Craig Michael Linz, age 47 of Buffalo, Minnesota, passed away Thursday, July 23, 2020, surrounded by his wife and children.
Craig was born on December 24, 1972 to Donald and Patricia (Young) Linz. He graduated from Albany High School in 1991, and attended St. Cloud Technical College, earning a degree in Mechanical Design. He married Stacy Hoffarth on March 16, 1996, and they had two beautiful children, Averi and Conor.
Craig worked for Tetra Pak (formerly Scherping Systems and Carlisle Process Systems), for more than 26 years in Winsted, MN, serving most recently as Customer and Category Manager for Cheese and Whey. His contributions to Tetra Pak and the cheese and dairy industry are numerous and included recognition during his lifetime, recently receiving the 2020 Eggebrecht Award for his drive, good humor and generosity; being a valued member of the “B Team” for the U.S. Championship Cheese Contests; serving on several boards of directors of international, national and regional associations; and two posthumous honors. Craig loved his job, but more importantly he valued the friendships he developed with customers and colleagues.
More than his impressive professional career, Craig was a devoted husband, father, brother, son, uncle and friend. He was the family cook, spending time passing on many of his cooking secrets to his wife and children over the last several months. He was Averi and Conor’s biggest fan. Whether it was extracurricular activities, academic accomplishments, or everyday life moments; he never missed an important event in their lives. Even through treatment, he rarely wasn’t at a game, event, or ready to hear about their day. He recently told them, “The best job I ever had was being your dad”. Craig had a giving heart, calm manner, and a witty sense of humor. He enjoyed spending time with his family, especially going on family vacations, cheering on the Vikings and Twins, annual family deer camp at the farm, fishing, as well as hanging out with friends while enjoying a Bud Light and sharing cheese from his cheese drawer, earning him the nickname “Cheese” in the neighborhood.
Craig is survived by his wife, Stacy; his children, Averi and Conor; the family dog, London; his mother, Patty; brothers and sister, Derrick (Lisa), Paul (Kara), Tresa (Troy) Ringwelski, and Brandon; father and mother-in-law, Marvin and Susan Hoffarth; brothers-in-law, Brad (Gina) and Travis (Molly); 15 nieces and nephews, and many uncles, aunts, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Donald Linz; grandparents, Raymond and Catherine Linz and Leo and Tresa Young.
A public family and friend visitation will be held Tuesday, July 28, 2020 from 9:30 to 11:00 AM at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Buffalo, MN. A private immediate family Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11:00 AM.
Due to today’s circumstances with COVID-19, social distancing and masks are required and all are asked to refrain from hugging Craig’s family.
Serving the family is The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo, MN. 763-682-1363. www.thepetersonchapel.com.