Donald Craft
Donald Cekada Craft

August 26, 1932February 12, 2016 (83 years old)
Hometown: Ahoskie, NC
August 26, 1932February 12, 2016
(83 years old) | Ahoskie, NC

Life Story

Life time line for Donald C. Craft:  birth to college years

·  Born in Stephen H. Craft’s house (his grandfather), August 26, 1932 (in Walstonburg, NC, Greene County) – his family actually lived in a house down the road

·  Around 1933 family moved to Reddin Bailey’s (Lucinda Bailey’s brother) farm (great uncle)

·  His father, W. Herbert Craft died while they lived here

·  1935-1936 time frame – brother and sisters went to Methodist Orphanage in Raleigh to live

·  He lived with Aunt Lilly Bailey for about 2 years (really his cousin)

·  Grandma Ester did not live with Aunt Lilly Bailey

·  He started school when he was 6 years old in Walstonburg, does not remember who he was living with at that time

·  Grandma Ester and he moved in with Uncle John and Aunt Pat

·  In 1939 Grandma Ester got a WPA job (Federal Government work program) in Walstonburg – probably lived with Uncle John and Aunt Pat at this time

·  3rd grade was living in Walstonburg in “part of a “ house with Grandma Ester, then moved to another house

·  4th grade, lived in Folkston, NC (between Jacksonville and Wilmington on Highway 17)

o  Grandma Ester worked for a lady who ran a boarding house for Civil Service workers who were building an Army Base

·  5th grade, back in Walstonburg and stayed a while. Lived in a house just the 2 of them

·  He spent summers from 3rd through 5th grades in Princeton, NC with Aunt Lula, Bernadine’s mother, while Grandma Ester worked at the Methodist Orphanage and Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh.

·  He and Grandma Ester would ride the train to Raleigh to visit brother and sisters at the Methodist Orphanage, about twice per year. He remembers walking from downtown Raleigh out to the orphanage several times.

·  6th grade, Grandma Ester and he moved to Raleigh. They lived at the Methodist Orphanage. He spent summers with Uncle Joseph (6th and 7th grades)

·  After 7th grade, moved back to Walstonburg and lived with Uncle John and Aunt Pat

·  After about 1 ½ years Uncle John and Aunt Pat needed space for raising their children and he moved in with Uncle Charlie

·  Actually started 8th grade at Broughton High School in Raleigh. Stayed about 2 months and moved back to Walstonburg and Uncle John and Aunt Pat’s house. (finished that referenced 1 ½ years).

·  After the 9th grade he moved in with Uncle Charlie (see same reference above).

·  12th grade moved into town, Walstonburg, and lived with Mrs. Wheeler, Henry Wheeler’s grandmother. Henry lived there also, his mother had passed away.

·  During this High School senior year he worked for Key Taylor, the pastor of both Walstonburg Methodist Church and a second appointed church near Farmville. He was the Youth Director. He worked on Sundays at both churches. He bought a 1939 Studebaker for carrying out his job responsibilities for the churches. He sold the car prior to going to college.

·  Key Taylor made the arrangements for him to attend Pfeiffer College. He went there as soon as high school graduation was completed and worked as a maintenance man for the college.

·  Grandma Ester continued to live in Raleigh during this time working and living at Dorothea Dix Hospital.

·  He would visit her a couple of times and stayed in her room at the hospital.

·  He only went back to Walstonburg one more summer during college years and lived with Uncle John and Aunt Pat.

·  Met Elizabeth J. Washburn while at Pfeiffer College.

·  After finishing Pfeiffer he went to North Carolina State College. Between his Junior and Senior years he married Elizabeth J. Washburn and lived in Whiteville, NC to work for the federal government’s Soil Conservation Service. Graduated in spring 1955 with BS Agricultural Engineering.