Thomas J. VanLiew SANTEE - Thomas Joseph VanLiew, 77, husband of Loretta Ray VanLiew passed away Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at his home. Funeral services will be 1:00 pm Friday at Fellowship of Praise Church, 8280 Old Number Six Highway, Santee. James Ellis Hammond, grandson of the deceased, and the Rev. Kent Wilson will officiate. Burial will be 3:30 pm in the St. John's Baptist Church Cemetery, 1142 Sugar Hill Road, Moncks Corner with military rights. Visitation will begin at 12:00 pm at the church. A Celebration of Life will be held in his honor at 6:00 pm at the Town of Santee Cultural Arts Center, 176 Brooks Blvd, Santee. Mr. VanLiew was born in New Brunswick, NJ, a son of the late Charles VanLiew and Elizabeth Hart VanLiew. He was a devout Christian and member of Fellowship of Praise Church and an ordained Deacon by Trinity Baptist Church. He was a retired Master Sergeant from the United States Air Force, where he served twenty years. A veteran of the Vietnam War, he received the Air Force Commendation Medal several times and the Meritorious Service Medal. He was also retired from the Charleston Naval Shipyard Shop 99, where he was recommended for Federal Employee of the year. Thomas was a beloved member of his community; serving in many leadership positions. He was a charter member and officer of the Elks Lodge in Summerville, SC. Later he became Exalted Ruler of Lodge #2719 and was instrumental in getting the lodge in their present building. He also established and was a charter member and officer of the Ladson Sertoma Club. In addition, he served as President of the South Carolina Alzheimer's Association and the Home Owners' Association of Tall Pines. He was predeceased by a brother Charles VanLiew. He is survived by his wife, Loretta; daughters Elizabeth Hammond of Santee and Sherry (Luis) Del Prado of Kingsland, GA; sons Thomas Joseph (Rhonda) VanLiew, Jr. of Summerville and Gerald (Donna) VanLiew of Ladson; brothers Kenneth (Nancy) VanLiew of Lady Lakes, FL and Gary VanLiew of Aurora, CO; sisters Frances Wilson and Beth (David) Cain both of Montrose, PA; grandchildren Ashley DelPrado, Christopher (Courtney) VanLiew, Kari (Thomas) Gritzner, Lauren VanLiew, James Ellis Hammond, and Kenneth Evan Hammond; great-grandchildren Abbigail DelPrado, Thomas Robert Gritzner III, and Mason DelPrado. His daughter, Elizabeth, was his caregiver in his last years. Recently, he was under the care of Grove Park Hospice of Orangeburg, SC. The family would like to thank Rose Moates and Lashawn Thompson for the many hours of love, kindness, and care during his time of need. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Campus Outreach Ministry in San Diego, PO Box 15787, San Diego, CA 92175. Avinger Funeral Home, 2274 Eutaw Road, Holly Hill, SC 29059, is assisting the family. Please visit www.avingerfh.com for additional information.