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Obituary for John M. Thomas

John M.  Thomas
John McNeal Thomas
of Cambridge died on April 11, age 68. He was born in Washington, D.C., on March 3, 1950, son of the late Cmdr. John B. Thomas, Jr. (USN ret.) and Rena Angle Thomas. John’s childhood in a Navy family was spent in Hawaii, Kentucky and Virginia. He received his B.A. from Harvard in 1970 and his J.D from Harvard Law School in 1974. His working career was spent as a bond lawyer in public finance for the Boston firm of Palmer and Dodge LLP (later Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP) until his retirement in 2012. The great pleasure he took in the mentoring of junior colleagues was returned by an appreciation of his friendship, wit, loyalty and humor.
John was an avid reader with an extremely broad range of interests, particularly history, and had an awe-inspiring personal library. He was a keen observer of nature in his frequent rambles along the Charles or at the family farm in Kentucky. He enjoyed traveling to Europe, especially to visit family in Munich and Dresden.
John is survived by his loving sister and brother in-law, Margaret and Thomas Will, nieces Magdalena and Johanna, two grandnephews and a grandniece (all of Dresden, Germany), as well as one maternal aunt and numerous cousins.
There will be a family gathering in John’s memory in Kentucky in October. Nearby friends and relatives are cordially invited to a memorial gathering on Saturday, May 5, at 3:00 p.m. at Keefe Funeral Home, 2175 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge.
In lieu of flowers, donations in John’s memory may be made to the Cancer Center of Massachusetts General Hospital (
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