Mark Whitcraft, founder and chairman of RMA Group and long- time member of AMCHAM, died peacefully at the age of 84 on October 18 in Bangkok surrounded by his family. He had been unwell since April.
Mark was a much respected figure in the foreign business community and one of the longest- standing members of AMCHAM, which was founded shortly before his arrival to Thailand in 1957. “To me he was always kind, interested, unflappable, gracious and an inspiration,” former AMCHAM President David Lyman said.
Having spent two years with the U. S. military in Korea and Japan, Mark came to Thailand with the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, and later went on to work for many years with Diethelm & Company, a Swiss trading company.
At the age of 54, when it was clear his family saw its future in Thailand, Mark founded RMA Group, which would even- tually prosper as a private conglomerate specializing in emerging markets. The RMA Group is in the automotive distribution and modification business, infrastructure equipment, and hospitality. Today the company is run by his sons, Kevin and Tom, and the family’s story is included in Americans in Thailand, pub- lished last year by Editions Didier Millet in Singapore.
A man of great humility and quiet humor, Mark would tell newcomers that he arrived in Thailand “before air conditioning”. A keen golfer, one of his more unexpected achievements was scoring his first hole in one at the age of 83.
Mark and his wife Rosemary, who died in 2012, stayed far longer in Asia than they had ever envisaged. Their family is now in its third generation in Thailand. Rosemary worked passionately for the American Field Service ( AFS), which over the years facilitated studies for countless Thai students in the U. S.
Mark leaves behind his sons Tom and Kevin, both active members of the Chamber, their wives Anna and Malee, and grandsons Nicholas, Don and Dylan.
We would like to extend our warmest condolences to Mark’s family, friends, and all those whose lives he touched. He will be missed.