Cover photo for Colin J.S. Thomas, Jr.'s Obituary
Colin J.S. Thomas, Jr. Profile Photo

Colin J.S. Thomas, Jr.

October 14, 1936 — August 26, 2022

Colin J.S. Thomas, Jr.

Colin J. S. Thomas, Jr. (“Cal”) died on Friday, August 26, 2022 at home in Staunton. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Cal was preceded in death by his beloved wife of fifty-three years Susan Timberlake Thomas. Cal is survived by his son C. J. Steuart Thomas, III (Marie), and their children Ann Marshall Tilton (Greg), Susan Thomas (George Daigh), Colin Thomas, Marie Thomas, and Roane Babington (Charlotte); a daughter Susan T. Cornelius (Bobby), and their son Marshall Cornelius of McDowell, VA; daughter Emily T. Reed (David Stott) and her children Nathaniel Reed and Elly Reed; his great-grandchildren Owen Tilton and Nathalie Tilton; his sister Eleanor Hills (Dixon) of Baltimore, MD; his sister-in-law Francis Meares (Clyde); his brother-in-law Wayt B. Timberlake, III (Mary); and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Cal was born on October 14, 1936, and grew up in Ruxton, Md. He is remembered by his family and friends in Maryland as “Pinny.” He graduated from the Hill School and obtained his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia.

After marrying, Cal joined Susan’s father Wayt B. Timberlake, Jr. and Richard W. Smith in the practice of law at Timberlake, Smith & Thomas, a law firm now known as TimberlakeSmith. Cal loved his firm and all the lawyers and staff that worked there over the years.

Cal enjoyed and valued the practice of law. He was a highly skilled and successful trial attorney. He served as president of both the Augusta County Bar Association and the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys. He was very active in the Virginia State Bar and Virginia Bar Association. He was a fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation, the International Society of Barristers, and most importantly to him, the American College of Trial Lawyers. Later in his career, Cal enjoyed teaching at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and particularly at the Trial Advocacy Institute at the University of Virginia which he helped found in 1988. In 1995 he received the Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Award given for outstanding skills as a trial lawyer and outstanding contributions to trial advocacy education at the University of Virginia. He made many good friends during the years he practiced and taught. He became a mentor to many lawyers. All will remember his rich and humorous stories.

Cal had a tremendous appreciation for the Armed Forces of the United States and was proud of the time he served in the Marine Corps. Locally, he served on many charitable boards over the years including the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and The Salvation Army. He was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church and the Hugh B. Sproul Tent of the Circus Saints and Sinners Club.

Cal enjoyed history, reading, poetry, hunting and fishing. He supported and worked for the University of Virginia over the years (particularly with Molly Bass and the Jefferson Scholars) and was a faithful fan of UVa. sports. Most of all Cal loved his family and was blessed to have his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren with him throughout his life. He especially cherished the family vacations in Nags Head and Hatteras, NC.

The family is grateful for the help of the physicians and caregivers who cared for him and made him comfortable at the end of his life.

Funeral Services will be at 1:00 PM, Wednesday, September 7, 2022 at Trinity Episcopal Church, 214 W. Beverly St. Staunton.

In lieu of flowers, you may wish to consider a gift to the Hospice of the Shenandoah, (P.O. Box 215 Fishersville, VA 22939-0215), University of Virginia - Alumni Association, or The Augusta Garden Club (171 Annandale Farm Lane, Staunton 24401).
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Colin J.S. Thomas, Jr., please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Funeral Service

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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