Thermcraft Inc. lost founder Morris L. Crafton on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2019. He was 93.
After military service and a stint in the popcorn machine business, he became a partner in a business that made replacement heating elements. In 1971, Crafton and his wife, Clara, founded Thermcraft on the principal of providing the best customer service available in the thermal processing industry. Crafton took a big risk starting his own company. They secured a small warehouse in downtown Winston-Salem and began making replacement heating elements for industrial and laboratory furnace applications. Crafton handled the manufacturing duties while Clara managed the financial and administrative tasks. Thermcraft served those who were starving for top-notch customer service and a quality product. Thermcraft moved to its current facility in 1979, just a few miles south to the edge of Winston-Salem. Through new product development and various acquisitions, the Craftons began to grow Thermcraft into the company it is today.
Clara died from cancer in 1995. Crafton eventually turned the reigns of Thermcraft over to his son, Tom, but that didn’t stop Crafton from being involved in the day-to-day business. He continued to drive himself to work well into his early 90s. Crafton will be remembered as a strong leader with a good sense of humor who was kind and generous to those around him.