Dorothye Beatryce McKnight Craft was born to Garrett and Marguerite McKnight on March 6, 1923 in Bluefield, West Virginia. She was raised in a fairly strict Christian home. Although her parents did not spare the rod, they did manage to spoil this only child with private school, piano lessons and other trips and treats.
Dorothye graduated from Genoa High School at age sixteen, and Bluefield State Teachers College at age 20. Soon after, she eloped and married her Tuskegee Airman, Silas E. Craft, on July 15, 1943 in the chapel at Tuskegee Institute. From this union, her family grew to six children: Rebecca (Isadore), Silas, Jr., Virginia, Dwight (Brenda), Kaye, and Sharon (John), and one great niece, Carmen. In her own words excerpted from her book, “Bits and Pieces”:
As I look back over my life, bits and pieces
seem to make up the years. I taught Home
Economics, worked with Head Start, was a
school secretary, volunteered with the
NAACP, was a pianist and choir director for a
number of churches and community
organizations and (was) a surrogate
“Grandmother” to the Silas Craft Collegians
Program at Howard Community College.
Though my family is my crowning glory, I am
proud and grateful about a few other things.
I have received many service awards from
various groups but I am most grateful that I
was able to create two CD’s of me playing the
piano….These CDs (became) an important
part of my Christian ministry … In addition
to playing the piano, I (took) great joy over the
years in writing and putting on skits for
churches and the community, and in writing
poems, plays and newsletters.
Preceded in death by her parents Garrett and Marguerite McKnight, her husband Silas E. Craft, Sr., her daughter Sharon C. Moore and sons-in-law John R. Moore and Isadore Felder, Jr. Dorothye leaves behind her greatest legacy: four generations!
It was Dorothye’s wish that any memorial tributes be made in the form of charitable donations. Please consider the following in lieu of flowers:
First Baptist Church of Guilford; 7504 Oakland Mills Rd, Columbia, MD 21046
Please Specify: The Silas and Dorothye Craft Scholarship Fund
Howard Community College Educational Foundation: 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044
Please Specify: The Silas Craft Collegians Program
Read Dorothye’s Story online at: https://tinyurl.com/dmc111821