In Memoriam

Thai-American Business (T-AB) Magazine - - Contents -

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.

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