In Memory of Craig Tarr

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Craig Allen Tarr, age 60, died tragically on April 24, 2020, along with his son, Amory Tarr. Craig was born on March 2, 1960 in Aikin, MN to Gerald and Betty (Linn) Tarr. Craig graduated from Park Center HS and attended the University of MN. He later transferred to Colorado State University at Fort Collins, graduating with a BSME with minors in solar and wind engineering. After graduation, Craig returned to Minneapolis and started his career with a corporate engineering firm. His dream of sharing wind and solar energy with others began in 1994, when he left the corporate world and founded Energy Concepts Inc, in Hudson, WI, where his passion and vision continue on.

Craig was passionate about many things in life – travel, nature, music, cooking, and most of all his children, Amory and Ariel, who he shared with former spouse, Kathleen Allen.

Craig is survived by daughter, Ariel Tarr (Aiden Beck), mother Betty Tarr, brother Ken (Beth) Tarr, partner Jill Defoe, nieces and nephew. He is preceded in death by his father, Gerald Tarr.

Craig served as a board member of the Will Steger Wilderness Center in Ely, MN, with much joy. A scholarship fund has been established there in Craig and Amory Tarr’s name.

Craig's Tribute Wall

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  • I’ve known Craig for about 15 years.
    Mostly related to the renewable energy
    Industry. Recently we have worked
    together on a couple Solar Thermal Energy projects.
    Since the Solar Thermal Energy industry
    has eroded away of late. I and Craig have kept
    this industry alive. It gives me no comfort
    that I will face this industry without
    Craig’s wisdom and astute knowledge.
    Rest in Peace my friend.

  • I had been friends and colleagues with Craig for 30 years. I met Craig at my first career position of mechanical engineer, at a Minneapolis consulting firm, where Craig was one of my first mentors. Later, we continued to collaborate as he assisted in the successful design of many of my firm’s projects Personally, we enjoyed various adventures together including boating on the St.Croix, family game feed, hiking and hunting. His intelligence, desire to learn and create while minimizing his footprint was an inspiration. He never seemed afraid of a challenge. Craig gained many friends and earned the respect of many industry experts in related, and sometimes unrelated, fields of study through his too short journey through life.

    Craig was the antithesis of the poindexter pencil-protector engineer. He had a great sense of humor, a bold sense of honesty and often couldn’t (and wouldn’t) be bothered with the petty notions of others. Often, Craig told it like it was, without too much fuss over what others thought of him. He once showed up to a business meeting, (at a time when many showed up in jacket & tie), well prepared and ready to go wearing bermuda shorts, purple socks, and sandals.

    Craig always found interesting ways to weave his professional and personal life together, successfully meeting and exceeding his personal goals. His bond and respect for nature and the world around him led him to create Energy Concepts allowing him to lead by example, walk the walk, and talk the talk. He Loved his family and friends and genuinely only wanted the best for them. Craig will be sorely missed by many and especially by me.

  • Craig Tarr was my childhood best friend growing up in Brooklyn Park. We did everything together as young kids growing up from biking all over the neighborhood, camping, fishing, snowmobiling, you name it. Craig was always very smart as well. If anyone could get straight A’s in everything, it was Craig Tarr. As we grew older and began our own lives we somewhat lost touch with one another other than a few facebook exchanges. I was very proud to see the achievements Craig had made in his life and his vision for a better future for all of us. He will be greatly missed.

  • I have known Craig since perhaps 1992 when he worked for Michaud Cooley. I hired him many times afrer he started his own firm Energy Concepts. We both actually designed the Ice Arena at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. I did the refrigeration systems and Craig designed the ice sheet and other functions. Kind of amazing two small firms design the Ice rink for the US Naval Academy and we beat out all those high end firms on the East Coast. I will sadly miss him and hope more details come forward regarding his untimely death.

  • Craig was a fun, energetic, and creative force in the solar PV world of Minnesota and Wisconsin. For the past several years Craig has been Sundial’s primary electrical engineer, helping us to navigate the challenges of large commercial and industrial solar installations while making things work with the utility and inspectors alike. He had an uncanny knack for deciphering code language that would have been overlooked by the typical engineer. Craig and Amory both were very instrumental in helping us get the Edison High School solar projects completed.

    I met Craig about 8 years ago in an electrical code class and we hit it off right from the start. Shortly thereafter Sundial donated and installed the solar system at the Steger WIlderness Center in Ely. When I told Craig about it, he was so taken with the Center’s mission that he and his business Energy Concepts dove right in and helped. Will Steger was so impressed with Craig’s knowledge and dedication that he asked him to join his Board of Directors, a position he held for some years.

    Craig and I developed a caring friendship and would sometimes get together just to talk about nature and philosophy. We had a unique way of keeping in touch regardless of where on the globe we were. Whenever he or I traveled to some exotic local, we’d call each other up and say – “Guess where I am now!…” which was soon followed up with “Man, you should just drop everything and join me!” We had plans to vacation together later this year, exploring and camping along the Big Sur coast.

    This terrible tragedy reminds us that life is forever precious.
    We need to live every moment as if it might be our last.

  • Craig will be missed. I knew him as a colleague in the renewable energy industry. He was a person with a great vision of how to make this world a better place to live.