Thomas Craven Jr. ’51

Dr. Thomas Craven Jr. died peacefully surrounded by family on December 19, 2023. He was born on July 30, 1929, in Huntersville, North Carolina, the son of Dr. Thomas Craven Sr. and Mildred Smith Craven. Growing up in Huntersville and the family farm in the Long Creek area, he attended Huntersville High School and was active in scouting, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. He was a graduate of Oak Ridge Military Academy and Davidson College (Class of 1951).

After graduation, he served in the Korean War as a First Lieutenant where he was awarded a Bronze Star. After his return, he decided to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather who were both physicians and graduated from the University of North Carolina Medical School in 1958.

Before heading out to the first of several medical internships, he married Joan Marie Thompson of Danville, VA. They were thrilled to come to Wilmington where Tom joined the Wilmington Orthopedic Group as an orthopedic surgeon in 1963.

Tom and Joan were long-time members of Saint Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church where he faithfully served as an Elder, Stephens Minister and lead many bible study series. After Joan’s death he married Evelyn Wright, and they enjoyed attending St. James Episcopal Church.

Tom loved running, biking, and kayaking. He participated in numerous races, triathlons and marathons, including several Grandfather Mountain and Boston Marathons. Tom always loved music, playing many instruments, but especially found much joy playing his fiddle.

Tom loved his family dearly and is survived by his son Tom Craven and daughter Sarah Craven Anderson and her husband, Kent Anderson. He is also survived by grandchildren Webb Craven, Rebecca Craven Dronet (Matt), Joe Craven, Sam Anderson, and great granddaughter Scarlett Dronet.

A Memorial Service celebrating his life will be held on Thursday, January 11th at 2pm at St. Andrews Covenant Presbyterian Church, Wilmington NC. The family will receive guests in the chapel immediately following the service. There will be a private burial at Oleander Memorial Gardens. Memorials may be made in Tom’s name to St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church.