Rev. Thomas ‘Tom’ Lowell Deal

U.S. Army

Age 89, Charlottesville, Va.

Rev. Thomas Lowell “Tom” Deal, Retired U.S. Army Chaplain/Colonel, of Luray, Va., passed away on July 25, 2023,  in Charlottesville, Va., where he’d resided for the past six years. He was 89.

Tom was born to the late Ada Mohler Deal and Amos Deal in Hagerstown, Md., on September 28, 1933. After the deaths of his parents, he moved to Luray in 1945 when he was adopted by his aunt and uncle, Eula Deal Hoak and Leo Hoak. 

He joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 and served on the escort carrier USS Gilbert Islands. Before leaving Page County for the Navy, Tom met Anna Belle Graves of Stanley, and he returned at every opportunity to see her. In 1952, they married and spent a life together. Upon his retirement from the U.S. Army, Tom and Anna Belle returned to Luray.

Tom became a born-again Christian while in the Navy. He then attended college for his bachelor’s degree, followed by a Master’s in Education. Next, Tom earned a Master of Divinity degree from Crozer Theological Seminary. Early in his ministry, he joined the U.S. Army as a Chaplain and was soon sent to serve in the Vietnam war. This was the first of two year-long tours of duty there; first with the 4th Infantry Battalion and the second with the 101st Airborne Division. While Tom was in Vietnam, his family lived in Page County as Anna Belle raised their five children on her own. After his second tour, Tom was transferred to Alaska; then to New York City; Arlington, Va.; Fort Leavenworth, KS; Fort Riley, KS; Fort Humphreys, Korea; Ft. Lee, Va.; and finally, to Fort Monroe, Va.

Tom continued his Christian ministry in the Luray area, serving as the pastor of Leaksville Christian Church and at Valley Central Church in Mount Jackson. During his lifetime commitment to serving Christ, he had his wife by his side. She led Bible studies, children’s programs, and bell choirs. Eventually, failing health led Tom and Anna Belle to move to a retirement community in Charlottesville, Va. There, Tom preached occasional Sunday services and always offered a helping hand and friendly conversation to other residents. Tom lost Anna Belle, the love of his life, on February 15, 2018.

Tom is survived by his children and their spouses: Greg (and Barbara) Deal of Jensen Beach, FL; Debra Deal (and Rogier van Bakel) of Mount Desert, ME; Mike (and Chris) Deal of Williamsport, PA; Jeff (and Jennifer) Deal of Charlottesville; Tim Deal (and Robert Kaiser) of Mount Vernon, NY; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A viewing will take place at the Bradley Funeral Home in Luray on August 12, from 10 to 10:45 a.m., followed by a ceremony and burial at the Graves Chapel Cemetery in Stanley from 11 to 11:45 a.m. A reception will be held at Leaksville Christian Church in Luray after the burial.

The family would like to thank the Rosewood Village Retirement Community and the Hospice of the Piedmont in Charlottesville for their care of Tom in his final days.

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