Longtime civic leader and esteemed local attorney Mark Thomas died Sunday afternoon at Thomas Rest Haven in Coon Rapids (Iowa).
Funeral services will be held this Friday, September 11, at 10:30 a.m. in the First United Methodist Church in Coon Rapids with Reverend Joyce Webb officiating.
The visitation will be this evening from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Ohde Funeral Home in Coon Rapids. Interment will be at the Union Township Cemetery outside Coon Rapids.
Following that, a luncheon will be held at the Coon Rapids American Legion Building.
Casket bearers will be Larry Schwenk, Mark Coder Thomas, Charlie Nixon, Alan Bolger, Mark Textor and Ron Brower.
Mark Charles Thomas
Mark Charles, son of Wesley Lynk and Mary Elizabeth (Tumbleson) Thomas, was born August 23, 1951, in Carroll. He spent his entire childhood in Coon Rapids, graduating with the great Coon Rapids High School Class of 1969.
Following high school, Mark moved to Iowa City to attend the University of Iowa, where he majored in medieval history. After earning his bachelor’s degree in 1973, Mark briefly pursued a graduate degree in medieval history and worked as a telephone installer in the Iowa City area. He later enrolled at the University of Iowa College of Law and earned his J.D. in 1982.
On February 16, 1980, Mark was united in marriage with Jacquelyn (Jacci) Fisher in Clinton, her hometown. After Mark finished law school, the couple purchased an acreage outside Coon Rapids, where Mark established a thriving law practice. He soon took to “farming” trees and vegetables on his spread, starting his plants from seed indoors during the spring.
During his time on the acreage, he cultivated an affinity for woodworking and target shooting, and became quite skilled at both later in life.
Mark was a pillar of the Coon Rapids community. He served as city attorney for 27 years; member of the Coon Rapids Development Group for more than a decade; member of the Coon Rapids–Bayard School Board for 14 years; and president of both the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs at various times.
Mark was active in the Coon Rapids United Methodist Church as well, singing in the church choir, playing in the bell choir, and serving on the finance committee. He was also a longtime member of the Iowa Bar Association, served on the Carroll County Board of Health and was a founding member of the recently formed Community Foundation of Carroll County.
After Jacci’s death in June 2014, Mark remained in the family’s home and continued to practice law until August 2015, a month after he was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. Though he put up a strong fight against the illness, his health declined precipitously through late August. Mark passed away at the Thomas Rest Haven Nursing Home in Coon Rapids on Sunday, September 6, aged 64 years and 14 days.
Mark was preceded in death by his parents and wife. He is survived by his daughter Dr. Helen (Nelli) Thomas and her husband Brian Martucci of Minneapolis, MN; brother John Thomas and his wife Leneice Wu of Falls Church, VA; nephews Mark Thomas and family of Annandale, VA, and Charles Thomas of Los Angeles, CA; and many other relatives and friends.