Funeral Service For Mary Craig

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Mary Elisabeth King Craig, formerly of Livingston and Basking Ridge, died at the age of 88 in Sarasota, Florida on July 8. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 19, at Toale Brothers Funeral Homes in Sarasota, Florida. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Mrs. Craig moved as a small child with her family to Montclair. At the age of 13, in French class in Montclair, she met her future husband, John F. Craig, Jr. Neither of them ever dated anyone else. While Mr. Craig's battalion was in the Philippines, she was elected, “Miss Third Battalion” based on a photo he had submitted. She did not even know that he had nominated her until she read about her new title in the local newspaper. During Mr. Craig's three years with the 86th Infantry (Blackhawks), including combat in Europe and service in the Philippines, his future wife wrote to him every single day, and he wrote back to her as often as the war allowed, signing his letters, “Love, Johnny.” She saved all of his letters to her, tied in bundles with silk ribbons, in a locked wooden box under their bed. Their daughter found the box two years ago. The box and its contents became the centerpiece of a feature article in the Sarasota Herald Tribune in honor of Veterans’ Day, 2013, entitled, “Love, Johnny.” Mrs. Craig was graduated from from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, in 1947, with a degree in elementary education. The couple married in June of 1949 and made their home in New Jersey until they moved to Florida in 2012. After a short career as a kindergarten teacher, she retired in 1950 to raise her family. Predeceased by her husband of 63 years, John Farrell Craig, Jr., who died in 2012, Mrs. Craig is survived by two sons, John "Chip" Craig of Venice, Florida, and William H. Craig of Chatham; a daughter, Cynthia Craig of Longboat Key, Florida, formerly of Livingston; five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
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