Rodkey Craighead, Jr.

  • Born: January 25, 1948
  • Died: May 17, 2017
  • Location: New Hampshire

Cate & Johnson Funeral Home

243 Hanover Street
Manchester, NH 03104
Tel. (603) 625-5777

Tribute & Message From The Family

Rodkey “Rod” Craighead Jr. was known as a lawyer, sailor, husband, partner, brother, father, grandfather and friend, but these titles do not alone accurately describe the man he was. Rod was an exceptional human being full of love, generosity, kindness, fun, and adventure. He touched the lives of many people, both personally and professionally.

Rod was born in 1948 and grew up in Michigan. He was a multi-sport athlete, older brother to his two sisters, Virginia “Ginner” Craighead Brooks and Corinne “Cori” Cost, and leader of an unofficial high school group with his friends known as the “Big 10”. He graduated from Valparaiso University, and then enlisted and served in the United States Coast Guard. He went on and graduated from Franklin Pierce Law Center in 1980 and practiced as a criminal defense attorney for over 36 years. Rod dedicated his life to helping others, whether it was as a defense attorney or as the best father and husband, always there for his family.

Rod died on May 17th survived by his wife, Joanne Craighead, his children, Sarah O’Donovan, Alexander Craighead and Joseph Craighead and his son-in-law, Michael O’Donovan, and his grandchildren, Thomas, Julia and Catherine O’Donovan. Also surviving him are many cousins, nieces and nephews. His son, Andrew Craighead, predeceased him on April 17th. His family is comforted in that he has been reunited with his son, Andy.

Please join us for a celebration of Rod’s life on Sunday, June 4th, beginning at 12: 00 pm at the Executive Court Banquet Facility located at 1199 South Mammoth Road, Manchester, NH. Please dress in casual attire.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that gifts may be made to the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at DHMC, 1 Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH 03756.

To sign our online guestbook please go to

Condolence & Memory Journal


I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your son and husband.  I have not seen you in some time and thus was unaware.  Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Christine Gordon

Posted by Christine Gordon    July 24, 2017

Dear Joanne:

My heart goes out to you and your family.  You have been in my prayers.

Love, Cindy Gilman

Posted by Cindy Gilman    June 03, 2017

Joanne, Alex and Joey,
I am so sorry for your loss! Your Dad was one of a kind and you guys were one of my favorite Smyth Rd families. I am thinking of all of you!

Posted by Jennifer Briggs - Manchester, NH   June 02, 2017

Joann and family - So very sorry for your loss. Every time I was with Rod he made me feel better, there was always a laugh as well.

Posted by Dave Bailinson    June 02, 2017

Joanne, sorry for your loss my thoughts are with you Gary LeBlanc

Posted by A friend   May 27, 2017

Joanne and family- We are so sorry for the loss of Rodney and your son.Our prayers are with you. Love Mike and Linda Dexter

Posted by A friend   May 27, 2017

Dear Joanne, I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of Rod. Please know I have you, your kids and your family in my thoughts and prayers during this terribly difficult time. I hope knowing that so many friends are thinking of you will help be a small comfort.

Posted by Cathy Shanelaris - Nashua, NH   May 27, 2017

Joanne, please accept my heartfelt sympathies on Rodkeys untimely passing. I can't imagine the challenges you have endured personally the past year especially. Of course, if there's anything I can do to help , please know to call. In memory of your husband, Jerome

Posted by Jerome Duval - Manchester, NH - friend   May 27, 2017

My hearts and prayers are with you Joanne and the children at this time. He was an amazing man and I will miss seeing him and our talks about sports and how are kids were doing.


Posted by A friend   May 27, 2017

Tom & I were so very sorry to read of Rod's passing.  Our prayers and healing thoughts are with you and all your family.  Two trajic passings so very close, so sad and hard to bear.  Go with God and know family and friends are thinking of you and yours.

Posted by susan Clay & thomas Speck    May 26, 2017

Dear J0anne; Our hearts are filled with compassion for the hardships you are experiencing. However, I know you are a strong parson who will both take and give comfort to her family. ED MOQUIN

Posted by Edward Moquin - Bedford, NH   May 26, 2017

Dear Joanna and boys,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. We are so sorry to hear that Rodkey passed away. Love Deanna and marc

Posted by Deanna Belair - Strafford, NH   May 26, 2017

Joanne, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

                 Rene and Cindy Therrien

Posted by rene therrien    May 25, 2017

Joanne, So sorry to hear about Rod's death.

Posted by A friend   May 25, 2017

Joanne - I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

Posted by Laurie Gill - Manchester, NH   May 25, 2017

joanne !!!! my thoughts and prayers are with you and family .....sincere condoleance martine

Posted by martine daigle - manchester, NH   May 25, 2017

Joanne and family, my deepest condolences for your loss. My thoughts and prayers to all of you

Posted by Josée Vachon - Framingham, MA   May 25, 2017

To Rod's family please accept my condolences. I had the privilege to work with Rod for many years. Rod made his mark on NH and will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace.

Posted by Chief (Ret.) Ira Migdal - Hopkinton, NH   May 25, 2017

Joanne- Our thoughts, prayers and our deepest condolences to you and your family.

Posted by Kim & David Magarian - Manchester, NH   May 25, 2017

Joanne, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Rene and Cindy Therrien

Posted by A friend   May 25, 2017

Joanne. Very sorry for your loss. Warren Cass

Posted by Warren Cass - Clayton,, NC   May 24, 2017

Joanne and family - we're both very sad to read of Rod's passing. I'll always remember dinner at Shorty's. Rod was a great guy, a gifted lawyer, and a good friend. You're all in our thoughts & prayers.

Marlene Lein & Pat Kisselburg.

Posted by A friend   May 24, 2017

Joanne and family, I agree with all of the wonderful and touching things that others here have said. He was a great guy and a gifted and effective attorney. He will be very missed. Paul Gagnon

Posted by Paul Gagnon - Manchester, NH   May 24, 2017

Joanne, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I have known Rod for the past 30 years when I worked for the Sheriff's office in Hillsborough County. He was always a gentleman and someone that I had the utmost respect for. He will be sorely missed. Rest in peace Rod. You served your time well.

Posted by Bill Barry - Manchester, NH   May 24, 2017

Dear Joanne and family. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you all.

Posted by Jan Chapman - Milford, NH   May 24, 2017

Joanne, we are so sorry to hear of your loss. May he rest in the peace of the Lord and may God give you and your family comfort and consolation in this time. Our prayers are with you all. Fred & Joanne Rivard

Posted by A friend   May 24, 2017

Joanne and family, sorry for your loss. ~ Rob Mitchell

Posted by Rob Mitchell - York, ME   May 24, 2017

Joanne & Family:
Rod was a wonderful man and loved by many. Cherish the memories as he will be forever in your hearts. Take Care.

Posted by Sue & Dave Bouthiette - Manchester, NH   May 24, 2017

Joanne and family, I am so sad to hear of Rod's passing. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Posted by MaryEllen McGorry - MA   May 24, 2017

Dear Joanne,

My deepest condolences to you and your family during this difficult and painful time. Rod sounded like a wonderful human being. Anything you need, I'll be there.

Posted by lisa hirsh    May 23, 2017

Dear Joanne,

This is on behalf of my mom and dad, they do no have a computer and wanted to make sure their condolences were sent. They both loved Rod and his company. It's a consolation knowing he is with his son. He will be missed by all of us. Wish you and your sons the best going forward in this difficult time.

Posted by Roland and Yolande Laprise    May 23, 2017

Dear Joanne, so sorry for your loss! I've always enjoyed Rod's company when I had the opportunity/privilege of being with you two and you're family.  He was always personable and enjoyed being with people. My heart goes out for you and your family.

Posted by Serge M Laprise    May 23, 2017

Dear Cousin Joanne:

We are deeply saddened by the loss that you and your family have encountered. Our hearts go out to you during this trying time and may our prayers serve as comfort to you and your loved ones.  If there's anything that we can do, just reach out any time.

Posted by Sara & Mike D'Anjou    May 23, 2017

Rod was a remarkable man with a kind and gentle soul. He was a good friend and mentor when I was first entering the legal world. He will be missed by many. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Joanne.

Posted by Melanie Conley - Manchester, NH   May 23, 2017

My heart is broken for your loss, Joanne! So soon after losing Andy...You are in my prayers for comfort and peace for you and your family!

Posted by Irene Vincent - Manchester, NH   May 23, 2017

Truly a remarkable man. We will always have fond memories of Rod. Love and prayers to the family.

Posted by Souzanne Skladony - Weare, NH   May 23, 2017

Dear Joanne,

Our hearts go out to you and your sons.  You are in our thoughts and prayers.  As you say, Rod and Andy are together.  Remember the happy times and take good care of yourselves.

Peace, Lynne & David

Posted by Lynne Bishop    May 22, 2017

Dear Joanne,

I will always be so grateful to Rod and you for all you did for my daughter, Melanie.  She was so blessed to have you both as her mentor and friend.

Praying that the Lord's peace will bring you comfort at this sad time.


Posted by Mary Smart    May 22, 2017

Dear Joanne, Joey, Alex and Sarah.  Brian and I are so sorry for your loss. We both have so many wonderful memories of your family at Smyth Rd School. Always a smile from Rod, and lots of goodies, for the After School Program.  Always thinkg of  how to help others. We wish we had the correct words that would relate our true feelings. Please, if there is anything we can do for you or your family, just reach out. We are both thinking and praying for you all.   Dee & Brian

Posted by DEE JONES & BRIAN MITCHELL    May 22, 2017