Johnnie "Madea" Mae Craig
22 January , 1932 – 20 August , 2019
On August 20, 2019 Johnnie Mae Craig, affectionately known as “Madea”; completed her earthly journey, surrounded by loved ones and with a smile on her face. Johnnie was born on January 22, 1932 in Dixon Mills, Alabama to the late John Calvin and Sue Willie “Davis” Jones. Raised in Mobile, Alabama, she attended Alabama public schools, until the 6th grade, when as the eldest child, she quit school to help provide for her family. Education, however, was always important to Johnnie and she would later return to school and receive her diploma from Albion Senior High School in 1982.
In 1953 she met and married the love of her life Nathaniel “Nay” Craig and in 1955 with one small child in tow; she followed him to Albion, MI. to this union she bore six more children. Upon arriving to Albion, Johnnie immediately felt at home. She joined Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, where she served in many capacities; including the kitchen committee and the Usher Board. It was there that she met many life-long friends; including the late Roffie Jean Boggan, who encouraged her to attend her first basketball game at Albion Senior High. From that point, Johnnie became a fixture at all the sporting events, and could always be heard yelling DEFENSE, throughout the gym. In 1973, she joined the athletic boosters and began volunteering at the high school as a ticket saleswoman. Throughout the high school careers of her children, grandchildren and even beyond, Johnnie remained a fixture in the athletic department; selling tickets, working concessions, feeding the athletes and always cheering for her beloved Wildcats. Possessing a true servant’s heart, Johnnie faithfully served her community and her church. She involved herself in many activities including the “Citizens to Beautify Albion” as well as working As a bus aide for special needs children for Dean Transportation until her retirement in 2017. Johnnie or “Madea” as she was called, played an instrumental role in the life of her family; raising not only her children, but many of her grandchildren as well … A never-ending task, because as she was known to say “you’re not grown until you reach my age.”
She leaves to continue her legacy, her children; Cassie (John) Lindsey of Ypsilanti, Carol (Michael) Bray of Nashville, TN, George Craig, Reginald Craig, Joseph Craig, all of Albion, Melissa Craig of Battle Creek & Elizabeth Craig of Albion; Godchildren, Denise Word-Eady and David Word; Daughter-in-law Karen Craig; Sister-in-law Love Viola Junior; & Brother-in-law John Simpson; 16 grandchildren; 50 great grandchildren; 5 great-great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews and other extended family. She will also be greatly missed by special friends Elizabeth Carter, Lula-Mae Harris, Jenny Garvin, Dixie Grand, Florence Brewer and Wendy Horman.
She was preceded in death by both parents; husband, son, Nathaniel (Karen) Craig Jr., brother Cleophous Jones and sisters, Elizabeth (John) Simpson and Fannie McCovery.
- Visitation Friday, 30 August , 2019
- Family Hour Friday, 30 August , 2019
- Funeral Service Friday, 30 August , 2019
Johnnie "Madea" Mae Craig
13 September 2019
Thank you Madea for loving, inspiring and being in my corner. I miss our talks! You are missed!
Katreana “KiKi” Gaither
31 August 2019
O beautiful Lady of God . What a blessing you were to so many . The first time I met you I thought what a beautiful soul you are and I always seen you in the hottest weather digging and planting flowers by the side of the roads for the city of Albion . God called you home and boy how they must be singing and praising him . Your are and Angel Ms Johnnie and I was so glad I met you ❤️🙏😘
Sheila Clark Rhodes
29 August 2019
I know words can not express how much your heart aches. Just know that your Mom was loved by an entire community. She showed enormous love for her family, her church and her community. She is the example that we should all strive for.
They say it takes a village....she was a beautiful overseer of that village. Continued prayer and blessing to the Craig family.
Wilmern George (Wilbur) Griffin
29 August 2019
I think we all have to stop and take a minute and remember the important qualities that Mrs. Craig exhibited every day. First and foremost she was a proud woman and nothing you could do could take that from her. Johnnie Craig didn’t need designer clothes or a six figure job to know she was somebody it was imbedded in her from the ancestors. Secondly she put nothing above her love for her family but her love for Jesus. Third she understood the importance of being thrifty. When talking to Joe earlier this week he made the comment that she knew how to take five fishes and one loaf of bread and could feed the community. There were many days I ate Black eyed peas and rice or Johnnie’s Craig’s famous Spanish Rice straight out of Mobile at 334 Arthur.
I’m really glad that God brought me home a few weeks ago and before leaving town I stopped by 334 Arthur to see her. The one thing that I remember from our conversation that Saturday morning is that she told me that God has been good to her. With Johnnie Mae Craig making her transition it became very clear to me that the village that raised me was very important to me becoming the man that I am. I still smile any time I’m in church somewhere and young people are presenting something and they are speaking too softly. I can always visualize Mrs. Craig being on the back row of the church loudly exclaiming “WE Can’t Hear You”. I don’t know anyone who loved Albion more than Johnnie Craig and I know all Albion-nites close and far who came through Albion during the last Sixty years Johnnie Mae Craig made an impact on you by being who she was. A strong Black woman who did something that we all need to do. She loved everyone and we loved her.
29 August 2019
It has been an absolute pleasure to have had Mrs Craig as part of my life. From her and Mrs Boggan being at our High School basketball games, to being at my wedding, to introducing her to my twin daughters. She always had a kind word for all and hugs and kisses when you meet on the street.
We are all very lucky to have had her part of our lives and the world is a much better place because she was part of it.
28 August 2019
To the entire Craig family. My heart is broken. Ms. Craig was a fixture in my life from my days as a wee tot growing up in Macedonia Baptist Church serving on the Jr. Usher Board, until present day, making frequent visits back to Macedonia to worship with my mother. Your loving, happy greeter face at the door to the sanctuary was the high point of my day. Your joy in serving the Lord in your "spiritual comfort zone" blessed my soul. Hearing you say--from the sanctuary door "Sing Children!" was the icing on the cake during praise and worship. I believe, Daddy, Uncle Bernard, Aunt Liz, Jr., Rev. Davis and a host of other saints welcomed you with open joyous arms. You will be missed a whole lot. Yet I have joy knowing that you're ushering at the pearly gates greeting those that come after you. Thanks for all you did for all of us. Family, She's home.
27 August 2019
To all that knew her, she was Madea. She was a strong woman, who loved her family.
She worked in the community planting those beautiful flowers among other things.
A Wildcat for life.
As a usher I learned alot from her. God rest her soul.
To the family hold on to those memories.
27 August 2019
MADEA, my *SHERO*. There are not enough words in Websters Dictionary to describe the LOVE I have for you. I can remember a lot of things that you taught me that I thought were mundane, but realized later that you had the answer to EVERY SOLUTION. When you were left to be BOTH Parents with no Income and I chose to leave my children in your care, I knew they would be ALRIGHT. With that same stern voice and unbeatable knowledge, I am PROUD, ECSTATIC, AND OVERJOYED, that I gained my strength from the HARRIET TUBMAN of ALBION. If I lived a million lifetimes they could never be enough to amount to all your Grace and New Mercies God gave you on a daily basis. I can also remember you always said *LET THE LIFE I LIVE SPEAK FOR ME*, and yours has spoken VOLUMES, Just like the song I can only Imagine, the smile on Jrs, Aunt Liz, Netties, Mrs. Boggan, face to see you, again. I am Humbled and Honored to be called your daughter, and for everyone to say I look like you. May you rest in the arms of OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR,
I'll see you in the morning
I LOVE YOU MADEA
27 August 2019
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27 August 2019
With Deepest Sympathy, I will remember Mrs Craig as a loving and caring person . Marjorie Wilson and Children
Juanita( Twymon) Word Word
26 August 2019
My dear friend Johnnie. We were sisters in Christ for many years. Serving on the Usher Board, working during Conventions as host church. Traveled to Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Benton Harbor, Detroit and many places serving. We could always share our thoughts and suggestions without losing friendship. Thank to Melissa for allowing me to give my last hug and kiss prior her last days. That was so pleasing to both of us. My love has always been with the Craig family. We loved her but, God loved her more. Love, prayer and sympathy goes out to the family at this time.
23 August 2019
I worked in Albion and I would see this beautiful lady and she was always smiling and never complained about a thing . She was an Angel sent by God to touch as many souls as she could and she blessed everyone she came in contact with . Now God has take. Her home and the Angels are rejoicing 🙏💝