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Marge Craig: 93 years of ‘class’
Retired Bulletin classified director passes away
Morris & Marge
Marge Craig is shown in this 2005 photo with Charles H. Morris Sr., President and CEO of Morris Multimedia that owns the Manteca Bulletin.

Editor’s note: Marge Craig worked for 36 years as classified advertising director for the Bulletin. Craig passed away Thursday, Oct. 1, at age 93. This story regarding Craig was published when she retired in 2005.


Marge Craig traded Fifth Avenue in New York for Yosemite Avenue in Manteca and has never regretted it for a minute.

The Manteca Bulletins classified advertising director for the past 36 years is not only a familiar face to hundreds of long-time advertisers and those involved in the Manteca community, but she also helped the newspaper secure 90 awards for classified advertising since 1979.

A career of helping people sell cars, real estate, firewood or simply trying to earn a few dollars by cleaning out their garage and having a sale wasn’t what Craig envisioned spending the last 36 years of her life doing.

But she’s quick to tell you she doesn’t regret a minute.

“The people have been great,”  Craig said. “I fell in love with Manteca.”

Her love affair with Manteca started on somewhat shaky grounds. Craig, an only child, was born on Long Island.

Craig and her husband Joe are deeply devout to their faith. When close friends were moving to Manteca to launch the Calvary Community ministry, they felt it was their duty to follow. So they pulled up stakes from the world’s most cosmopolitan city and moved to a small agricultural town of 10,000 in the Central valley that was on cusp of transformation into a bedroom community for the Bay Area.

But it wasn’t just the obvious cultural shock that awaited Craig.

A gifted pianist, Craig performed in her first concert at age 7 and played the fabled Carnegie Hall venue as a 12-year-old.

Her future husband Joe was actually her first date. A friend’s mother didn’t want her to date unless she went on a double date. Joe and Marge were added to the mix to satisfy parental decree. That first date reached a milestone on Sept. 10 when the Craigs celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

She had a comfortable life in New York City where she taught piano at Julliard’s when she wasn’t busy working as a fashion model for Bennett Brothers.

She had left that behind in New York City but had hoped to start teaching music appreciation by establishing her own school when she arrived in Manteca. That’s when she discovered there wasn’t a demand for music appreciation teachers. Craig said she could have gone to Stockton or Modesto to teach, but didn’t want to do that because it would have meant being away from her children.

So she decided the best thing to do was learn more about Manteca and become part of the community.

That’s when she saw an ad for a vacancy at the Bulletin.

”I just wanted to get to know people and where else can you get to know people better than at a newspaper,” Craig said. “It really gave me the opportunity to feel the pulse of the public. I just fell in love with the community.”

Craig recalls her first meeting with George Murphy who owned the Bulletin before it was purchased in 1971 by Charles Morris.

”He took one look at my resume and said that he couldn’t afford to hire me,” Craig recalled.

The fact she works for a small community newspaper afforded her the opportunity to mentor a lot of entry-level, young workers.

“A lot of employees have gone on to bigger papers,” she said. “It’s an honor for us because we do a lot of training. It’s exciting to be given the privilege to help people.”

In addition to the 90 trade awards in regional and state competitions, Manteca Soroptimist International bestowed the “Women Helping Women” honor on Craig. She also received the Manteca Association of Realtors community service award and is a former president of the California Classified Advertising Executives.

Husband Joe retired from the Postal Service, worked for a time with the Manteca Unified School District and is now with The Wine Group.

Craig believes her success is due in large part to her religious convictions and the influence that her mother had on her as a young girl.

“There are two verses my mother taught me that have continued to speak tome throughout my life,” Craig said. “One, which is from Aristotle, says, “Excellence is not an act, it’s a habit.”

The other, a bible quotation, is Matthew 5:15-16 which says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good words and glorify your father which is in heaven.”

“God really gets a lot of the glory for what happens in my life,” she said. “My job has given me both the privilege and opportunity meet the many people who have come through our office, and many have remained good friends. This job has really been a privilege.”