Mark S. Thacker

On November 4, 2023, Mark S. Thacker, age 70, died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Lawrence, Kansas.

Mark was born October 19, 1953, in Detroit, Michigan, to Fonso and Dolores Thacker, as the fifth of six children in the family. As a youth, Mark participated in Boy Scouts and earned the distinguished rank of Eagle Scout. He graduated from Western High School, Detroit, Michigan, in 1971 and from Cleary University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, in 1997.

From 1977 to 1981, Mark served in the U.S. Air Force as a satellite and microwave communication specialist, stationed in Germany. Following his term of service, for over 20 years, he was employed by MCI/WorldCom as a Network Technician and Network Operations Manager in Michigan, Colorado and Texas. For the remainder of his career, 2003 until his retirement in 2021, he worked as a government contractor in Network Engineering for various companies including AT&T Government Solutions.

Through the matchmaking efforts of his sister Nanci, Mark met his beloved wife, Carolyn Mertz. They were married on May 26, 1990, at Saint Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church in West Bend, Iowa. In 1994, Mark and Carolyn joyfully welcomed the birth of their son, Luke, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Most of the years of their married life were spent in San Antonio, Texas, until they moved to Lawrence, KS, in the spring of 2023.

Mark was a loyal, life-long Detroit Lions fan. He enjoyed golfing, reading, sailing, and watching Michigan college sports. He also loved watching college baseball, and for many years, travelled to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, always accompanied by his childhood friend, Steve Boyle, from Michigan. Mark was a self-educated, first-rate war historian who could easily recall dates and events, place them in a historical context and capture the attention and respect of his family and friends as a gifted storyteller. His passion and knowledge of history eventually evolved into his enjoyable hobby of constructing and collecting sophisticated model warships and tanks. Since his retirement, Mark worked steadfastly to master the art of Texas BBQ.

Mark is survived by his wife, Carolyn and son, Luke, both of Lawrence, Kansas; sisters Cheryl Guadagnio (Chuck) of Macomb, MI; Nanci Webb of Scottsdale, AZ; brother Ron Thacker (Karen) of Dearborn Heights, MI; many nieces, nephews and their families. Mark also leaves behind his two beloved dogs, Milo and Monty. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Rick Thacker and sister Cindy Emerson.

In respecting Mark’s wishes, a private memorial celebration of his life will be held in Michigan, at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Just Food, a local food bank in Lawrence, KS. Donations can be submitted by mail (1000 E. 11th Street, Lawrence, Kansas, 66046) or online (

Messages & Condolences

From Kem Morales...

My deepest sympathy and sincere condolences, Carolyn, for you, Luke, and your families. I am keeping you all in prayer as you adjust to your lives without Mark, his story-telling, and good food! Big hugs, my friend.

From Paul J. Mertz...

Happy trails to you, Mark. I know your kindness first hand and very much enjoyed your good company. Thanks for being a rock for Luke and Carolyn, too.
Via con dios- Paul Mrrtz

From Camille Belcher...

Carolyn, I’m sorry I didn’t know Mark. My heartfelt sympathy to you, to Luke, and to Mark’s extended family. I know you will be comforted by them and know all your Texas friends will be sending special prayers for you. Let your memories of the wonderful years you spent together take the place of the sadness you feel now.

From Ryann Cecci...

My most sincere condolences for Carolyn, Luke and those Mark left behind. The times I got to meet you Mark, you were always so kind and welcoming!
Carolyn, my heart is with you my dear friend. Every prayer I can give is for you.

From Marcia Jalvia-Mingo AMS...

My deepest sympathy to Carolyn and Luke

From Nancy Webb...

Mark, your beautiful obituary took me down memory lane. You were so accomplished and certainly did our family proud. Playing matchmaker introducing You to Carolyn was probably the best thing I have ever done. I know how strong your love was. Not to worry, Carolyn and Luke will have a lot of friends and family looking over them. Love you little brother.

From Michelle Lawrence...

Rest easy Uncle Mark. I know you and Uncle Rick will be roommates in the Heavens above.

From Jo Ellen Thelen...

so wonderful to have you join our family in 1990. We will watch over Carolyn, Luke, Milo and Monti. Love you brother in law.
Jo Ellen

From Barbara Lowry...

The time you spent in San Antonio was short and your leaving to go back to the cold was understandable. You will be missed for your cooking and your building of models. May you rest in peace and God bless you for loving Carolyn and Luke. They will miss you and love you until you meet again.

Clif and Barbara Lowry

From Ronald Thacker...

Mark, what a life adventure you lived in such a short time. The memories we shared will be a great comfort. I love you brother

Messages are closed.