Charles C. "Charlie" Thomas Jr., 79: Former MECA board chairman

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CUMBERLAND FORESIDE — Charles Carroll Thomas Jr., 79, died Jan. 8 at Maine Medical Center after a brief illness.

Born in New York City on Feb. 15, 1930, he grew up in New Haven, Conn., and graduated from Deerfield Academy and later from Yale University, class of 1951.

After serving two years in the U.S. Air Force, he moved to Massachusetts where he worked for Mobil Oil. He had a lengthy career in investment management and sales, working in New York City and Boston. Over the years he ran the holding company that owned the New England Merchants’ National Bank, started the New England Merchants’ realty and leasing companies and formed an industry publishing firm which was later sold to the Standard and Poor Corp.

In 1989 he moved his family to Cumberland and divided his time and energy between Cumberland and the family’s summer home in Christmas Cove. From the age of 12, he spent every summer at Christmas Cove, earning the nickname “Mr. Christmas Cove,” and serving two terms as president of the Christmas Cove Improvement Association.

He became an enthusiastic supporter of the Maine College of Art, and served as a board trustee and former chairman and fundraising for the capital campaign. In later years he became an artist himself, creating collages with rocks and driftwood.

Throughout his adult life he was loyal to his alma mater, serving 11 years as alumni director of undergraduate admissions for Yale, and on the board of trustees for Deerfield Academy.

His love of choral music inspired him to sing with Yale’s Mad Hatters and in Cumberland Congregational Church choir.

He is survived by his wife Carolyn of Cumberland Foreside; three children, Anne Hicks and her husband William of Atlanta, Ga., Megan Davis and her husband Leverett of Freeport, and Charles Carroll III and his wife Elise of West Hartford, Conn.; a sister, Elizabeth Sweitzer and her husband Harry of Wayland, Mass.; eight grandchildren, Lucy, Evan and Neal Hicks of Atlanta, Ga., Charles and Kelly Thomas of West Hartford, Conn., and Tyler, Kelso, and Maggie Davis of Freeport.

Memorial services will he held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, at the Cumberland Congregational Church, 282 Main St., Cumberland.
Arrangements are by Independent Death Care, 471 Deering Ave., Portland.

Memorial donations may be made to the Maine College of Art or the Cumberland Congregational Church, 282 Main St., Cumberland.

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