I’ve known Stephen and Moffett Craig for a lot of years..
I met Stephen Craig when I was picking out flowers for a wedding that never happened. And Moffett, I met when I went to their house to write a story about her handmade holiday tree ornaments.
I still have the little wooden bear ornament that Moffett made and gave me in the late 1980s, and it still hangs on my tree every Christmas.
I visited with the Craigs on Friday morning in their flower shop. The 1965 Noblesville High School graduates own Adriene’s Flowers and Gifts of Noblesville. The store will celebrate its 40th anniversary Monday through next Saturday.
In all of the times that I’ve stopped in at the flower shop, I have rarely seen them together at work. Moffett Craig laughed her infectious laugh, admitting they don’t work well together. She has her way of doing things as does he. “You’ve got too much garland,” she told him. But Stephen continued as he was. “You’re making a mess,” she told him, pointing to trimmed greenery on the floor below a flower arrangement that he was preparing to head out the door. But she laughed about it again.
They’re the same age: 72.
“She’s older than I am,” Stephen said. “By six months,” she chimed in.
She also admitted to having a politically-divided household. She is a Democrat, and Stephen is a Republican.
Moffett actually had the opportunity not long after 9/11 to visit the White House when one of her ornaments was selected for the White House Christmas tree, and she met First Lady Laura Bush, when husband, George W. Bush, was president. (By the way, President Trump, Stephen Craig would love to come decorate the trees at the White House.)
Outside of work, I see Stephen and Moffett Craig often together around town. They are faithful supporters of our community, always out and about attending events in the city and community and volunteering for activities that are close to their hearts.
Stephen belongs to the Noblesville Lions that started and sponsors the Leo Club at NHS. In 2017, the Lions got a new mascot for club activities and community. “Come say ‘Hi’ to Stanley,” said the familiar voice that came from inside the Lion suit. It was none other than Stephen, who has since been dressed in the lion suit, ridden in all of the Noblesville parades and has made appearances at all kinds of Lions event. He’s also been Lions president four times, the longest-living four-term president, he said, Moffett again, getting a chuckle.
Moffett annually portrays Mrs. Claus for Tri Kappa sorority, of which she is a member. Last December, she played the role at Stonycreek Farm in Noblesville and in the caboose of the Nickel Plate Express in Atlanta. For the past 13 years before that, she played Mrs. Claus at the annual Tri Kappa Breakfast with Santa at Forest Park Inn. The breakfast started when Craigs’ first grandson was a year old, 15 years ago.
That grandson, Johnathan Baker, is now 16. When he was in Noblesville East Middle School Vocal Revolution show choir, Moffett started volunteering to help with the costumes, doing students’ measurements, selecting the correct sizes and helping with alterations. She’s been a faithful volunteer, helping out with both show choir costumes and school musical costumes during his sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade years.
Moffett also volunteered many hours at The Belfry Theatre in Noblesville, where she designed and made costumes for “Taming of the Shrew” in 1979. Fast forward to March 2018 for The Belfry’s “Nunsense II: The Second Coming” musical, she was vocal director and co-assistant director for director Carla Crandall.
Stephen is also always happy to help with The Belfry Theatre Apprentice Players production each summer by donating a hundred carnations that are sold at the performances for $2 donations to the theater’s scholarship fund. They also make and donate the floral arrangements at their church for each Sunday morning service. They also make a lot of floral arrangements for other local churches, with free labor and delivery.
While Stephen spends most of his weekdays in the flower shop, his wife teaches three public-speaking classes two days a week at IUPUI. The Ball State University grad has taught there for 43 years.
During their flower shop’s 40th anniversary celebration, Monday through next Saturday, they’re asking folks to celebrate with them by giving back to the community, by dropping off at the flower shop contributions for Good Samaritan Network of Hamilton County, Coats for Kids, local food pantries, and Backpacks for the Noblesville Lions-sponsored Leo Club at NHS.
Stephen and Moffett Craig credit their own parents for their giving nature.
Both of their fathers were named Stanley, Stanley Robinson and Stanley Craig. I have previously written newspaper columns that feature both of their dads.
Moffett Craig’s dad, Stanley Robinson, died in March, at age 97. He was a proud veteran and a past commander of the American Legion Post No. 45. The Noblesville resident, a World War II U.S. Navy veteran, served 1932-45, including 1941-45 on the U.S.S. Moffett destroyer. (That’s how Moffett got her name.) (Read an article about Adriene’s Flowers and Gifts' 40th anniversary and learn more about the early beginnings of the flower shop and how Adriene’s got its name in another article in today's edition of The Times.)
Stanley Robinson loved music, taught himself to play a keyboard and made sure that Moffett and her brother, Doug, loved music, too. Moffett now sings in the choir at her church. Doug, who graduated in the NHS class of 1966, is a guitar and bass player for the Rugged Brothers, a band that played at the opening of Federal Hill Commons, recently at the American Legion Post’s 100th anniversary celebration and often at Syd’s Fine Food & Spirits in downtown Noblesville..
Stanley Craig died in 2015, at the age of 91. He served his country in the U.S. Army, was a graduate of the Citadel Officer Training School and was a captain in the Americal Division of the Military Police. He was a farmer and lifetime member of First Presbyterian Church of Noblesville, where Moffett and Stephen Craig are members and where Moffett has been an elder and Stephen is now an elder.
Stanley Craig served 12 years on the Noblesville School Board and was also its president. He also served on and was the president of the American National Bank Board of Directors. In addition, Mr. Craig was a Mason, a Shriner, founding member of the 50 Club, a member of the Noblesville Lions Club and Noblesville American Legion.
Readers might recall a column that I wrote in spring 2017 on the county Christmas tree that involved the Craigs. Stephen Craig told me upon the cutting of the county’s Christmas tree on the Courthouse Square, of how his dad, Stanley Craig, talked to the Hamilton County Commissioners to place a spruce tree on the Courthouse lawn for the Santa House. The 12-foot tree was moved from their family’s barnyard to the Courthouse lawn. The tree lived until it was cut and then replaced with a new tree in spring 2017, and I was there with him on both occasions.
Moffett and Steve Craig are so happy to still live in Noblesville.
"No matter how big Noblesville becomes, it still has small-town values and traditions," Stephen Craig said. "I just love this town and am glad to have played a small part for the community and its traditions."
-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.