Cover photo for Thomas Moore Craig, Jr.'s Obituary
Thomas Moore Craig, Jr. Profile Photo
1944 Thomas 2022

Thomas Moore Craig, Jr.

October 8, 1944 — June 2, 2022

Spartanburg, SC- Thomas Moore Craig, 77, retired educator, former legislator, and community volunteer, of Cragmoor Farms, Roebuck, SC died Thursday, June 2, 2022 at Spartanburg Medical Center.

He was born in Charlotte, NC, the son of the late Lena Heath Jones Craig and Thomas Moore Craig, Sr. He was a lifelong resident of Spartanburg County.

He was educated in Spartanburg School District Seven schools, graduating from Spartanburg High School where he was President of the Student Body in 1962. He attended Davidson College, graduating in 1966 with a double major in French and history. He spent the 1964-1965 school year at the University of Montpellier, France. He was awarded the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award at graduation.

Craig earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Converse College and completed requirements for a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina.

He worked for Spartanburg District Seven schools for thirty years as a history teacher, administrator (Principal of Jesse Boyd Elementary School), and Director of Guidance at Spartanburg High School. He served on the SC Governor’s School Advisory Committee, the Stuart Scholars Selection Committee at Davidson College, and the Duke Power Scholars Selection Committee. He was a member of the selection committee for the National Merit Scholarship Program, Evanston, IL in 1995-1996.

Craig was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1972 at age 27, serving on the Education Committee and as Secretary of the Spartanburg County Legislative Delegation. He was most proud of being the sponsor, along with Reps. Mendel Rivers and Wheeler Tillman of a successful bill which for the first time, allowed motorists to turn right on a red light. He sponsored the state’s first Fair Employment and Dismissal law for teachers and was an early proponent of land trust and preserve legislation.

Gov. John C. West appointed him to the South Carolina Commission on Human Affairs in 1975 for a four year term and Gov. Richard Riley appointed him to the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education in 1986 where he served until 1991.

He was a member of the Board of the Upcountry History Museum in Greenville and Executive Council of the South Carolinian Library, Columbia-2013.

Tom Moore Craig was an active participant in the Spartanburg community. Among boards he served was the Hatcher Garden (Chairman), Spartanburg County Historical Association, Hub Culture, Spartanburg County Forestry Board (Chairman). He was a Deacon at Spartanburg First Presbyterian Church.

For his entire adult life he served Walnut Grove Plantation, his family’s original home in Spartanburg County, as a Committee Member, volunteer, and fund raiser. Craig’s parents gave Walnut Grove for restoration to the Historical Association in the early 1960’s. Craig and his sister, Susan Craig Murphy, have since given an additional 50 adjacent acres to the Plantation to ensure its protection.

In 2009, the University of South Carolina Press published Craig’s Upcountry South Carolina Goes to War, a volume of family letters written during the Civil War period.

Craig is survived by his brother in law, John R. Murphy; two nephews, John R. Murphy, Jr. of Syracuse, NY and Thomas Craig Murphy of France.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Susan Heath Craig Murphy.

Friends and family are invited to celebrate Tom’s life on August 4th, 9:30AM at Nazareth Presbyterian Church at the graveside. A reception will follow at the Piedmont Club.

Memorials may be made to Hatcher Gardens, P O Box 2337, Spartanburg, SC 29304 or to Walnut Grove Plantation, P O Box 887, Spartanburg, SC 29304.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Moore Craig, Jr., please visit our flower store.

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