Cover photo for David Evan Thomas's Obituary
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1954 David 2024

David Evan Thomas

October 12, 1954 — March 1, 2024

David Evan Thomas, 69, of Newport, RI, passed away at home on March 1, 2024, of complications from oral cancer.

Born October 12, 1954 in Rockdale, TX, he was the son of the late Herman O. Thomas and Elsie Mullin Thomas.

He grew up in Shaker Heights, OH, and graduated from Harvard College in 1976 with a Bachelor's degree in psychology. An accomplished musician, he wrote the music for the Hasty Pudding Club's annual touring production for two years, and sang in the Harvard Glee Club.

His career involved music and film rights. From the Museum of Broadcasting in New York, NY he moved to Films, Inc. in Wilmette, IL, then returned to New York to join WNET Channel 13, and later Children's Television Workshop. In the 1990s he joined the Leonard Bernstein Office. By the late 1990s he was a partner at Broad Reach Enterprises.

Passionate about sailing since a summer camp experience in childhood, David was an admirer of tall ships and an enthusiastic member of the New York Sail Training Association. In 2013, semi-retired, he moved to Newport, RI to devote more attention to sailing.

Described by his wide network of friends as a Renaissance man, he read voraciously and conversed knowledgeably on a plethora of topics. Even in emails, he routinely condensed his thoughts into elegantly spare prose. In later years he did volunteer editing for friends who were authoring memoirs.

David is survived by his former wife, Jamie Bernstein, and their sons James Frankie Thomas and Evan Samuel Thomas, all of New York, NY; his sisters Marilyn Thomas Devroye of Pompton Plains, NJ and Elisabeth Thomas-Matej of Shaker Heights, OH; nephews Daniel Devroye of Queens, NY and Anthony Devroye of Sycamore, IL; and niece Madelaine Matej MacQueen of University Heights, OH.

Services for David will be private.

Memorial donations may be directed to the Community Boating Center, Providence, RI,
"Make Sailing Affordable and Accessible in Rhode Island"
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David Evan Thomas, please visit our flower store.


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