Raymond O’Brien Thomas, decorated Marine

May 20, 2020

Raymond O’Brien Thomas, 73, joined our heavenly Father Jan. 19, 2020, at home after a long battle with cancer.
Ray was born Aug. 31, 1946, in Rehoboth Beach to Frederick D. Thomas and Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Thomas. He graduated from William C. Jason High School and attended Delaware State University before joining the U.S. Marine Corps in 1965, where he stood on the hallowed yellow footprints of Parris Island. As an infantryman in Vietnam he received two Purple Hearts and honors in battle.

After returning from the war, Ray worked at National Cash Register and married Charmaine Dunning and raised one son. In 1972, he re-enlisted in U.S. Marine Corps and served another tour in Vietnam. Upon arriving back in the U.S., Ray was a drill instructor at MCRD in San Diego, Calif., and later an instructor at the Officer’s Candidate School in Quantico, Va. With his continued success in the Corps, Ray became a warrant officer and progressed to the rank of lieutenant colonel before retiring after 36 years of service. His service in the Corps was valued by his peers and colleagues and inspiring to his fellow Marines.

After retirement, Ray remarried and settled in Jacksonville, N.C., with Karen Thomas. In coming years, they moved to Pensacola, Fla., where he was an active member of the Little Flower Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. Some of his hobbies and interest in retirement were road cycling, fishing, and RVing. Semper Fidelis!

Mr. Thomas is survived by his wife, Karen H. Thomas; one son, Raymond Thomas and daughter-in-law, Casey Mansfield Thomas of Apex, N.C. He also leaves behind two grandchildren, Connor Thomas and Ella Thomas.

A visitation and funeral Mass were held Feb. 10,  at Little Flower Catholic Church, with inurnment at Barrancas National Cemetery.

The family entrusted Oak Lawn Funeral Home with arrangements.

In lieu of flowers we are asking for donations to Prostate Cancer Foundation.


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