Obituary and Condolences

Craig Zwerling
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Obituary for Craig Zwerling

Craig Zwerling, dear husband of Nancy Sprince, died on August 9, 2017 after a long illness. Craig was one of the first baby-boomers, born in Brooklyn on June 24, 1946 to Lillian (Chaplin) Zwerling and Bernard Zwerling. He was an avid Brooklyn Dodger fan and math whiz, entering Harvard College at the age of 16. Craig loved reading and learning, earning a BA, two master’s degrees, and a PhD from Harvard University. His final degree was an M.D. from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, which led him to a career in Occupational and Environmental Health and Traumatic Injury Prevention.

Craig and Nancy married on June 6, 1982. Craig loved their children, Aaron and Beth, at all their ages, but especially loved playing with them as babies, sparking his lifelong talent of talking for the preverbal. Craig was one of the first sports runners, jogging along the Charles River in his Converse sneakers, before the invention of running shoes. He was a vegetarian for ethical reasons before Diet for a Small Planet was published. As a young man, he was an avid mountain hiker and rock-climber. He loved telling the story of his hiking group who, at the top of their climb up Mount Washington, built and lived in an igloo for three days.

Craig was instrumental in the formation of the University of Iowa College of Public Health, serving as inaugural Head of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health. His early research provided a scientific basis to evaluate both workplace injury prevention and pre-employment drug-testing. His later scholarly contributions, leadership and advocacy helped the field of traumatic injury prevention grow. Although he had over 100 research publications, he would want to be remembered for his dedication to helping colleagues, junior faculty and students succeed in the interests of public health, safe workplaces and environments, and prevention of traumatic injuries.

Craig is survived by his wife, Nancy Sprince; his children, Aaron and Beth Zwerling; his brother and sister-in-law Marc Zwerling and Nancy Gordon-Zwerling; and his sister and brother-in-law Maura and Dr. Frank Weitzman. He is also survived by his dear nieces and nephew, a great-niece, and many dear friends.

Services are scheduled for 2PM Sunday, August 13, at Agudas Achim Congregation, 401 East Oakdale Boulevard, Coralville, IA.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Craig Zwerling and Nancy L. Sprince Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Scholarship Fund, the Social Justice Sprince Zwerling Scholarship Fund, both at the University of Iowa Foundation or Agudas Achim Congregation in Coralville, Iowa.

The family would like to thank the many people who supported them throughout Craig’s illness. The family gives special thanks to the dedicated and caring Oaknoll Health Center staff, who became like a second family in their loving care for Craig.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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Previous Events





2:00 PM
Agudas Achim Congregation

401 Oakdale Boulevard
Coralville, IA 52241

Cemetery Details


Agudas Achim Cemetery

Linder Road
Iowa City, IA 52245


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