Marion Jr. Craft, 84, of Benton, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 4.
He was born Sept. 7, 1927 in Lonsdale to Sophia Josephine (Cash) Craft and Francis Marion Craft.
He entered the Army in February of 1946, serving his basic training at Camp Crower near Neosho, Mo. (south of Joplin).
After basic training, he went home for 20 days until June 1, 1946, when he traveled by train to Seattle, Wash., where he was stationed. Early one morning with full field pack, they hiked (apparently near San Francisco) through a gate that read, “World’s Best Damn Soldiers Walked Through This Gate."
Jr. left there on a ship, went under the Golden Gate Bridge and said, “I never crossed the Golden Gate bridge, but I did go under it."
Twelve days later the ship arrived in Japan on July 5 just outside of Tokyo. He spent five-six months in Tokyo where he attended cable splicing school. After training, he was transferred to a base in Yokohama where he served in the 3186th Signal Battalion and also worked in the E-men Club.
Jr. was discharged on July 16, 1947, after achieving the rank of P5-corporal. Upon moving home to Benton, he worked for Jones Furniture for 13 years, Curtis Mathis for nine years and Sherwood Furniture for 11 years.
Jr. never drove a car. He walked everywhere he went, unless he was fortunate enough to get a ride. Jr. would make his rounds through town stopping at the courthouse, Sheriffs Office, Safeway and Walmart visiting with all his friends that he held in such high esteem.
He was baptized by the authority of Fairplay Missionary Baptist Church on April of 1968 by Bro. Joe Harper in a round hole located in Gourdneck Road. Jr. taught Baptist Training Classes. He was a lifelong member of the church and attended regularly until his health prevented him from going.
Jr. also served on the Fairplay Cemetery Committee for 37 years.
He was preceded in death by both parents; four brothers, Elmer Newton, William Francis, Marion Gilbert and Woodrow Wilson' and five sisters, Flora Mae Tate, Ruth Noma Kyle, Minnie Victory Burkett, Lillace Geneva and Ruby Juanita.
He is survived by many nieces and nephews who have helped him out through the years and will remember him with fond memories.
Funeral service will be at 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, at Fairplay Missionary Baptist Church with the Revs. Curtis Kyle and Kenneth Mitchell officiating. Burial will be at Fairplay Cemetery.
Serving as pallbearers are Jarred Donnor, Jonathan Donnor, Rodney Asbury and Josh Asbury.
Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, at Ashby Funeral Home.
Online guest book: www.ashbyfuneralhome.com .