Rock Hill, SC – Mrs. Nancy Craig Thomas passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. Visitation for Nancy will be held Friday, March 15, 2019 from 4:30-6:00 pm at Greene Funeral Home Northwest Chapel, 2133 Ebenezer Road, Rock Hill, SC 29732. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 3:00 pm at Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church with the Reverend Dr. Jeffrey Bryan officiating. Her burial will be held prior to the service at 2:00 pm at Laurelwood Cemetery.
Born in her mother’s childhood home in Chester, South Carolina on July 9, 1920, Nancy Biggs Craig was the daughter of Marie Cross and Bernard Nathaniel Craig of Rock Hill. Her grandfather Craig migrated from their family farm in Lancaster County to Rock Hill shortly after the War Between the States, where he began a wholesale grocery business on the corner of Main and Trade Streets.
Nancy grew up on College Avenue with her sister, Frances, and graduated from Winthrop Training School in 1937, then from Winthrop College in Primary Education and History in 1941. She taught second grade in Cheraw before marrying, Goodwin Grove Thomas. She substituted in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where she and her husband, Goody, were stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base during WWII. She remembered that the children couldn’t understand her southern accent and she couldn’t understand theirs, so substituting didn’t last long.
While raising her family in Rock Hill she began teaching kindergarten at Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church, where she helped establish The Ann Barron Daycare Center. She taught for over a decade at the Episcopal Church of Our Savior before being asked to join Winthrop’s faculty as Head Staff Member of Macfeat Nursery School. Her mother had enrolled her in the same laboratory school at age five. Nancy was a disciplined pre-school educator, devoted to early childhood education in South Carolina, holding various offices during her membership years in the South Carolina Association for Children Under Six.
She was raised with a strong Christian faith, born into the Presbyterian church, and reminded her family often that she had memorized both the short and long catechisms before the age of ten, plus many bible scriptures. She attended Sunday school for fifteen years without missing a Sunday, no matter where the family might be traveling and received a bar pin for perfect attendance every year until they ran out of bars. As a devoted church member, she served a as teacher, deacon, elder, and chairman of the worship and flower committees. Her summers were spent at church conferences in Montreat, her second home, where her parents had been attending since 1925.
Her mother taught her gardening, and she was a longstanding member in the Rock Hill Garden Club. She loved history and was active in the local chapters of the DAR, Colonial Dames 1700s, and the Junior Keystone Club. Her favorite pastime was knitting, a lifelong hobby, including Christmas stockings for family and friends, beginning with her own children and continuing throughout her life as long as her fingers would permit.
She was a loyal Clemson Tiger fan and married one. She was known as “Mother Superior” within the family. When asked by her children not long ago why her husband pinned that nickname on her she replied, “Your father didn’t give me that name, I gave me that name!”
She is survived by her loving family, her daughter, Nancy Thomas Wofford (Charles); her son, Goodwin Grove Thomas, Jr. ( Diane) and their children, Goody, III (Lynn) their children, Taylor and Blake; Caroline Thomas Smith (Chad) and their children, Hanna and Libby. She was predeceased by her youngest son, Bernard Craig Thomas, who is survived by his wife, Sandra Grant Thomas of Rock Hill and their children, Cole, Lauren, and Marie; her sister, Frances O’Neal Craig Magruder of Atlanta, Ga, and four children Tyler, Craig, Sarah Frances, Lewis, and their children. She was preceded in death by her beloved brother, Bernard Nathaniel “Nardy” Craig. She is also survived by her step children, Kate Ambrose (Smith), Claire Wofford (Robert) and their children, Luke and Reid; and John Edward Bailey Wofford (Kate) and their children, Will and Mac. She was devoted to a large number of nieces and nephews and their families.
The family would like to express their appreciation for the loving care that the Administration and Staff of Westminster Towers has provided Nancy and her family over the years. Memorials may be made in Nancy’s name to the Nancy Craig Thomas Scholarship in Early Childhood Education at Winthrop University, 206 Tillman Hall, Rock Hill, SC 29733 or Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church, 421 Oakland Avenue, Rock Hill, SC 29730.