Katie’s Ladies celebrates Craig on 103rd birthday

Published 11:00 am Saturday, May 7, 2022

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NATCHEZ — When Katie McCarstle opened Katie’s Ladies Apparel 28 years ago, little did she know one of her first customers would become like family to her and others who work in her store.

McCartle and Katie’s Ladies staff threw “Dolly” Josie Craig an open house for her 103rd birthday on Friday afternoon. By the time things were winding down, about 50 people had stopped by to wish Craig a happy birthday.

Her actual birthday is on Sunday — Mother’s Day. Craig and her husband, the late Wadley D. Craig, are the parents of two children — a daughter, Shirley Craig Booth and a son, the late Wade Wadley Craig.

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On Friday, the very fashionable Craig sat while greeting friends and talked about her life and longevity.

“My doctor asked me my secret (to long life). I told him I don’t know. I never smoked or drank. And I take no medicine, not even an aspirin,” she said.

At 103, Craig still drives wherever she wants from her home located between Ferriday and Lake St. John.

One of her passions in life has been growing flowers and participating in many flower shows, “and I have a drawer full of ribbons to prove it.” She is a member of the Natchez Garden Club and the Ferriday Garden Club.

Craig is a native of Yazoo County and came to Natchez with a friend in 1939. She married her husband in 1940.

She enjoys playing cards each week with friends, particularly games called Phase and Rummikub.

Craig is proud of her association with Katie’s Ladies and boasts of having modeled clothes for the store since its inception to today.

“They are my best friends,” she said.

“I’ve always had a good life,” Craig said. “I’m a happy person and I love everybody. I couldn’t feel better and I’m in good shape.”