors, colleagues, medical staff and caregivers who have supported Joel and his family, especially Dr. Henry Friedman’s team at the Duke Tisch Brain Tumor Center. We are forever grateful for your compassion and generosity.

Joel was a kind, humble, practical, and family-oriented man, and a dedicated husband, father, and new grandfather. He did so much for our family, and he meant the world to us. We will forever cherish the memories we have of our lives with him.

A service to celebrate his life will be held on Monday, November 7th at 2:00 pm at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 3639 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC 27707. The Craig family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Triangle Land Conservancy. To donate, mail a check to 514 S Duke St, Durham NC 27701 or visit for details.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joel Miller Craig, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 0

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree