Mary Theresa Craig (nee Kavanagh)

October 30, 1938 to August 23, 2023


The funeral service will be livestreamed for those unable to attend.  Please click HERE to find the link that will go live just before the service is to begin.

It is with deep sadness that we wish to share with you the peaceful passing of Mary Craig, 84, of St. John’s, NL on August 23, 2023, at home and with her family by her side. Courageous, resilient, and graceful to the end, her gentleness, kindness and warmth continued to impact the lives of all who were fortunate enough to know her.

Mary was born to the late Margaret and Edward Kavanagh of Bell Island. She married her husband, the love of her life, Aiden Craig, in 1960 and they were blessed with three children. Mary was predeceased by her loving son, Aiden; her siblings, Phonse, Joe, Bob, Carmel, Frances, and Veronica; and her sister-in-law, Joan. She is survived by her husband Aiden; daughters Catherine (Ian McKinnon), Judy (Carl Sheppard); and daughter-in-law, Kim Taggart Craig. She enjoyed a unique and special relationship with each of her eight grandchildren, Kyle (Sarah), Aaron (Vanessa), Christian, Aiden, Emily, Mairi (Isaac), Sarah (Sam), and Riley (Robin); along with her two great-grandchildren, Willa and Cabot. Also left to mourn are her brother, Don (Barbara); sister, Madeline; brothers-in-law, Martin, Dan, Pat, Phil, and Shawn; and sisters-in-law, Beth and Marg. She will also be fondly remembered by many other members of the extended Kavanagh and Craig families and a large circle of friends, including special friends, Jim and Maureen Dunne.

Mary was born a natural teacher and taught for 37 years until she retired in 1992. At the age of 43, while studying beside her three children, she returned to Memorial University and earned her Master of Education Degree. She was a uniquely gifted math teacher who encouraged her students to achieve their personal best while imparting to them the important things in life like kindness, generosity, love and friendship. Mary’s teaching career began at Immaculate Conception School on Bell Island followed by St. Pat’s, Our Lady of Mercy and Holy Heart of Mary High School. During the last few years of her career, she worked at the Roman Catholic School Board in St. John’s and was instrumental in the development and implementation of the School Board’s Enrichment Program. Following her retirement, she returned to Memorial University once again, this time, to teach in the Education Department.

Mary’s family and her multitude of friends brought her the greatest joy. She was a wonderful host who cherished every opportunity to welcome people into her home. Her baked goods, in particular, were savoured by friends, family and strangers alike. Mary also loved music and made it part of her life at every opportunity. As an accomplished pianist and singer, she nurtured her love of music in her children and her grandchildren. Her commitment to her faith and strong sense of spirituality and compassion enabled her to always bring out the best in people, refusing negativity and always seeing the positive in everyone she encountered.

We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the excellent and compassionate health care team that supported Mom over the past several years, especially Drs. Matthew Ryan, Bryan Curtis and Joy McCarthy and most recently, the Eastern Health Palliative Care Team.

Visitation will be held on Monday, August 28th, from 12-4 and 7-9 p.m. at Carnell’s Funeral Home, 329 Freshwater Road in St. John’s.

The funeral mass will take place at the Basilica of St. John the Baptist on Tuesday, August 29th, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. It will be livestreamed from the Basilica. Inurnment to follow at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

Flowers would be gratefully appreciated or donations in Mary’s memory may be made to The Gathering Place or to the Dr. H. Bliss Cancer Care Foundation.



12-4 p.m. on August 28, 2023

7-9 p.m. on August 28, 2023

Carnell’s Funeral Home
329 Freshwater Road
View on Map


11:00am, Tuesday August 29th

Basilica of St. John the Baptist

Interment to follow in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery


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I do not remember many teachers at Holy Heart but certainly remember Mrs. Craig. ! She was one of the Best .
Students were very fortunate to have her as a teacher . I loved Math because of her . She had an ease about her and was So well admired ..
So sorry for your loss of such a special lady . .

Mrs. Craig was my Gr. 11 teacher. Our class full of crazy music students was challenging, but she handled us all calmly and compassionately. We loved her.

I remember:
– A parent of one of our classmates died. The day of the funeral Mrs. Craig suggested that we provide the music for the service. We quickly chose some hymns, and hopped on the city bus to St. Theresa’s.
– Our class performed in the school talent show. Mrs. Craig directed our rhythm band playing South of the Border, Smoke on the Water–then back to South of the Border.
– She invited the class to her house on Fleming Street. All I can remember is a game that involved passing scissors around the circle . . . .

I was lucky to continue to bump into her over the years, even here in Halifax.

Thank you for allowing her funeral to be live-streamed. It was beautiful.

Mr. Craig, Judy and Catherine,
So very sorry for your loss. So many wonderful memories of your mom during our years at Mercy and HHM . She was an enthusiastically warm and caring person. Decades beyond our school years it would make ones day to run in to your mom. Such kindness and grace – an inspiration I will always remember. Please accept my sympathy.

So sorry to just hear of the passing of MaryI I worked with Mary at the St.John’s RC School Board in the 1990’s. Her career speaks volumes of who she was and what she accomplished. Her dedication to her family has to be admired. The smile on Mary’s face was a testament to how she thought and lived.

Ron Tobin.

Dear Aiden and Family
Mary was such a beautiful woman in so many ways!
Our thoughts are with you at this sad time.
Angela and Joe Kinsella

TO: Aiden and family
So sorry to hear of Mary’s passing. She was a gited teacher and a role model for all her students. We last remember Mary when our daughter, Laura, was selected by Mary to attend her Enriched Class just prior to us leaving NL. Laura will never forget the experience. MARY left thIs world a better place for being here ! Love Danny and Rita Corcoran Quispamsis , NB

To the Craig family, condolences on the passing of your Mom. I remember your mom from Our Lady of Mercy school. At the time, I thought she was only part of the music program, not knowing your mom went on to teach at Holy Heart. I remember she always looked so stylish, and beautiful blonde hair, a striking figure. Seeing her at the 2018 40th Holy heart reunion, your mom hadn’t changed….still beautiful and stylish. Hold tight your memories.

Aiden and family, so sorry for your loss. I am glad I had the pleasure to meet and spend time with Mary during our time together on the Condo Board at Stoneleigh. She was always so friendly and warm and engaged in our interactions. Take good care.

Mr. Craig, Catherine and Judy, my condolences to you and your families. Mrs. Craig was a gifted teacher and an inspiring leader.. Growing up on Fleming Street and attending Our Lady of Mercy and Holy Heart, I have fond memories of her warm smile and her nurturing, positive personality. May she rest in peace.

Aidan, losing such a fine son and wonderful wife all within a year is beyond. My prayers are with you and the girls. May you find solace in that they were such good people. It is so sad to see them well

Aiden, losing a fine son and wonderful wife all within a year is beyond. My prayers are for you and the girls. Find some solace in that they were such good people. So sad to see them go.
John Flood

Dear Aiden,Catherine,Judy and all of Mary’s family.
I send all of you my condolences on the passing of such a wonderfully kind and gentle woman.
Mary was a well respected and valued colleague at Our Lady of Mercy.
Over the years she would often reach and gather her Mercy teacher friends to get together for lunch.
We all appreciated that and enjoyed catching up.
Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.

Betty Simms

My sincere sympathy to Mrs.. Craig’s family. May she rest in peace.🙏 Mrs. Craig was one of my caring teachers in high school and friendly neighbor.

I’m so sorry for your loss. Mrs. Craig touched many lives with her dedication to education and thoughtfulness. She was my grade nine teacher at Holy Heart of Mary in early 1970s. She was an awesome math teacher! I remember her with much fondness. She gave us students the best foundation to help us succeed in school and in life. I feel fortunate to have known her.
Sincere condolences.

To the whole Craig family, Mrs Craig certainly left an amazing legacy, as a Mom, a teacher and remarkable human. Just watched the livestream funeral. A beautiful tribute to a wonderful woman. So lucky to know her through years of friendship with Catherine. I have certainly enjoyed the visits and chats. Will not make the Tea at Judy and Carl’s but will have a cup in her honour. Hugs. Anne McCarthy, Ernie Yip and family.

My deepest sympathy on the passing of Mary
She was one of the friendliest, welcoming people that I have ever met.
Her happy, smiling face I will never forget.
May all of your wonderful memories bring you great comfort.
God Bless You.
Mary. Rest in peace.

To Aiden Catherine and Judy and family

So sorry to hear about your loss. Mary was an Angel who walked among us.

Phil and Judy Craig and family.

My early memories of Mrs. Craig are of her playing the piano and teaching music at Little Mercy School., where the word was out she was a very nice teacher. Later, Mrs. Craig was my teacher at Holy Heart, where her special qualities of kindness, patience, caring and calmness shone through to all the students, again! Condolences to Mrs. Craig’s family!

Aiden, Catherine and Judy
Sympathy to you on the loss of your wife and mother
Over the years we have had many times sharing friendship from the days we first taught at Mercy
Our family have joins with me in expressing condolence to you and yours
Mary was a fine lady
Thank God for her life and may you find comfort in sharing all those memories you made as family

To Mr. Craig, Catherine, Judy and family,
My sincere condolences to you all on the death of your dear wife and mom. Mary was a beautiful person. Whenever I saw her, she was always so happy to stop for a chat. I spent time visiting the Enrichment Centre, as a teacher, to observe and learn how to enrich my own students in the classroom. Mary was welcoming and delighted to help in any way she could. I always admired her excellence in leadership and in the way she worked with the children.
I also know how much she loved her family and how proud she was of all your accomplishments. Rest in Peace, Mary. You were an inspiration to so many.

My sympathy to the extended Craig family. Mrs Craig was a gifted teacher, and her gift for teaching was really an extension of her warm personality and deep hospitality. I feel privileged to have known her most of my life, and to have experienced her as a teacher in primary school and in high school. What a gift.,

Our deepest condolences to you: Aiden, Catherine, Judy, Kim and all of Mary’s loved ones.
Words are inadequate to convey how much Mary has meant to me, as a colleague and treasured friend.

I was privileged to work with Mary during the Enrichment Program years. Her intuitive gifts as a leader, balancing rationality with trust in creative and collaborative thinking,, made possible a working atmosphere unparalleled in my professional journey. Those years were the highlight of my career.
She gave of herself so completely, yet she shared with us that the key to being a good teacher is to take care of oneself, to live a full life. Her example was proof of that; her active faith, love of family and friends, pursuit of music, art, mathematics, cooking, love of nature. Mary showed us it was possible to balance it all, and welcome each day with joyous intention and gratitude.

She would laugh to think I might describe her as a Paragon.. but there it is. Most of us have but a few people in our lives who truly made a difference to us. For me, Mary is one. I am so grateful for her friendship and influence.

Rest In Peace, dear friend.

Auden& family: Our deepest condolences on the passing of (my adopted sister) Mary. She said one night at choir practise that she would love to have lots of sisters so I told her that I would adopt her as one of my sisters. So every time I saw her I would say “Hi Sister”” & she would smile. She was a beautiful person. I’m glad I got to see her last summer at Murray’s for coffee. It was so good to see her. Rest In Peace My Sister. Denise & Henry.

Dear Catherine and Family,

I have fond memories of you all and your dear Mom from HHM and Fleming St.
May our cherished memories bring us comfort.
Take care and God bless.


Mrs. Craig was a fantastic teacher. She taught me in grade 8, at Mercy, 1964. She built the confidence of a very lonely adolescent. I’ve always remembered her with great respect and gratitude.
You were a very lucky family to have her in your lives.
My condolences 💐
Terri Thomson

Catherine , Judy and families. So sorry to hear this very sad news about your mom. She was a beautiful and kind woman who always had a huge smile when I would see her. I was not one of the fortunate Holy Heart girls who your mom taught. I wish I had though. I struggled in this subject and I often thought if I had Mrs Craig I would likely have a solid baseline in high school and I would have been a genius when I had to do Math and Statistics for my nursing studies.
Thinking of you all
Marcy Greene

Sincere condolences to Aiden and family on the passing of your lovely Mary. Mary was truly a lady, kind, considerate and welcoming. We only met her a few years ago when we got together with a few friends to learn how to play bridge, but we are glad that we got to know her, if only briefly. God bless you Mary, Rest in Peace.

Mrs. Craig (to Holy Heart students), was a pleasant and kind teacher. Hard to calculate how many young girls lives she so positively touched…thousands for sure. May she rest in peace and her family feel the warmth of her memories forever.

Annette Benson (Stevenson)
Ajax, Ontario

To the Craig and Kavanagh Families: My deepest condolences on the passing of Mary. She taught me in high school (1975) and was one of the best teachers I had throughout all of my school years. We ran into each other a few times over the years and always had a great chat and a laugh or two remembering some of my “antics” back then. I am so grateful for her having been in my life! May your memories of her be of comfort to you all now and in the days and weeks ahead.

To the Craig family, please accept my condolences on the passing of your mom.

Mrs. Craig was my Grade 11 home room teacher in 1981 at Holy Heart, and was the best teacher ever! She was always so kind, gentle, helpful, intuitive, and fair with all her students.

She never knew this but Mrs. Craig had an enormous impact on my education as well as my career path.

Over the years. I thought of her often and I am forever grateful for all the help she gave me.

May she Rest In Peace.

Joan (Ozon) Veitch

Wonderful teacher and a great co worker at. HHM for many years. May she Rest In Peace.

Sincere sympathy to the family of Mary Craig. I have many fond memories of Mary when she and Aiden lived at 55 Carpasian Road. She was a lovely Lady.
Linda Reid Kane.

Aiden, Catherine, Judy and families, we send our deepest condolences and sympathies during this stressful time. Mary was a special lady, one of the gentlest, caring, and loving individuals we know. The world has indeed lost one of its angels and we are all in a better place because of her influence on our lives. We love you and may God’s love and peace help ease your pain.

Judy and Catherine, My sincere condolences to you, your Father, and your families at this difficult time. I had the pleasure of chatting with your Mom a few years ago, and, as always, I was impressed by her lovely engaging manner and warm smile – life long attributes that she so generously shared with all those who crossed her path. My she rest in peace. Godspeed.

Aiden & Family,
So sorry to hear of Mary’s passing. We were in school together on Bell Island and it is gratifying to read so many fine tributes. Hers indeed was a life well-lived. Sympathy and prayers.

Catherine O’Neill Driscoll

We are so saddened at Mary’s passing. We have so many memories of her, gentle, caring, compassionate, and loving person. We both shared so much of life in so many ways with Mary and Aiden. To Aiden and all the family our sincere condolences and support forever. Rest in peace, Mary.❤️

It is with great sadness to read of your mom’s passing. I was an admiring student at Holy Heart of Mary, lucky enough to have your mom as both my math and religion teacher. As a math enthusiast myself I can certainly attest to her gift with mathematics. She was equally gifted in all her teaching as our religion classes were always enriching, and my first experience with mediation that she would guide us through. May God hold her safely in his care.

Dear. Aiden, Catherine and Judy,
Our Campbell family offer you our deepest sympathy on the loss of your dear Mary. As many have noted, Mary’s tremendous gifts as a teacher and mentor were extraordinary —having her as my Grade 8 teacher at Mercy Covent school and then to have the privilege of working alongside her at Holy Heart was very special. A field trip to Bell Island in grade 8 still remains one of my outstanding scholastic memories! Our family connections ran deep when Aiden worked alongside our father, Angus Campbell and then with our brother, Rob -we have always appreciated and valued Mary & Aiden’s friendship and kindness to all. May Mary rest in peace and may you find consolation and peace in the support and love of family and friends.

So saddened by the passing of Mary, my teacher in high school and a beautiful soul who became a friend . Mary treated every person she met with a radiant smile and gentle demeanour . She made you feel like the most important person in the room . A chat was never just a chat . With her altruistic motives, unwavering memory and sincere interest in everyone who crossed her path she offered solace or praise when needed with a bit of humour mixed in .She will be missed by many but welcome into the arms of heaven .

Deepest sympathy to all the family. Mary taught me at Mercy Convent in grade eight, she was one of my favourite teachers. We reconnected years later through her musical grandson Arron Shepard and my children, Tim& Sarah also both musical.. Her husband, Aiden , boarded in the 50’s with my mother-in-law while at trades school ., Evelyn Connors Gibbons., also from Bell Island. Mary was kind to all as a teacher, May she rest in peace.

My condolences to all of Mary’s family & friends. Mary taught me on Bell Island in 1958 and it was probably her first year teaching. She was way ahead of her time. and was the best teacher I ever had, inspiring me to become a teacher. I did get the opportunity to tell her that when she was alive. Some people leave indelible footprints on your heart and she was one of those people.

Sincere condolences to Mary’s family on her passing. She was my math teacher at Holy Heart 74/7 5 and could remember me from all those years ago when I joined the choir at Holy Rosary in Portugal Cove around 2004; always very kind and encouraging; Rest in Peace , Mrs Craig

So very sorry to hear of Mary’s passing,. Fond memories of Mary from our days at Littledale. Sincere condolences to the family.

To Aiden and family members our condolences in Mary’s passing. We were fortunate to know both of you while you lived in PCSP. \Best wishes.

I Love You Truly ,was the grooms request for the first dance of their married life.. 1960 was the year. May all who have loved Mary, have peace in your hearts.

So sorry to hear of Mary .The Kavanagh family were next door to us on Bell Island. They were like our extended family. My condolence to all the family. RIP

Sincere condolences to the family

Catherine, Judy and Uncle Aiden.
From my heart I am deeply saddened to hear of Aunt Mary’s passing. My deepest condolences to you all. She has a beautiful soul that will always have a place in my heart. I’m so honored to be a part of your family and so happy to have had the chance to visit this summer. Her obituary is beautiful and tells a story of the beautiful woman she has been her whole life . I am thinking of you all. I love you all ❤️

My heart is full .. Mrs Craig was an amazing teacher, role model and advocate… so glad I had a chance to reconnect over the years .. such a very important person in my life. Prayers and peace to all the Craig and extended families. Thinking of you all at this life changing time ..Peace

To The Craig Family,
We are so sad to heard on Mrs.Craig’s passing. Remembering your Family as neighbours on Fleming Street and Mrs Craig having taught several of us we mourn the loss of a neighbour and a wonderful teacher. Our sincere condolences to Mr. Craig, Catherine, Judy and your families. Our prayers and thoughts are with you at this sad time.

Dear Aiden, Catherine, and Judy,
Brian and I offer our deepest sympathy on the passing for your wife and mother. We experienced Mary and Aiden’s support and generosity on so many occasions.

I first knew Mary as a grade eight student at Our Lady of Mercy ( a lay teach who was pregnant was something of a wonder), and came to know her better working with her at the Enrichment Program on Alexander Street. Mary had an incredible capacity to welcome and accept everyone, to make them part of her extended family and help each individual in whatever way was needed. She was the founder and spirit of the program for gifted children sponsored by the RC School Board, and because she could draw out the best in every student and in every teacher. she created an outstanding program. Mary led by example, with energy, creativity, courage and by drawing out the best in every teacher and student. Working with Mary and the others at Alexander Street was the highlight of my teaching career, and it was Mary’s leadership that made the experience so wonderful.
in addition to the professional contacts, Mary made us part of an extended and very special family. I have memories of dinners at Portugal Cove and in St. John’s – always warm, full of laughter and great food – not just great baking.!
Mary informed many lives – her family down to the third generation, and so many students over the years including those “gifted” children at the enrichment centre who so needed to interact with others who shared their gifts and challenges. One important part of Mary’s wide and full legacy is the program she created that gave so many young people what they needed to develop their gifts and use them for the benefit of all.

I thank God for Mary’s friendship, support, and generosity, and pray for you in your great loss.
Patricia Donnelly

My heartfelt condolences Judy and Catherine to you both and to your father and families. Your Mom took the time to attend the 1979 HHM graduating class reunion in 2019. It was lovely to see her. Such a kind and accomplished woman who touched many lives and inspired a generation of new teachers. God speed.

So sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing Catherine .
Her obituary tells a beautiful story of her full life .
You will be sharing many memories this week together .
Friends of Catherine , Ian, Mairi, Aiden
Deb and Michael

To: Aiden and family.
So sad to hear of Mary’s passing. She was such a warm , caring and compassionate lady. She will be remembered for a long long time.
Bruce Sheppard

Dear Aidan and Family: We send our sincerest condolences as we remember a life of accomplishment and goodwill. Requiescat in Pace..

Peter and Hilary Neary
London, Ontario

Mrs Craig inspired many of her students to become teachers. She certainly guided my thoughts to that profession. A kinder , more patient teacher you could not find. She was my grade 8 teacher at Our lady of Mercy and all the class adored her and looked up to her. Condolences to her family. A very amazing lady. May she rest in peace.

So sorry to hear of Mrs. Craig’s passing. I had her as a teacher in Our Lady of Mercy. A wonderful teacher and a lovely person. She will be missed

Dear Catherine, Judy & Family

I’m so sorry to hear this news. She was a wonderful teacher, role model and genuine sincere person. She was everyone’s ‘mom’ at Holy Heart. She was simply the best.

Oh my “Mrs Craig” you have left me with so many beautiful memories of my high school years. You were so helpful to me in Math class. Thank you for all that you have done. I will never forget you. May you RIP. Condolences to the Craig family..

Mr Craig, Catherine and Judy and family,
Deepest condolences for your loss. Mrs Craig was such a beautiful and loving woman and an amazing teacher. May your precious memories help you in the difficult days ahead.

Dear Judy, Catherine & Families:
We were deeply saddened to hear of your Mother’s passing.. She was a lovely lady and will be missed by everyone who was fortunate to have known her.
Our prayers and thoughts are with you at this difficult time.
May you find comfort in your memories.
Lorraine Davy & Ken Taggart

Condolences to Mrs Craigs family. I was a student of Holy Heart. She was a wonderful lady.

My condolances to Aiden, Judy and Katherine and extended family members.

I was touched to have met and taught with Mary.
My thoughts are with your families.
Peg Noseworthy

Dear Judy, Catherine & families:
We were deeply saddened to hear of Mary’s passing.
She was a lovely lady and will be missed by everyone who was fortunate enough to have known her.

Saddened to hear of Mary’s passing, I have fond memories of taking painting classes with her,she certainly was a gracious lady, gentle and caring, Rest in peace Mary,

Deepest sympathy to the Craig Family on Mary’s passing. Thoughts and prayers are with you as you deal with your very sad loss.

Johnena (Cahill) Quirke

Aiden and Family.
Sincerest condolences from The Jackmans’s.Mary and I were always in the same class at The Immaculate Conception school on Bell Island.May her gentle soul rest in peace.

Judy, Catherine and Mr. Craig, All the family, I am so sorry for your loss. Mrs Craig will always be remembered for her kind, gentle loving way with everyone. You have really captured her in this tribute to her. I do remember her baked goods very fondly. I am sorry to be away during this sad time for you all but I keep you in my prayers and will watch the mass on Tuesday. Blessings to all.

Deepest condolences Aiden and family so sorry for the loss of your dear Mary
Dianne MacDonald ( Power )

Catherine, I am so sorry for your loss. My sincerest condolences to you and your family.

Catherine.–so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. I have fond memories of her. Big hugs to you and your family.

Catherine and Judy
I am so deeply sorry to hear of your moms passing. Such a beautiful lady. May your cherished memories get you through this difficult time. Condolences to your dad and family.
Marlene Jesso

Catherine – so very sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. Thinking of you and your family at this sad time.

Mrs. Craig was one of the sweetest teacher at Holy Heart of Mary, Treasure all the great memories you have of her,
Condolences to all her family and friends
May her Gentle Soul Rest In Peace 🙏

My deepest condolences to you all. I was very lucky to have her as a math teacher at Holy Heart. She was always so kind..