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Charles Thomas “Tommy” Prince, 87, of Whitmire, widower of Bonnie Adams Felker Prince, died April 26, 2020 at Newberry County Memorial Hospital.
Born on September 13, 1932 in Whitmire, he was the son of the late Samuel Franklin “Frank” and Minnie Bell White Prince. Tommy worked on his family’s 165 acre farm from his earliest memories. He dropped out of school after the 6 th grade so he could help out more at home and pick up odd jobs, since his father had died in 1942 leaving Tommy’s mother and 11 other siblings at home. Some of his early jobs were helping his brother Vernon deliver ice and working for Ulysess Gilliam at the Pure Oil gas station on Main Street. In July 1951 he went to work with J. P. Stevens and worked his way to head loom fixer on the 2 nd shift. He served in the U. S. Army from 1954 – 1956. He married Bonnie on May 22, 1959 in Whitmire. In May 1985 J. P. Stevens announced that the Whitmire plant would be converted to a yarn producing plant and the weave room was phased out over an eight-month period. Tommy stopped the last loom off at the Whitmire plant at 2:00 PM on October 24, 1985. He then worked at Carlisle Finishing from 1986 - 1987 in the Screen Print department before he was asked to work for American Fiber and Finishing in Newberry as a loom fixer. He worked there from 1987 until his retirement on October 1, 1994. After his retirement he began selling tombstones for Wylie Brothers and later L & H Monuments, both out of York. Tommy sold mostly in Newberry and Union counties. He continued with this until 2016.
He was a member of The American Legion, Eli B. Farah Post No. 70 and a Life Member of the Roseboro Masonic Lodge # 195.
He is survived by a son Chris Prince of Whitmire; sisters Margie Felker and Frances Erskine both of Whitmire and Dot Burnett Stewart of Union. He was predeceased by his wife Bonnie; sisters Willie Mae Strickland, Ethel Sligh Dublin, Helen Sinclair, Lula Harrison Hamilton, Mildred Tankersley, and Eleanor Prince; brothers James Prince, John Prince, Vernon Prince, Marvin Prince, and David Prince.
Private graveside services will be conducted by Rev. Paul Williams, Rev. Eddie Duncan, and Rev. Ray Massey on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 2:00 PM at the Whitmire Cemetery with military honors. Serving as pallbearers are Tony Felker, Steve Erskine, Jack Burnett, Ricky Alexander, John Nobles, and Alex Swain.
Memorials may be made to The South Carolina Bottle & Whitmire Museum, PO Box 261, Whitmire, SC 29178.
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