W. Dennis Thomas

Obituary
11 entries
  • "We have lost a great man. May his kindness and love of..."
    - Roberta & Brian Kasik
  • "It's was an honor to know him he will be greatly missed"
    - Dan Long
  • "We are so very sorry for your loss. May you be comforted."
    - Doug and Adrienne Klein
  • "We keep in our hearts always those that we loved."
    - Emalie Gibbons Baker
  • "Dennis' passing is a terrible loss to his family, friends..."
    - Joe Weinkam
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William Dennis Thomas, 70, of Westminster, Maryland, died peacefully on Tuesday, September 23, after living with cancer for three years. Born December 8, 1943, in Middle River, Maryland, he was the son of the late George Crosby Noyes Thomas and Justa Mae Witherspoon. He is survived by Dawn Frances Haines Thomas, his wife of 49 years, whom he met in 1960 while in high school and married in August 1965. He grew up in Carroll County, Maryland, attending Winfield Elementary and Mt. Airy Junior and Senior High Schools. After graduating in 1961, he attended Frostburg State University, where he was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon and president of his senior-year class. He earned a Master of Social Work degree at the University of Maryland in 1967. Following a brief period with The Carroll County Board of Education, he began a 20-year career in the federal government. From 1968 to 1981, he worked in various positions, including Chief of Staff, for U.S. Senator J. Glenn Beall, Jr., of Maryland and then U.S. Senator William V. Roth, Jr., of Delaware. From 1981 to 1987, he served President Ronald Reagan in positions at the Department of the Treasury and the White House. His service culminated as Assistant to the President and deputy to White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan. In 1987, he left the White House for an 18-year private sector career with the International Paper Company. He led the company's Washington, DC office until 1998 when he moved to its then-headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. There he acted as Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications until retiring in 2005. He served on boards for business and non-profit institutions and universities, including the United States Capitol Historical Society, Business-Government Relations Council, Bryce Harlow Foundation, and Development Advisory Group of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. In the final years of his life, he was honored to serve on the Board of Directors of the Carroll Hospital Center. He was also active with his alma mater, helping establish and guide the Sloop Institute for Excellence in Leadership, the J. Glenn Beall, Jr. Public Affairs Institute, and the Dennis and Dawn Thomas Presidential Leadership Scholarship. In recognition of his contributions, Frostburg awarded him an honorary doctorate in May 2014. He valued most, and dedicated himself to, his family and the wide range of friends he made and kept over his life. He lifted up everyone around him through his sense of humor and genuine care and concern for others. He cherished his time at "the Farm" - his family's home in Carroll County - where he and his wife loved to host gatherings for family, friends, college classmates, and work colleagues. During retirement, his love of photography grew exponentially. He had a keen eye that saw things others did not. Family and friends treasure the beautiful photo books he created for them which include his wonderful writings that revealed his philosophy on life. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his son David, his daughter-in-law Elaine, his beloved grandchildren Grace and Andrew, his brother George Thomas and his wife Betty, his sister-in-law Laurie Gouker and her husband Dave, his brother-in-law Bill Barnes, and several nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by his brother Jim Thomas and his sister Sally Barnes. According to his wishes, his family will hold a private burial service. In lieu of flowers, he asked that donations be made to: the William E. Kahlert Regional Cancer Center at Carroll Hospital Center (www.carrollhospitalcenter.org/Campaign); or the Sloop Institute or the Beall Institute, both at Frostburg State University (www.frostburg.edu/makeagift).



Published in Carroll County Times on Sept. 30, 2014
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