Marilyn May Craig died July 17, 2020, in Newport, at the age of 84.
She was born on October 21, 1935, in Little Rock, the firstborn of G. Willard and Juanita Gordon May’s three children.
As a child, she enjoyed dancing and riding horses. After graduating from Little Rock High School, she attended Sullins College in Bristol, Va., for a year. She then transferred to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where she became a faithful and lifelong member of Pi Beta Phi.
Marilyn May married Roy R. Craig of Newark on October 19, 1958, in Little Rock at First Christian Church. Their first home together was in Newport, the town in which they lived the rest of their lives. They had three children: Catherine, Michael and Robert.
She was an equal partner for many years in the family’s business, Craig Printing & Stationery Company, in Newport. What started as a temporary job to get them through a holiday season lasted over 30 years. She enjoyed relating to customers as the face of the business. Marilyn loved her church, First United Methodist Church, very much. She was an enthusiastic member for over 60 years, having served in the choir for as many years as she was able. She led children’s choirs and worked with the youth in other ways. She served in many church leadership roles as well.
Marilyn was a dedicated member of Chapter R of P.E.O. and served as president of that ladies’ organization on three different occasions. She gave the same interest to the Newcomer’s Club to which she belonged even after having lived in Newport for many years. Later in life, she became interested in local history and served for many years as secretary of the Jackson County Historical Society. She served on the City Beautiful Commission among other similar organizations, and at one time mentored children at Newport schools.
She took great pride in her yard, sometimes working from daylight to dusk, and her dedication showed. It grieved her in later years that she was unable to maintain her yard to her standards, something which no one else could. But she faced that limitation just as she did every other adversity in her life. She fought the good fight to do all she could, for as long as she could, and when she was no longer able, she accepted it and made the best of what life yet had in store for her. She greeted each day and the people in it with a smile and a friendly welcome.
Marilyn was devoted to her parents and the rest of her family. She had many dear friends whose association she treasured. She treated everyone she encountered with respect.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Roy R. Craig, in 1997, and her parents.
She is survived by her daughter, Catherine (David) Threlkeld, of Omaha, Neb., and sons Michael (Tamey) Craig of Little Rock and Robert (Beth) Craig of Kennett, Mo. She had five grandchildren: Connor (Stephanie) Threlkeld, Jarrett (Kristy) Threlkeld, Jennifer Threlkeld, Stephen (Danielle) Craig and Dalton Craig. She also had one great-grandson, Elliott Threlkeld. Marilyn is also survived by two brothers, Gordon May and Bob May.
Memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at the First United Methodist Church. Private interment will be held prior to the service, Memorials are requested to the First United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 489, Newport, AR 72112. P.E.O Star Scholarship donations.peointernational.org or to Arkansas Children’s Hospital 1 Children’s Way Slot 661, Little Rock, AR 72202.