James Christopher Thomas

james thomas

October 12, 1959 ~ July 20, 2023

Born in: Sanford, NC
Resided in: Carthage, NC

James Christopher “Chris” Thomas, 63, passed away on Thursday, July 20, 2023, at his home on Sandy Ridge Lane in Carthage. Born in Sanford to the late: James Larry Thomas and Elizabeth Cockman. 

A man whose life was marked by servitude; he served his country in the US Army from 1982-1986 and continued to serve the community as an employee of the Moore County School system for more than 15 years. He was a member of Carthage First Baptist Church. 

Chris had a true fondness for the outdoors, was a supporter of conserving our natural resources, and enjoyed building things with his hands. 

A man of nostalgia, he had great sentiment for the years of his childhood on the farms of his grandparents. He especially enjoyed John Wayne westerns and Humphrey Bogart movies. 

Chris walked to “his own drummer”, lived his life his own way, and benefited from a world of experiences most can only dream of. Chris spoke his mind and never shied away from adversity. If you were lucky enough to find yourself in his good graces, you would experience true loyalty and love only matched by a mother and the Creator. 

Chris held many titles: Athlete, Biker, Soldier, Builder, Friend, Mentor, Ally, Chef and Husband. His two favorite titles were Dad and Coach. Chris’ biggest passions were his children Dylan, Logan, Sarah, Norah, and Union Pines High School. As a graduate of UPHS, he returned to help give back to his alma mater by walking the halls as a teacher assistant and on the sidelines as a coach. There are not many students who haven’t heard Coach Thomas bark on the sidelines of football games or in the bleachers during a wrestling match, or even in the hallways while switching classes. His devotion ran a river of that special UP Colombian blue, you would be hard-pressed to find a bigger fan of the Vikings. 

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his son: James Logan Thomas. 

He is survived by his son: Christopher Dylan Thomas (Emily), his daughters: Sarah Margaret Frye Thomas and Norah Elizabeth Frye Thomas, his granddaughter: Sophie Mae Thomas, his brother: Scott Thomas (Bobbie), and sister June Davis (Tim), as well numerous cousins, aunts and uncles, and a slew of Vikings. 

A service will be held Thursday, July 27, 2023, at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 632 McCrimmon Rd., Carthage, NC, beginning with a Celebration of Life from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and then a memorial service from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. There will be a reception in the Reception Hall immediately following the service. Please contact Dylan Thomas with any questions or concerns. 

The family asks in lieu of flowers or gifts; please send donations to the Union Pines Athletic Program.

Fry & Prickett Funeral Home is honored to serve the Thomas family.  

Online condolences may be made at PinesFunerals.com.


Celebration of Life: July 27, 2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Emmanuel Baptist Church
632 McCrimmon Road
Carthage, NC 28327

Memorial Service: July 27, 2023 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Emmanuel Baptist Church
632 McCrimmon Road
Carthage, NC 28327

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Memories Timeline


  1. Chris demonstrated tremendous loyalty and dedication to Union Pines High. Such a true Viking! It is an honor to have worked with Chris for several years. Rest in Peace, my friend!

    • Thank you Mrs. Lea he loved working with you and cherished that you gave him an opportunity to be where he loved.

  2. Mr. Thomas was dear friend and mentor to my son, Aaron. Aaron calls Mr. Thomas, his best friend. He is going to be greatly missed. Prayers for the family

    • Mrs. Miller, Aaron was one of my dads good friends and favorite people. He loved your son and their time together. He though Aaron to be one of the smartest people he had ever met. Thank you for allowing your son to be a part of my father’s life.

  3. Mr/Coach Thomas. You will be dearly missed and you have left such an impression on so many lives for young athletes ❤️

    • Thank you Mrs. Burns. Working with Trevor and watching him grow was a great experience for me and my father.

  4. Coach Thomas was one of the few individuals with whom I’ve had the pleasure to work with who saw me for who I was on the inside and did not judge me based on my exterior outlook. I will treasure our conversations. He made me feel important. My sincere condolences to his family.

    • Mr V,

      My dad thought the world of you and marveled at your experience and know how. He appreciated speaking with you and would often talk with me about how he enjoyed your conversation.

  5. Chris was one of a kind! He will be missed by so many. His enthusiasm and love for young people was contagious! I really appreciated his sincerity and authenticity. My prayers are with the entire family.

    • Oh Mrs. Marion, you believed in my Dad as an educator first. He really loved working with you and saw you as a great friend. You were also a great teacher of mine. Thank you for your kind words. Dylan

  6. Dylan and Scott, you’ve been on my mind often over the past few days. I can’t imagine the grief the Thomas family is experiencing right now. Prayers have been lifted for you all. I most admired Chris for the many lives he touched as an educator. He had a real gift for working with special needs students and did it with honor. He will be sorely missed.

  7. Dylan, Sarah, Norah and family,
    Kim and I are grieved for you all in your loss of Chris. A, loving, concerned and encouraging man. He became my friend and encouragement when I worked with him at Union Pines .Although he had a tragedy in his life with the loss of his son he stayed positive and worked hard to help others including me. I admire that about him. His family was his priority next to his faith. He will be missed. May God cradle you all in His loving arms in your grief now and in the days to come. We love you. Kim and Bruce Williams

  8. Deepest condolences to the Thomas family. Please know you have been in my thoughts during this time of sorrow. Much love – Mick Palagruto

  9. So sorry to hear of Chris passing. I enjoyed serving with him at Carthage First Baptist, specifically the New Years Day breakfast. He was always willing to serve and did love UP High School and the teams he helped to coach. He will be missed. Prayers for the family.

  10. June & Family,
    Please know we are praying for you all in your time of sorrow. May the Grace of GOD encamp you all and grant you peace beyond your understanding. We are here for you.

  11. Chris was a straight up great guy, always greeted me with a hug, Chris left a great and positive impression on many young men I know around Moore county as a coach and mentor. I will miss him, Chris was a one of a kind, I look forward to seeing him on the other side one day

  12. Oh, it’s almost more than I can stand. Chris was almost my son. He was just born to a different set of loving parents. My love for Chris and the family goes so deep within me. Chris, I will see you on the other side. We both have a true belief that we’ve talked about and we know that waiting in heaven are a legion of Dunlaps, Cockman, Thomases, and especially Logan, Libby and James, Grandma and Pa Cockman and Janice will be waiting with cadre of Springer Spaniels. Life was good here. Existence will be magnificent there. Dylan, et al, i Will see you in NC when I am well. Love to all. Aunt Dianah

  13. Chris had a lot of passion, love for his family, coaching, cooking. He was just an all around great guy. He was always upbeat with a great out look on life, we will truly miss him. He always called me “Uncle” and that was enough. Love always, D.A. and Janie

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