Thomas Richmond Tuten Jr.

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Thomas Richmond Tuten, Jr. WHITE ROCK, SC - Thomas Richmond Tuten Jr., 90, died Friday, March 15, 2013, at the Heritage at Lowman, where he had resided since December 2003. A graveside service will be held Monday, March 18, 2013, in Live Oak Memorial Gardens, Charleston, SC, at 3:00 p.m. The family will receive friends Monday in the chapel at J. Henry Stuhr, Inc., West Ashley (3360 Glenn McConnell Pkwy.) from 1:00 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. A celebration of his life will be held Sunday, March 24, 2013, at 3:00 p.m. in the New Life Chapel on the Heritage at Lowman campus in White Rock, SC. The family will receive friends following the service in the adjoining Hoeffler Gallery. Tom was born July 10, 1922, in Ravenel, SC, the only child of Thomas R. Tuten and Kate Elsey. He graduated from Murray Vocational School in Charleston, SC. After a brief time working at the Charleston Naval Shipyard, he joined the United States Merchant Marine and served his country during World War II by delivering war materials in both the European and Pacific theaters. When the war ended, he sailed the world as an engineer on Esso tankers and with other carriers. On September 25, 1957, he began a successful career as manager of several Belk department stores in the Charleston area. He retired in January 1989. On September 30, 1954, he wed Florence Woodley Davenport in Bethel United Methodist Church in downtown Charleston. Married for 52 years, Florence and Tom resided in Riverland Terrace on James Island, SC, until 2003, when they moved to the Heritage at Lowman retirement community. For many years, Tom was an active member of Bethany United Methodist Church, James Island, where he served in various leadership roles. He continued his life of service at Lowman, where he organized volunteers to greet visitors on weekends, served as a lector in Sunday worship services in the New Life Chapel, hosted parties for residents, and distributed monthly flyers throughout the independent living community. Tom considered his decade of residence there to be among the best years of his life. He was also a faithful supporter of Wofford College and the Terriers. He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Thomas Richmond III and Nancy of Columbia, SC; granddaughters, Elizabeth Grace and Emily Claire of Columbia; sisters-in-law, Cornelia "Nelie" Davenport Thomas of Mt. Pleasant, SC, and Carole Davenport Haywood (Paul) of Paducah, KY; and seven nephews and nieces and their children and grandchildren. He was predeceased by a third sister-in-law, Hilda Elizabeth "Betty" Davenport. The family extends its deepest gratitude to the staff members in the rehabilitation center at Lowman and at Lexington Medical Center for the compassionate care they gave to Tom in his final days. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lutheran Homes of South Carolina Foundation, 300 Ministry Dr., Irmo, SC 29063, or the Oliver Gospel Mission, PO Box 7791, Columbia, SC 29202. Visit our guestbook at charleston

Published in Charleston Post & Courier on Mar. 17, 2013
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