The Beginning of the Craft’s Nest:
Thomas (Tom) Edward Craft was the first of two children to Margaret and Thomas Craft Jr. He was born on July 14, 1951 in Clemson, South Carolina. Thomas is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 39 years Vonita; mother Margaret V. Craft; sister Karry Craft Walker; a beloved aunt Genevea Brownlee; sisters-in-law Patricia Speed Gould, Inez Speed and Sheila Harrleson; nephews Justin Walker, Terrance, Anthony, Charles, and Dwayne Prince, Gregory Speed, Elton and Dominic Harrleson. Nieces Yolanda, Sonya and Tonya Speed, Sherece Gibbs and Sherill Harrelson; cousin Cecil Diggs and a host of cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his father Thomas J. Craft, Jr.
It’s Tom’s Life:
Tom had a desire to Live, Love and Laugh. His passion was gardening. It appealed him to obtain an apprenticeship under Denison Landscaping & Nursery. He loved making things grow and new creations. Tom went on to obtained his Master Gardner certification. Anyone who rode past the Craft’s family home knew that Tom had a green thumb. He looked forward with anticipation of attending the annual garden, outdoors and flower expo in Philadelphia, PA.
Although, Tom never obtained a degree in culinary, he was an excellent cook and would prefer to eat at home than going out. He was most comfortable when he was home surrounded by loved ones, whether playing a game of pool, listening to jazz or one of his favorite artist, Frankie Beverly w/Maze.
He also had a flare for fashion, always outfitted in the latest including to complete the look with a hat/jewelry/cuff links and a swag to his walk. Tom was a great conversationalist – ready to discuss and engaged in a hearty of current events, ideas and philosophy. He was a gentleman, chivalry was not dead, it embodied him. He was soft, loving, considerate, sensitive and nurturing to those he cared deeply for. He constantly showered his wife with cards and other items of affection and devotion, just because. He would hold onto the pass-down possession for sentimental value (he once had a picture frame constructed from old wood pieces from his maternal grandfather’s barn to hold his grandfather’s picture). Also he had his grandmother’s couch re-upholstery that was stuffed with horsehair). Very proud of his heritage and upbringing and he loved riding horses with his cousin Cecil.
Tom attended Blueridge High School, Seneca SC during segregation. He graduated from D.W. Daniel High School in 1969. He attended Anderson College, Anderson, SC after high school then later voluntarily joined the Air Force in 1971. He attended basic training at Lackland Air Force in San Antonio, TX and was stationed in London, England, Sicily Italy, Andrews Air Force Base, and Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, DC and the Pentagon. Tom served 20 years of military service and retired in 1991. Throughout his military and federal career, Tom received many citations, accolades, awards, promotion, and honorable mentions for his exceptional work performance. After military retirement, he worked for the Veteran Affairs Administration for 25 years, as a Supervisor Program Analyst and retired in 2016. Always striving to improve and better himself, during his employment, he graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice.
As a child, Tom joined New Hope Baptist Church, Clemson, SC. He later joined Ebenezer A.M.E. Church, Fort Washington, MD, where he accepted the Lord as his Savior. Just as he was passionate about life, he rejoiced in serving God in his daily life.
Tom and Vonita’s love life began in the summer of 1976, and their love and friendship sustained them until he took his last breath on Thursday, October 14, 2021.
Public viewing will be held on Friday, October 22, 2021 from 1:00 until 6:00 p.m. at the funeral home.
Tom's Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 23, 2021 at New Hope Baptist Church in Clemson, SC. At a later date, a celebration will be held at Ebenezer A.M.E. Church in Fort Washington, MD and interment with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.
The family is at 108 Spencer Street, Clemson, SC.
Donations can be made to Brain Cancer Awareness.
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