Frances Eleanor Bankhead Craig was born October 18, 1928 in York County, SC to parents, Thomas Egger Bankhead and Virginia Long Bankhead. Raised on a farm in Bullock’s Creek, she attended schools in Sharon, SC through high school and graduated from Limestone College. Locating in Stanley, NC after college in 1948, she taught elementary school for 2 years. In 1950 she married Hubert Yates Craig.
Eleanor Craig, who was lovingly called “Frankie” by her family had 5 children. She is preceded in death by her husband, Yates, one daughter, Frances Elaine and her brother, Thomas Egger Bankhead, Jr. of Rock Hill, SC. She is survived by her daughters Vivian Wells of Wake Forest, NC; Virginia Squier (Bruce) of New Bern, NC; Mary Collier (Kevin) of Mt. Holly, NC and son Frank Craig (Julie) of Gastonia, NC. Eleanor is also survived by 8 grand children: Adam Wells (Loren) of Bristol, VA; Rachel Wells of Raleigh, NC; Blair Delappe (Kyle) of Columbia,SC; Madison Collier of Durham, NC; Yates Collier of Mt. Holly, NC; Sydney Craig, Mallory Craig and Carly Craig of Gastonia, NC. Her great grand children also surviving are Paul Biggs-Wells and Selah Biggs-Wells of Bristol, VA and Mary Eleanor Delappe of Columbia, SC. Also survivng are her nieces Sylvia Spears of Spartanburg, SC and Sandra Mauldin (Will) of Rock Hill, SC.
Eleanor was actively involved throughout her life in her church and community. A member of Bruington Memorial Baptist Church in Stanley and then First Baptist Church for 70 years she held many leadership roles. She served as a Sunday school teacher, Women’s Missionary Union Director, the Girls’ Auxiliary Director, a member of the State Baptist Board, and church pulpit committees. In the community, Eleanor was a volunteer at Gaston Memorial Hospital for more than 20 years and a member of various local clubs in Stanley including the Women’s Garden Club, Book Club and Bridge Club.
Eleanor loved to travel with her family, having toured countries throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East as well as numerous states in the US. In the spring of this year she traveled to Niagara Falls with her daughters, nieces and grand children, returning to the place where she and her husband, Yates, spent their honeymoon in 1950. Eleanor was a Master Gardener who continued to work in her yard in the weeks leading up to her death. She was also a great cook who liked to prepare her children and grand children’s favorite dishes when they returned home to visit.
Eleanor Craig passed away peacefully in the early morning on September 21st surrounded by her family. She would have turned 91 in October. She was known as a kind and generous woman, an exemplary Southern lady who loved her family and community and who served the Lord. She was loved and admired by all who had the privilege of knowing her.
A service to celebrate the life of Mrs. Craig will be held at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at the First Baptist Church, Stanley. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Gardens Cemetery, Mount Holly. The family will receive friends from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm on Tuesday at Woodlawn Funeral Home, Mount Holly. Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, PO Box 490, Stanley, NC, 28120 Stanley or to Bullock Creek Presbyterian Church, 7386 Lockhart Hwy, Sharon, SC 29742.
Condolence messages may be sent to the family by visiting www.woodlawnfuneral.org. Woodlawn Funeral Home of Mount Holly is serving the family.
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First Baptist Church - Stanley
409 Old Mount Holly Road; P.O. Box 490, Stanley NC 28164
Bullock Creek Presbyterian Church
7386 Lockhart Hwy, Sharon SC 29742