Mark Stanton Thomas
October 28, 1952 - March 14, 2016
Mark Stanton Thomas, 63, passed away at UNC Medical Center after a brief yet courageous battle with cancer.
Born in Leaksville (now Eden), Mark was the son of the late James Kenneth Thomas and Vivian Butler Thomas. He graduated from Grimsley Senior High School in 1971, and Wake Forest University in 1975 where he earned a BA degree in history and politics, was a Guy T. Carswell Scholar, was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and was active in the Wake Forest University Theatre. Mark graduated from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1978 where he was an Irving E. Carlyle Scholar and an editor of the Law Review. He was always proud of being a "Double Deacon." After law school, he was commissioned as a captain in the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. He served three years in the JAG Corps, mostly in Bremerhaven in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Upon his return from active service, he settled in Raleigh and join the firm of Maupin, Taylor and Ellis P.A., now Williams Mullen. He spent his entire career with the firm in the field of commercial litigation, dealing primarily with matters concerning ERISA, employee benefits, and intellectual property. He was preparing for new litigation at the time of his passing. Mark was active in the NC Bar Association which honored him as Outstanding Young Lawyer of 1986 and in which he later served as chair of three sections. He was also a founder and past president of the Triangle Benefits Forum, contributed to numerous continuing education programs and publicatons and traveled the US and abroad in connection with his legal practice.
Mark was a player and supporter of Raleigh Little Theatre, through which he met his wife Sally. They were married in 1988 and are the parents of Elizabeth Christine Thomas. In addition to RLT, Mark served on the boards of the City of Raleigh Arts Commission and the NC Master Chorale.
Mark was a lifelong Methodist and long-time member of Edenton Street UMC. where he served on the Administrative Board, numerous committees, and as church historian and director of the Oral History Project.
He was predeceased by his father and numerous aunts and uncles. Survivors include his wife Sally of Raleigh, his daughter Elizabeth of Williamsburg, Va, his mother Vivian Thomas and brothers James Kenneth Thomas (Pam) and John Michael Thomas (Marcia) all of Greensboro, father-in-law George Zeigler and sister-in-law Mary Ferreira (Gary) of Charlotte, nieces Jennifer, Helen, and Ashley, and nephews Andrew,and Chris.
A Memorial Service celebrating Mark's life will be held Saturday March 19, 2016 at 2:00 at Edenton Street UMC in Raleigh. The family will greet friends at a reception immediately following in Kerr Hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Mark's memory to Edenton Street UMC, NC Master Chorale, Wake Forest University Theatre, or the National Park Service.
Arrangments by Cremation Society of the Carolinas.
Published by The News & Observer from Mar. 17 to Mar. 19, 2016.