Howard Thomas Mauldin, Jr., 67, of Savannah, GA died Saturday, April 4, 2009 at the Ralph H. Johnson V. A. Medical Center in Charleston, SC following a period of declining health. He was born in Burke County, NC on August 10, 1941 and was the son of Margaret Owens Mauldin of Morganton and the late Howard Thomas Mauldin, Sr.Tom, as he was called by his friends, or "Tommy", when he attended Drexel High School, next went to Columbia Union College in Washington D.C. where he graduated Valedictorian. After college he was drafted into the U.S. Army where he was stationed at Walter Reed Hospital. It was at this time he discovered that he had a beautiful singing voice. When he sang at a wedding in the Washington Cathedral, he was encouraged by two guests, Robert and Ethel Kennedy, to audition for a professional theater company. He was chosen by that company for the leads in three musicals, "No Strings", "Brigadoon", and "Bye Bye Birdie" as the Elvis Presley –type singer, Conrad Birdie. Following his military service, Tom went to work for IBM where he designed the first automated warehouse in the world. Later he traveled to Los Angeles where he lived for twenty five years. Tom went into business with partner Raymond Levin, manufacturing handbags and accessories. He also became an art dealer which he continued for the rest of his life. He was involved with the art community in Savannah, and was known and loved at the Savannah College of Art and Design.Surviving in addition to his mother are his companion of 40 years, Raymond Levin, of the home; a sister, Sheryl Chapman of Morganton; a nephew, Michael England and his wife, Andrea, of Newton; a niece, Lesa Briggs and her husband, Jeff of Hickory; great nieces and nephews, Melissa Reynolds, Ryan Briggs, Laura England, and Chase England.The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, April 10, 2009, in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Elder Leslie Smart and Elder Barry Mahorney officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park with military honors conducted by Valdese American Legion Post 234 Ceremonial Team. The family will receive friends from 1 until 2 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

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