Yesterday, January 12th, 2012 we attended a mass at San Andres Church in Ajijic, for our dear friend, Craig Rothwell, and then a memorial to celebrate his life at his horse ranch on Lake Chapala in Ajijic.
It was a most impressive day for a most impressive man. When we arrived at the church there was a horse guard in the patio and later Craig’s ashes arrived on horseback with his saddle, hat, coat and blanket. He was escorted down the aisle of the church which was filled with many gringos and even more Mexicans. During the mass friends and family took turns standing by his ashes and it was a beautiful service with even more beautiful music.
After the mass Craig was again on horseback with his wife, Sandi, beside him and who escorted him with the horse guard home. It was indeed a very impressive yet somber spectacle.
Later at the Rothwell horse ranch and hacienda there was a memorial service with lots of wonderful pictures of the life well lived by Craig, his wife, family, friends and, of course, horses and dogs.
The ashes arrived in the lienzo and were presented to a trusted friend who placed them on an altar rife with lilies again with Craig’s saddle, hat, coat and blanket.
The Mariachi’s lead by Tito Hinojosa played during this procession. There were several speakers including Craig’s older brother who spoke for the Rothwell family. Then others were offered an opportunity to share any thoughts they might have about Craig.
I was particularly moved by several things. The fact that people had come from all over the world to pay their respects to Craig and the wonderful stories they told of a titan of business as well as a man of integrity with a heart of gold who lived life to the fullest. Craig had many Mexican friends and another aspect of the day was when there was a riding pass his ashes to say final goodbye by Mexicans and non-Mexicans as one.
Craig was a man who lived his dream when he moved with his wife to Ajijic and finally purchased a lovely property for his beloved horses. He was a great friend to so many and he was known as a man of integrity and honor in everything he did be it business or pleasure. So many said he helped them strive to live a better and more giving life.
There were a lot of tears yesterday but many smiles too as Craig was a larger than life figure who none of us who knew him will ever forget. He will always be missed and remembered with great affection.
You are in our hearts always, Craig. We love you.