Thomas Bernard Draper, 84, of Martinsville passed away Monday, May 23, 2021. He was born March 29, 1937, to Thomas “Tommie” M. Draper and Lillian Hairfield Draper. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother-in-law Morton Haynes.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years Ann Davis Draper; daughter Bernadette Draper Watts and her husband Gary Edwards Watts; grandson Luke Edward Watts; granddaughters, Savannah Rae Watts and Molly Ross Watts; sister, Alma Draper Haynes; Brother John Daniel Draper and sister-in-law Jane A. Draper.
Thomas attended John D. Bassett High School. After high school, he was drafted into the military. He served as a medic in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam conflict stationed primarily at Irwin Army Hospital in Fort Riley, Kansas.
Prior to and after his military service, Thomas worked for Larry Fisher at Roselawn Cemetery for many years. He later worked for 37 years at CSI, Central Storage Systems, now known as Schenker.
He was a hard worker who loved his family, but he had other interests as well. He was an avid bowler. He bowled all his life continuing until age 82. He was even named “Bowler of the Year” in 1965. Although he never bowled a perfect game of 300 he came very close with a high score of 273.
He also loved NASCAR’s Ford drivers. His favorite was Mark Martin who he enjoyed watching win races. He especially treasured his first vehicle, a 1940 Ford Coupe, and his last, a 1986 F-150 pickup truck.
When Bernadette was a senior in high school, she and Ann went to the Ford dealership and bought a Mustang. Thomas traded it in a few days later and got a different mustang he liked which she drove for years at Appalachian State University and even after she married. He was a Ford man through and through!
As a boy, he became a member of Jones Chapel Church of the Brethren in his home community of Figsboro. After marriage, the young couple (just like kids) attended First Baptist Church in Collinsville. In recent years, although a private person, Thomas confirmed his faith in Jesus Christ to his daughter, Bernadette, to his sister-in-law Jane, and to his brother-in-law, Mark.
A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, May 28, 2021, at Roselawn Burial Park
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Mountain Valley Hospice of Yadkinville, 243 N. Lee Avenue, Yadkinville, N.C. 27055 or to the Alzheimer’s Association, 2728 Colonial Ave., SW, Suite 2, Roanoke VA 24015
Arrangements are by McKee-Stone Funeral Home-Martinsville, VA.
To express condolences online, please visit www.collinsmckeestonemartinsville.com