Mr. Thomas Gray Craven, better known as “Tommy,” 79, of Glendale Springs, N.C., passed away Friday morning, March 12, 2021 at Forest Ridge Assisted Living.

Funeral services were held on Monday, March 15, 2021 at 2 p.m. at Boone Family Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Frank Woods officiating. Burial followed in the Ashelawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

The body lay in state from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m. on Monday, March 15, 2021, two hours prior to the funeral service.

Mr. Craven was born in the Peak Creek Community in Ashe County on May 20, 1941 to the late E.L. “Gene” and Grace Evelyn Bare Craven. He taught Automotive Mechanics at Ashe Central High School from 1979-1980 and served as the wrestling coach. He worked also as a mechanic at the Ashe County School Bus Garage for a number of years; prior to beginning work for the State of N..C, he held a variety of jobs-including cyclone fence building and as a dispatcher for the Ashe County Sheriff’s Department. He was baptized on June 4, 2000 in the New River. Tommy was a member of Calvary Freewill Baptist Church; where he enjoyed playing his mandolin with the choir.

Tommy had a love for cars, mostly Hot Rods and drag racing in his younger years. He enjoyed playing the piano, guitar, banjo, mandolin and fiddle. He enjoyed sitting on the porch in his later years with his family and friends. He loved people and helping anyone in need. Tommy will be greatly missed.

He was also preceded by three sisters, Pearl J. Miller, Lenna R. Gray and Lorinda “Cindy” Butchee; and two brothers, Billy Joe Craven and Jerry L. Craven.

Mr. Craven is survived by his wife of 60 years of marriage, Shirley McClure Craven; a daughter, Melanie Staley (John), of Millers Creek; a granddaughter, Caitlin Howell (Travis) of West Jefferson. He was also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, that he loved dearly.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, PO Box 88, Glendale Springs, NC 28629 to encourage government agencies and citizens to take responsibility for conserving and protecting our natural resources, especially in the Ashe County area; which Tommy loved.

The family would like to extend their most heartfelt thanks to Dr. Christopher Campbell, Ashe Medics and the staff at Ashe Memorial Hospital for the care and attention given to Tommy. We would also like to thank the staff at Forest Ridge for providing loving care over the past 10 months. This was made more difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic when families couldn’t visit. Your team took on the added responsibility to love and support when we weren’t there to give it. We thank each of you for treating Tommy with the upmost care and respect and, lastly, we want to thank Medi Home Hospice for your caring support over that last week. You were there to help us through this most trying situation-we can never thank you enough.

You may give the family your condolences at our website

Boone Family Funeral Home of West Jefferson is in charge of these arrangements.

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