Margaret Craft DeCosta-Smith Profile Photo
1952 Margaret 2022

Margaret Craft DeCosta-Smith

July 25, 1952 — August 13, 2022


Margaret Craft was born July 25, 1952 in Charleston, South Carolina, to the late Herbert Alexander DeCosta, Jr. and Emily Howland Spencer DeCosta. She grew up on Spring Street with her parents and sister, Gail, before the family moved to the house built by her father on Heritage Park Road.


As a child, she demonstrated an independent, rebellious spirit. And she always marched to the beat of her own drum. Once on a road trip, she amused herself cutting paper and sprinkling it along the freeway. Only being pulled over by an officer who shared that the vehicle had been littering for miles was her private amusement discovered by her family. 


Her free spirit did not stop her from being a daddy’s girl. Her love for daddy was clear to all those who knew her.  


Margaret graduated from Rivers High School in Charleston in 1969 at the age of 16 years old. Margaret went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree from Fisk University in 1973, majoring in Business Administration.


Upon graduating, Margaret began her long career working for the Federal government. Her career would take her to Washington, D.C., Michigan and Georgia, eventually settling in at the Army Headquarters Forces Command at Fort MacPherson. She worked for the US Army for her entire career as an Information Technology Procurement and Contract Specialist. She would go on to be recognized for her work and accomplishments in Army Base Leadership Management Programs, Leadership Education and Development programs, Organization and Leadership for Executives programs, Program Management, and the Women’s Executive Leadership Program. She retired in 2008 after 35 years of dedicated service. 


The greatest source of pride for Margaret was her children: Alex, Ellen, and Elizabeth. Spending time with them was one of her greatest joys. When they were young, she made sure they had fun-filled summers. They would take road trips to Daytona, Florida to enjoy the beach. These trips always included a side trip to the most magical place in the world: Disney World. And no summer was complete without a visit to Six Flags amusement park, White Water water park, and a road trip to Charleston to visit family. She picked up a part time job working for the Atlanta Braves where she could take Alex to games, as he was an avid sports fan. Years later, she would even take Elizabeth to see her first WWE pro wrestling match.


As her children grew older, Margaret took great joy in bragging about their accomplishments to anyone who would listen. She would call them routinely to chat about her day and talk to her grandchildren. As life took her children across the country and around the world, Margaret made sure she visited them wherever they may be. 


Margaret’s faith was a pillar of her identity. She was an active member of the Episcopal Church. Her love of her family and faith came together through her membership at her family church, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. It was at St. Mark’s where she celebrated her most important religious milestones: marriage, baptism, and, now, eternal rest. Margaret’s faith journey led her to become an active participant in Cursillo, where she sought to become a more active Christian leader in her church and community. 


As an adult, Margaret discovered a newfound interest in outdoor hobbies. She took up running and skiing. She was soon participating in marathons.


Margaret was a woman of many talents. Most notable of them were her culinary and sewing skills. Cooking was a favorite pastime of Margaret’s. Margaret was a wonderful cook and baker—well known for her ability to cook dishes inspired by various international cuisines. She loved to make meals for friends and family, as well as bake desserts and treats for special occasions. Any meal made by Margaret was sure to include something special just for you. 


Margaret was also a very talented seamstress. Those that knew her could expect to see her draped in elaborate self-made dresses. Her home was filled with pieces she made— curtains, pillows, and more. And, she showed her love to others through her sewing. Each of her children were the recipients of personalized items made by Margaret: a handmade, hand-beaded veil for Ellen’s wedding, personalized baby bedding for Alex’s children, and a high school graduation dress for Liz. 


Margaret loved to travel. This was a love that started as a child when she traveled with her family. She shared fond memories of a cross-country train trip, a visit to the Seattle World’s Fair, and an extensive tour throughout Europe. As an adult, she continued on numerous travels to see the beauty of the world with those she loved. Highlights of those travels included trips to the streets of Korea to visit her daughter, Ellen, and the markets of South Africa to visit her sister, Gail.


Later in life, Margaret took up a love for Sudoku games. Whether she was at home or on the road traveling, her sudoku books were never far away. She would play the games all night, bragging to her kids about completing books - even if she happened to take a look or two at the answers in the back.


Margaret was the beloved grandmother to 5 beautiful grandchildren. She would call to talk to them on the phone, even if she had to double check who was on the phone as the kids would wander about. No matter what the occasion, she ended every call with “Grandmommy loves you” in a sing-song voice. 


On August 13, 2022 Margaret transitioned from this life to her eternal one. She leaves wonderful memories with her children: Alex, Ellen (Garlin), and Elizabeth; sister Gail; grandchildren: Jayden, Savanna, Garlin III, Emily, and Ruby; and her nieces: Julia and Kanyisile. 


In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be made to the Avery Institute for Afro American History & Culture. Founded in 1865, the Avery Normal Institute was the first accredited school for African Americans in Charleston. Many friends and members of the DeCosta family attended Avery. Today, the Avery Institute hosts important and engaging exhibits and artifacts that capture the rich history and experiences of the African Americans who have lived and worked in the Lowcountry. The DeCosta family archives are also housed at Avery. You may donate to the Avery Institute by following this link, then selecting “Memorials and Honorariums”, and indicating that your donation is dedicated in memory of Margaret DeCosta.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, August 19, 2022

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Saint Mark's Episcopal Church

16 Thomas St, Charleston, SC 29403

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