Long time Herald associate passes away
by LUKE KEITH, JR.
Alma Jean Craft, the wife of Bennie Craft and long time associate of this publication, died at the Hazard Appalachian Regional Medical Center on Saturday, March 10, 2007.
Mrs. Craft came to this publication almost 30 years ago to do the bookkeeping, one of the jobs she was still doing when she was hospitalized on Thursday before her death. Along with her bookkeeping duties, she wrote the newspaper’s obituaries as well as feature articles on area people and events. She especially liked to write about local artists.
Along with her family, a major interest and concern of Mrs. Craft was the care of animals, and in latter years, the operation of the Leslie County Animal Shelter and now the Kentucky River Regional Animal Shelter located east of Hazard on Animal Shelter Lane. According to Kate Ireland, now a resident of Tallahassee, Fla., “Jean put her heart and soul into the care of the area’s animals.” Ms. Ireland and Mrs. Craft served on the board of the Leslie County Humane Society before the Perry County organization was founded.
Mrs. Craft and fellow Animal Shelter board member Revenna Bowling operated the Saturday night Bingo as a fundraiser for the Kentucky River Regional Animal Shelter. During the visit with Jean on Friday afternoon, after she had had two stints put into her heart, she told the paper’s Circulation Manager Jenny Jones and me that she needed to get better quickly so she could work the Bingo game on Saturday night.
Bennie and Jean Craft moved to Detroit soon after their marriage on June 6, 1955, where he was employed by Chrysler and she by the telephone company. They moved to Plainfield, In. in 1958, and while in that area, Jean served the National Liquor Company as their bookkeeper. After the death of her parents, Hargis and Dehila Watts Eversole in the 1970s, since she was an only child, she and Mr. Craft returned to Perry County to oversee her family’s business and real estate holdings in this area.
Along with her parents, she was preceded in death by her son, Marlin Craft. Along with her husband, she is survived by her daughter Sherri Craft Pearlman and husband Larry of Hazard and two grandchildren, Madison Fisher of Hazard and Candace (Adam) Davis of Knoxville, Tn. She is also survived by a great grandson, Landon Davis.
The family received friends and relatives at Maggard Brothers Funeral Home on Monday evening. Mrs. Craft’s funeral service was held at the funeral home on Tuesday afternoon with Junior Shell officiating. Interment followed at the Francis Branch Cemetery in Jeff.
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