Ray Christopher Thomas
Published: December 13, 2012
Ray Christopher Thomas was born in Fayetteville, Ark. on March 5, 1949 and died on the morning of December 11, 2012 in Little Rock, Ark. He is predeceased by his parents, Clarence McClellan Thomas and Emma Lou Thomas.
Chris is survived by his wife, Mary Burbage Thomas; his daughter, Jennifer Anne Thomas Eddy and husband, Samuel; his son, Jordan McClellan Thomas and fiancé, Katrin Gruenwald; his brother, Woodlief Atha Thomas and wife, Kathy Thomas and their sons, Christopher Thomas and Woody Thomas, Jr., and his sister, Jenny Thomas Scroggin and husband, Robby Scroggin and their sons, Sloan Scroggin and Steele Scroggin and wife, Eileen.
Chris graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1971 with a degree in Business Administration. Afterwards he attended the UALR Bowen school of Law where he received a JD degree and served on the Law Review. As a professional, Chris served as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the Sixth Judicial Circuit in 1976, followed by ninr years of private practice of law. During this time he served on the Board of Directors for the Arkansas Wildlife Federation, and was elected to the Arkansas Bar House of Delegates while also participating in the work of various committees of the Bar Association. He was also a member of the Pulaski County and American Bar Associations and the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association where he served on the Board of Governors and as Chairman of the Legislative Committee.
From 1985 through July of 1988 he was the Executive Secretary of the Arkansas Judicial Department, now known as the Administrative Office of the Courts. In this position, he worked to reorganize the Judicial Department by making it a more direct agency of the Supreme Court of Arkansas to improve its efficiency. He also collaborated with many others to enact an amendment to the Arkansas Constitution which increased the jurisdiction of the Municipal Courts of the State. The adoption of this amendment made access to the judicial system easier and more affordable to the average citizen. During this time he also was a member of the Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts Board and represented the Chief Justice on the Arkansas Crime Information Center Board.
In 1988 he was appointed by the Arkansas Supreme Court to be the Director of the Office of Professional Programs. In that position he acted as the Executive Secretary for the Board of Law Examiners and Executive Secretary of the Arkansas Supreme Court. His tireless dedication to his job and the Arkansas Judges and Lawyers Advocacy Program will never be forgotten by those it affected.
Chris will be dearly missed by his family and friends who loved him with all of their hearts and whom he loved unconditionally. He never forgot the importance of humor and his seemingly endless positivity kept those around him feeling better about things. As many who met him know, his dry wit and often verbose conversation was as much amusing at it was educational, and will be greatly missed. He affected many lives through his support of those in need of assistance, and we are proud of his dedication to them.
A funeral service will be held at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, 4823 Woodlawn Ave., Little Rock on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11 a.m. followed by a reception at the church. A private burial will follow. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to Serenity Park, 2801 W. Asher Ave., Little Rock, AR 72204. Arrangements by Ruebel Funeral Home, www.ruebelfuneralhome.com.