A Family gathering will be held on Friday, November 17, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., at the MLK Center in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
A memorial service for Mr. Craft will be held on Saturday, November 18, 11:00 a.m., at Boulevard Christian Church, 1700 West Shawnee St., Muskogee, Oklahoma 74401.
To watch this service live, click the link listed below:
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On a beautiful winter day, February 23.1926, Pauline (Gaffney) and McKinley Craft Sr of Hugo, Oklahoma welcomed their 4th child, a son, into the family and they named him Zephaniah.
Raised in a loving home along with his 8 siblings, Zephaniah accepted
Christ at an early age and continued to walk with the Lord until his death. He attended school until the 8th grade, but like any other kid during those times, was called to the cotton fields to help his family financially.
As time grew Dad would leave Hugo to start his own journey and landed in Muskogee during the early 1940’s. He came to love the city so much that he decided to call it home. His passion for food would lead him to be a cook & always bragged about making the best chili anyone could eat! He started in the Army camp at Camp Gruber and would eventually land the head chef job at Kay’s Fine Food, where he labored for over 30 years.
His move to Muskogee proved to be fruitful, because this is where he would meet his beautiful wife and loving soul, Willie Mae Wright. They would marry in Arkansas in 1946 and began their family with 8 wonderful children. As the family grew, he was able to proudly purchase his 1 st and only home in 1954 at 1226 South 20th Street. One of the many accomplishments that he was always proud of.
In 1964 Dad would become a widow, but would be blessed again to find love and add 6 more beautiful kids to his already big family. (Dinah Louise “Polly” Craft & Alberta Coleman) To say he loved his kids would be an understatement. He instilled the Love of God, hard work, education and life long values into not only his kids and grandkids, but all the neighborhood kids that he came in contact with. To anyone that would listen, he never failed to tell them how proud he was of each & everyone of them. Dad never missed a graduation, wedding, sports event or program that any of his kids were involved in & could always find him bragging about their accomplishments! A true lover of the outdoors, Dad was an avid fisherman. The bank of any pond was his happy place! Not just that, but he loved play dominoes. To hear him tell it, he couldn’t be beat! And if he won you would know it, because he’s going to brag!
He loved his animals liked he loved his kids. Cows, horses, pigs and anything with four legs always had a home on 20th Street, especially his cows. You could see the happiness in him whenever he would go to feed up. Wearing his big cowboy hats & that smile. And let’s not forget how funny he was. His conversations were filled with comedy. Never a dull moment & never met a stranger. He was going to talk your ears off and if you knew him, you knew he always going to call you ‘Baby”. Stay to long & you might end up working! Even now, so many say they are thankful due to him teaching them hard work.
Last but 1st in his life, Dad loved the Lord. His foundation started with Mt Zion BC to his current membership at New Zion BC. He loved his members & they loved him. He enjoyed Sunday school and always helped in any compacity that was needed & we’ve been told by many that he will be sorely missed.
On 11-06-2023 he answered the call of his Master and transitioned into the hands of a gracious and loving God surrounded by his children. Those that await him at heaven’s gate are his parents, his 5 siblings and his children, Gloria J. Thompson and Ernest Craft.
Those that he leaves to carry on his Legacy and his love are Zephaniah Craft, Jr, Tacoma WA, Shirley Burton (Ted) Muskogee Ok, Wilma (Arthur) Jones, Lawton Ok, Richard (Josie) Craft, Muskogee OK, Archie (Pat) Craft, Houston TX, Vinita(Patrick) Smith, Guthrie, Ok David(Renee) Craft, Dallas TX, Patricia (Jesus)Barrera, Honolulu, Hawaii, Anthlia Craft, Tulsa Ok, Felicia(Terran)Manning, Norman Ok, June Craft, Norman Ok, Sarai (James) Thomas, Dallas TX. Sisters Rosa Lee Smith and Arthelma Hunt of Oklahoma City Ok, and brother Mckinley Craft of Keefton, Ok. Brother-in-law LC Wright of Kansas City, and Lyler Normore of Muskogee, OK. Zephaniah was blessed with 106 grandkids, great grand kids & great great grandkids, along with a host of nieces, nephews and other loving family members
- Date & Time: November 17, 2023 (4:00 PM - 8:00 PM)
- Venue: MLK Center
- Location: Muskogee, OK