He was born March 15, 1963, in Clay County, the son of Amos and Mary Griswold Thomas. As a young boy, Mark had a love of learning and he never gave up his search for knowledge. He graduated from Brazil High School, and was valedictorian of the Class of 1981.
He received an undergraduate degree from Indiana University in Physics. He later obtained a Masters in Physics. He worked as a research scientist and engineer for General Motors and continued taking more graduate coursework at various universities including Purdue.
He continued his education and received his Medical Degree from Indiana University in 1996. He completed Residency at the Family Practice Program at Union Hospital in 2001. Dr. Thomas worked in the emergency room in Martinsville and Bedford before returning to his home town in 2007 to serve the families of Clay County at the Community Rural Health Clinic.
He spent his short lifetime continually learning and doing research. His thirst for knowledge lead him to NASA where he succeeded into several phases of the astronaut program, but by that time he had met the love of his life, Jean Fatch. He and Jean were married Oct. 14, 2000. They enjoyed traveling and explored the world for a while, but when Abby and Joey completed their family, they were ready to settle into life in Brazil.
Mark was a life-long member of the First United Methodist Church. His other passions have included running, skydiving, snowboarding, traveling and most importantly being Daddy. After marrying and starting a family, they became his most important passion in life. He would spend time with them traveling by plane, or simply walking through the park, and he enjoyed documenting these adventures with photos and videos of the children.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Mary Thomas in 2006; and mother-in-law Donna Fatch in 2007.
Survivors include his wife Jean Thomas, their children Abigail Lynn Thomas, and Joseph Vincent Thomas; his father Amos Thomas, all of Brazil; two sisters Amy Shelburne and husband Mike, Sheridan, Ind., and Nancy Van Allen and husband Frank, Ellettsville; three brothers, Andrew Thomas, David Thomas and wife Lea, and Benjamin Thomas and wife Susan, all of Brazil; father-in-law, Karlin "Jake" Fatch; many nieces and nephews and extended family.
Services will be held Thursday, at 1 p.m., at the First United Methodist Church, with Pastor Tony Alstott and Rev. Frank VanAllen officiating. Burial will follow at Clearview Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday, from 4-8 p.m., at French Funeral Home, and again Thursday from Noon-1 p.m., at the church.
In lieu of flowers donations may be directed to the First United Methodist Church, 201 N. Meridian St. Brazil, 47834; or to the Leukemia/ Lymphoma Society, 941 E. 86th St. Indianapolis, 46240. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
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