Craig was born on Nov. 3, 1949, in McRoss, WV, to Allyne and Haven Chinault.
Growing up in West Virginia, he enjoyed hiking and hunting with his father, brothers and grandfathers. Fishing was also a family affair. He was raised with strong Christian values that remained with him throughout his life. From a young age, he was an incredibly hard worker, helping his mother around the house, delivering newspapers, bailing hay and mowing lawns. Craig also participated in Little League baseball, Cub Scouts and he lettered in high school basketball. He was always an avid reader, and read any book he could get his hands on, particularly once he set his sights on attending college.
His hard work soon began to pay off with recognition of his academic achievements, starting in 1963 when he became a Knight of the Golden Horseshoe in West Virginia. In 1967, he graduated from Peterstown High School as Valedictorian and was honored as a National Merit Scholar, recognizing his outstanding performance and promise of future academic achievement.
In 1971, Craig graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Chemistry, once again in the top of his class. He then received a Graduate Fellowship from the National Science Foundation to attend the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After receiving his Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry from MIT, he became a National Institute of Health Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1979. From there, he moved to Houston, TX, where he began teaching and performing scientific research at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), focusing on DNA sequences that controlled the start of DNA replication and mammalian chromosome X-inactivation. At this time, he was also an Associate Investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at BCM. Craig mentored many graduate students and post docs in their scientific pursuits and collaborated with scientists around the world.
In 1991, Craig became the Director of Graduate Studies and Chairman of the Graduate Education Committee in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics at BCM. He went on to become a full professor at BCM in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He received the Dean’s Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Education in 1999. In addition to teaching, Craig reviewed grants for many notable foundations, including the American Cancer Society. His work has been published in at least 130 peer-reviewed scientific journals. Following his career in academia, he became the Director of Research and Development at GeneDx in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where he worked until retirement.
Alongside his other accomplishments, he was also a devoted husband to his wife, Barbie, and proud father to his daughters, Lauren and Alena. His girls could always count on him for anything, and he loved taking them hiking, on bike rides and to the zoo. He was at every 5 a.m. swim practice and recorded every dance recital. They loved exploring Texas together as a family. Craig also enjoyed traveling, photography, playing squash, following all of his favorite sports teams, walking, and continuous learning. He always had a witty sense of humor and could outsmart anyone in a puzzle.
Craig will be remembered for his brilliance, generous nature, dedication, humility and loyalty. He will forever live on in our hearts.
Craig is survived by his loving wife, Barbie Boggs, and his two daughters, Lauren Chinault and Alena Chinault (Javier). He is also survived by his mother, Allyne May Boggs Chinault, and his two brothers, Neil Chinault (Chuckie) and Dale Chinault, along with nieces Lisa Schreiner, Sharon Young, Diana Branton and Melissa Chinault.
He was preceded in death by his father, Haven Chinault, and his grandparents, Lonnie Chinault and Lottie King Chinault, John V. Boggs Sr. and Bessie Keys Boggs.
Funeral services will be held Sunday, Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. at Wallace Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations (if desired) can be made to The American Heart Association or the U.S. National Park Service.
Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home in Lewisburg is in charge of arrangements.
Please send online condolences by visiting www.WallaceandWallaceFH.com