Katherine F. Craig

Katherine Frances Craig (Holman)

“Kathy”

Sunrise July 17, 1946
Sunset  September 3, 2018

Kathy Craig possessed a wondrous and childlike joy of seeing the world that made her beloved by all who knew her.

Kathy was born in Columbus, Ohio and raised in Worthington, Ohio. She was the daughter of Mildred Jean Jackson (Johnson) of Columbus and Thomas Jackson Holman, Sr. She was raised alongside and is survived by brother Thomas Jackson Holman, Jr. to whom she lovingly referred to as her “baby brother”. Her Worthington residency was very special to Kathy as it gave her a true sense of community and belonging; as a member of St. John AME Church, as a full graduate of Worthington Public Schools (1964), and as part of several extended families, including The Fields, The Charles,The Fluellens, The Thomases and The Beattys. The black families of Worthington welcomed Kathy as a sister, a daughter, and most importantly, a friend. Those relationships would have impact throughout Kathy’s life.

Kathy graduated from Thomas Worthington High School and would go on to graduate The Ohio State University with a degree in education with plans of becoming an educator. She developed two unique relationships in college; with Alvenia Rhea Albright of Urbancrest and Naperville, IL with whom Kathy would build a lifelong sisterhood and sharing of significant family occasions; and Barbie Feuer (Stern) with whom she would eventually enter the teaching profession; both women making a pact to teach together at the same school, Moler Elementary of Columbus.

 

She married Joseph Clark Harris and together in September of 1967 had a son, Troy Anthony Harris of Columbus, who survives his mother. Troy was always the special joy in Kathy’s life and she was very supportive of her son throughout his life. She endowed her son with a love of the arts and was a consistent presence at his performances in theater and music. She supported his choral efforts by single handedly producing a variety show and concert at his Columbus Brookhaven High School, so that Troy could travel through Europe as a singing member of the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir. Kathy always encouraged her son to live and pursue his dreams, and bestowed a fascination in him with new opportunities for discovery.

Following the dissolve of her marriage, Kathy found love again and married Gilbert Marion “Gibbey” Craig, Jr. of Gallipolis. Father “Big Gibbey” treated Kathy and son Troy immediately as family and Kathy called him “Dad”. Gallipolis would become a second hometown for Kathy, once again being welcomed as an extended family member of the black community and a member of the Paint Creek Baptist Church, in which she and Gibbey would start the F.O.C.U.S. Group to encourage community dialogue and community service interests. She would also contribute regularly to the Gallipolis Daily Tribune. In Gallipolis, she became “one of the family”with The Dosses, The Armstrongs, The Hogans, The Gilmores and The Gordons, amongst many other families in her beloved town down south. Kathy was most proud of Gallia County’s annual celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation and consistently reflected on its importance to our education and knowledge of history.

Kathy would leave the teaching profession and go on to several positions and roles within the Federal government. While carrying her son and attending college, she was employed by the Defense Construction Supply Center. She would go on to becoming a claims adjuster with the Social Security Administration in Columbus and Gallipolis, and eventually to the work that would define her later life working with the United States Postal Service. Kathy’s work with the Post Office would prove to be significant in that not only was she able to earn her income, but she would become a pivotal community member and representative of the local organization, working annually to help produce and perform with its annual Martin Luther King Jr. program.

Above and well beyond her professional work, Kathy was a lover of God. She was a devout and devoted Christian and would use her performing talents in service to Him. She was a poet, renowned throughout family and friends for composing special poems to commemorate life’s special occasions and as remembrances to any who wanted their lives reflected in poetic form. She was known throughout the city for her license plate
“A POET” and she would take extra care to not only write the poems but would decorate, frame, deliver and orate each of her works. Her poems became treasures to anyone who received them and with that work she would bring such joy into people’s lives, hearing their stories told in poetry.

She also had a love of American Sign Language and would incorporate sign language movement into dance interpretations of gospel music. Kathy performed statewide and regionally throughout a great many number of churches and other religious functions and organizations always as a ready-to-go performer. She made a whole network of friends throughout the dance ministry community and she took great pains to prepare all of her performance pieces.

Kathy was a longtime member of New Salem Baptist Church and towards the end of her life become a member of Linden Life Fellowship Church under Pastors Art Gray and Mark Brereton. Kathy was very proud of her Linden Life membership and was a regular welcome greeter to the Church.

Kathy is survived by aunt Sylvia Hughes of Columbus and uncle Bill Dawson, Sr. of Columbus. Cousins Karen Hartley (Columbus), Frances Jenkins (California) and Billy Dawson (Marion) and wife Ann. Nieces Kelli Holman with daughters Ashlee, Amber and Amanda Holman and Angela Bretz (Holman) of Columbus with husband Kevin Bretz and son Trenton. Cousins Monica and Craig Roberson of Columbus, as well as their shared children. Kathy had a recognized god-daughter, Allison Cranford and grand-daughter LaVita Harris of Columbus. As Kathy was considered a part of so many families throughout Ohio, there are many who are grieving her loss and the family thanks everyone who became a rich part of Kathy’s abundant life.

Kathy died on September 3, 2018 following a debilitating bout with brain cancer that was diagnosed in June of 2018. She died in Mt. Carmel East Hospital in Columbus. Throughout her degeneration and fight with cancer, Kathy was surrounded throughout her hospital and stays with loving family members and friends who consistently ensured that Kathy was never alone. The family would like to give special thanks to Tammy Stein of Delaware, along with sons Josiah and Caleb, Judy (Footnote), Christina Hutchens, Delilah Triplett, Carollyn Martin, Edna Cranford and the Martin family, Esther Thomas Owens and the Thomas family as well as the other family and community members that visited and showed love and support.

Kathy was a greatest example of oneself surrounding themselves with love, support and compassion and building family out of love. No one was a stranger to Kathy Craig in her life and every life was valuable and important. She had many lessons to teach the world and was taken from this life far too soon.

Visitation 11:00am and Funeral 12:00pm Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at Marlan J. Gary Funeral Home, The Chapel of Peace East, 5456 E. Livingston Ave

Condolence Messages

  1. We lost a ray of sunshine with the passing of Kathy. I worked with her at the Main Post Office in the 1990’s and have fond memories of our always positive conversations about our families and work. I had the pleasure of running into Kathy at a Little Theatre Off Broadway production just a few years ago (To Kill a Mockingbird, I think) and she was just as sweet as ever. Talk about first impressions–my wife met her there for the first time and when she saw Kathy’s picture in the obituary she cried, “Oh, my!” because she had been so moved by her only encounter with Kathy and actually recognized her! Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family and friends. Love to all! Ron and Tammy Miller

  2. Pastor E. LaMarr Scales

    Dance with the angels, My dear sister. Continue to unite us through your legacy. My life has been blessed to have known and minister with you. I will carry you in my heart forever…

  3. Kathy was truly a very special person. I will always remember her with a smile on her face and a sincere interest in others. She will be missed!

    Go with God sweet Kathy.

  4. My sincere condolences are offered to “Kathy’s” family and friends. I came upon this beautifully written story of Kathy’s life, a person whom I do not know, by accident(?). Her written story pulled me in to the end. I have no doubt that she will be missed by all and has left everyone with beautiful memories. Love is lasting!

  5. I have many sweet memories of growing up in Worthington. I went all through school with Kathy and she was a happy, fun part of our class. My condolences to her family and friends.

  6. Mary Denney Minister

    My deepest sympathies to Kathy’s family. She was a valued classmate to all of us who enjoyed her friendship at Thomas Worthington High School, Class of 1964. She brought so much joy to gatherings through the years. I will miss her.

  7. Minister Brenda C. Sherrell

    (Member of Unity Christian Fellowship Church, Bishop Chris Crump)
    To the family: Sending my condolences, love, and prayers to you during this difficult time. It, too, is difficult for me. I met Minister Kathy some years ago and we just clicked. I did flag ministry at that time and she brought her signing ministry to our church many times. I loved supporting the various ministries she would invite me to. I love her spirit and her love for the Lord and His ministry through her. I will miss her so! I do thank God for the opportunity to meet Minister Kathy and the friendship that was birthed through one divine intervention by God.

  8. Susan Allison Brady

    Kathy is missed by all of her Worthington 1964 classmates. She was a joyful, loving person who made everyone feel special. Heaven is a happier place to have her grace.

  9. Andrea G. Donaldson

    Dear Troy and Family,

    You are all in our thoughts and we pray that Kathy’s legacy of love will continue with each of you.
    God continue to bless and keep you all during this very difficult time.
    With our Deepest Sympathy.
    Andrea and Bill Donaldson

  10. Thinking of the family with warm thoughts and prayers. How comforting it is to know that Jehovah the God of comfort will eliminate all grief and provide permanent consolation when all those in the memorial tombs will come out. John 5:28&29.

  11. I have the fondest memories of Kathy from all my childhood visits in Worthington with family, the Joneses. As adults, it was always exciting when we ran into each other. Our last time together was at the Women’s Day of Prayer 2017. Rest In Peace dear Kathy.

  12. Kathy u will be missed u always said that you will marry Jesus over and over again..rest.

  13. Nicolette Cole-Santa

    By far, a ray of sunshine! Every time Kathy walked into my office building it put a smile on my face. I’ve only known Kathy about 3 years but had many long, deep conversations each time we would meet. I’m very saddened to be writing this but also know that she is in a very special place continuing to make people smile. Dang. I wish I had more time to say goodbye. To say I will always remember you. To have the lunch that we said we’d have together soon. To listen to what you wanted to tell me about a special date in your life. To understand the reason why you had such emotional joy when I last saw you. To learn more about your life story. To listen to your great stories. I’ve had many customers over the years but you are certainly one to never be forgotten. I’m sorry I didn’t see you at your service. I’m sorry I didn’t know. I’m sorry I missed your last call. I will miss you. We will all miss you. You are special!

  14. Brenda Anderson Billhimer

    So very saddened to learn of Kathy’s passing.

    She was a lovely and loving person. My deepest condolences to her family and friend.

  15. My condolence to the family of Kathy Craig. I worked with Kathy for years. She was a sweetheart and going above and beyond to help others. She will be missed by all the postal workers. We love her so much she brought so much joy in our lives. May God give you strength and endurance.

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