WILDER, VT -Christopher C. Thomae, 68, died unexpectedly on March 28 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Chris was born December 9, 1943 in Attleboro, Mass. to Herbert L. and Constance W. Witherell, and lived almost all his life there until moving to Valley Terrace five years ago to be closer to his brother, Irv Thomae of Norwich.
He attended Brown and Northeastern Universities, and was a dedicated student of topics ranging from philosophy and theology to archaeology and Egyptology – he even took a guided tour of Egypt after his parents died. His many hobbies included amateur telescope making, book collecting, and woodworking, and the photographs he took at his parents' second home in West Newbury VT and elsewhere won many awards. Each of these achievements was a victory over brain-injury: he had survived emergency surgery for a brain abscess at the age of 14.
He was a faithful member first of the 2nd Congregational Church of Attleboro, and then from 2007 onward, of the Norwich Congregational Church. Like his father and grandfather before him, Chris was also active in numerous Masonic organizations. He served several years as Chaplain of the Ezekiel Bates Lodge in Attleboro, which in 2007 made him an Honorary Past Master. After settling in Vermont, he became a member of University Grange.
Chris was well known for his dry wit, hearty laugh, enjoyment of erudite puns, and for avoiding one-syllable words wherever a four-syllable word would do. Above all, his kindness and self-effacing modesty touched the hearts of many.
In addition to his brother Irv (Hetty) Thomae, he is survived by nephews Randy (Elizabeth) Thomae of Denver and Josiah Proietti of Hanover, nieces Cheryl (Erki) Viirand of Eastchester, NY and Louisa (John) Vandenberg of Newport News, VA; and five great-nieces and great-nephews, in whom he took great delight.
The family expresses deep gratitude to the kind and caring staff of Valley Terrace Assisted Living, and to the dedicated and compassionate professionals at DHMC, especially Drs. Delia Hendrick and Vijay Thadani, for helping make Chris's last five years rich and rewarding.
A memorial service will be held at the Norwich Congregational Church at 11 AM on Monday, April 2. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be sent to DHMC (1 Medical Ctr Drive, Lebanon NH), designated for brain-injury research. The Knight Funeral Home in White Rive Jct., VT has been entrusted with arrangements.