Thao Minh Phan (“Thomas”)

Thao Minh Phan (“Thomas”)

November 28, 1982 –  November 29, 2023

Thao Minh Phan, “Thomas”, 41, of Carthage, NC passed peacefully on November 29, 2023.

Thomas was a dedicated husband, father, son, brother, and friend to many.

Thomas was born on November 28, 1982, in Da Nang, Vietnam to Chuy Nguyen and Chau Phan and was the youngest of three siblings.

Thomas immigrated to the United States in 1992 to Rochester, NY. As a teenager, he met the love of his life, “Teri”. After a brief period of dating, they parted ways only to reunite 12 years later, both realizing their undeniable destiny to be together. They were happily married for nearly 13 years with three young children, Aaron, Alan, Avari Phan. Thomas and Teri moved to North Carolina 9 years ago and opened Polished Nails and Facial Salon in West End.

Thomas embraced a humble life and found fulfillment and contentment through unwavering dedication to hard work and treasured moments spent with his family. His deep-rooted faith held immense significance, evident in his newfound nightly routine of reading the Bible to his children and Mother-in-law, complemented by weekly video-chat Bible studies with his father every Sunday. Thomas was a member of New Covenant Fellowship Church in Carthage, NC.

Thomas enjoyed running, early morning workout sessions at the gym, and actively engaging in marathons, where his family cheered him on with love and encouragement.

Thomas will forever be cherished and remembered for his remarkable kindness, a quality that touched the lives of countless individuals in ways beyond measure. The simple yet profound way he made others feel will endure as a testament to his extraordinary character. His absence leaves a profound void, and he will be deeply missed by all fortunate enough to have known him.

Arrangements entrusted to Elite Funeral Services.


Elite Funeral Services
125 High Street, Ellerbe, NC 28338
Saturday, December 2, 2023 | 12pm - 4pm

Funeral Ceremony

New Covenant Fellowship
1305 Hulsey Rd, Carthage, NC 28327
Sunday, December 3, 2023 | 2:30pm


Pinelawn Memorial Park
1105 Morganton Rd, Southern Pines, NC 28387
Sunday, December 3, 2023

25 Condolences

  • Debbie McMurry Posted November 29, 2023 7:37 pm

    My heart aches for Teri and her children. I am always here for you!

  • Jean Ann Fisher Posted November 29, 2023 7:38 pm

    Thomas was one of the sweetest nicest persons I had met. I felt he was family more than friend. I am so very sad we all lost him. His family is in my prayers I pray God will help them.

  • Amber Posted November 29, 2023 8:16 pm

    I am at a loss for words. Although my time with Thomas was short, it was great! He always had me laughing and visiting the shop was always the highlight of my week. Knowing the plans he had for his family, my heart just hurts for y’all. Moore County, NC is a better place because of Thomas and Teri. I am so incredibly sorry for the loss of such a great husband, father, son, and friend.

  • Kathy Garske Posted November 29, 2023 8:20 pm

    I am just completely lost for words, my deepest condolences go out to Teri, her children, the family and friends… Thomas was truly amazing! He and Teri are like family to so many of us. Teri, please always know I’m here if you ever need anything at all…. Love and many prayers to all 💔🙏

  • Johnsie Gaddy Posted November 29, 2023 8:22 pm

    Thomas and Teri of Polished NailsFacial, thank you for 8 years of excellent service. Thank you for your friendship and your kindness, and always accomodating me. For 6 out of the 8 years that I was a client, I drove from Holly Springs, NC to get my SNS nails and pedicure by the best in the business. Thomas you and Teri are simply the best! Thomas, your spirit was amazing. You had an amazing sense of humor. I often told you that you missed your calling as a comedian. Lol
    Your love and joy you often spoke about and showed towards your wife and children was a joy for me to see and hear about. The love you showed for me will never be forgotten. Teri, my heart is broken for you and your family. Stay strong and faithful as you possibly can during this most difficult time in your life. I will continue to keep you and your family in prayer. I just want you to know that Thomas was an extraordinary amazing person that will be truly missed by many.

  • Tricia Pendleton Posted November 29, 2023 8:35 pm

    Terry and family, my heart breaks for you all. Thomas was loved by so many. Heidi, Susy, and I send our deepest condolences, love and healing thoughts.

  • Sandy Cifranic Posted November 29, 2023 8:38 pm

    I pray for this family. Such a devastating loss of a husband, father, son. Thomas will be missed and mourned by many. God Bless Teri and family. My heart is so saddened for them and all of us that have experienced their graciousness.

  • Katie Perry Posted November 29, 2023 9:34 pm

    Dear Teri and Family, words are not enough to convey the heartache I feel for the loss of Thomas. It will forever be my honor to have known Thomas. He was such a bright light of kindness and energy. It has been a delight to watch your salon and your family grow. I pray for you to have strength as you adjust to this heartbreaking loss. I know you have many wonderful memories that I hope will help you. Having Thomas in your life, even for too short a time, is truly a blessing to treasure. Teri, I hope you will think of me if you need any help at the salon. I don’t have any skills for nails, but I can answer the phone, help with scheduling, or anything else that might help you. I send my love and heartfelt condolences.

  • Chasity Hall Posted November 29, 2023 9:36 pm

    My heart breaks for Teri, the kids and family. I love my Saturday mornings with Thomas and Teri. Always the best conversations. If you were a client, you were family! Just one of the best couples I have ever been blessed to know. Thomas, I will miss you dearly! You have such a beautiful soul and are one of the good ones! Rest in Peace, my friend!

  • Higginbotham Debby Posted November 29, 2023 9:53 pm

    There are just no words. For 9 years you both held m hands! Terri I wish I could hold yours now! I pray for your peace in all this. Thomas, who will introduce me to all those great Netflix shows? I will miss you terribly. Rest well in gods arms my friend❣️

  • Suzy Struhs Posted November 29, 2023 10:42 pm

    I’m heartbroken, along with the hundreds of others who loved this fine gentle man. He was warm, welcoming, funny, always interested and interesting. He loved his family and was a good father and husband. He was a friend to all of us lucky enough to be in his orbit. I have no doubt that he lives on as the guardian angel to his dear Teri, sons and sweet daughter. God bless and give you strength to carry on Teri. You have so many people who love you. And I am one of them.

  • Amy Walters Posted November 30, 2023 8:01 am

    Words are so inadequate and we are all so saddened by the loss of this exceptional friend. Teri and Thomas are the most caring people I know. Always concerned for people who are sick or going through a rough period in their lives. This is so heartbreaking. Our love and overflowing support goes out to Teri and her beautiful family.

  • Raney Richardson Posted November 30, 2023 10:50 am

    My condolences to his entire family. May God give peace and understanding in the days to come.

  • Teresa nall Posted November 30, 2023 11:27 am

    May God bless you and your family in this time. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I’m always here for you. Our trials and tribulations are great on this earth but the Lord is always near.

  • Stephanie Gorman Posted November 30, 2023 12:35 pm

    Sending healing prayers to Terri, children and family. I will miss Thomas’ warm, kind and gentle personality. Lucky to have known him. Terri, my wish is that the memories you have made over the years together will help to comfort you and that God will watch over you, your children and family and keep you all safe.

  • Mike Posted November 30, 2023 1:05 pm

    What a shocking loss!! I didn’t know Thomas very well. However, he was a faithful member of the crew that works out at First Health Fitness beginning at 5am Monday through Friday. I appreciated his work ethic and respectful spirit. I will be praying for his family. May he rest in the loving arms of Jesus!!

    Psalm 34:18 – The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

  • Brenda Boroughs Posted November 30, 2023 1:53 pm

    Words failed me for such a loss. My thoughts and prayers are with Terri and the children. Thomas was such a great and caring person and will be missed. Love to all!

  • Sharon Lowder Posted November 30, 2023 2:54 pm

    I am in total shock. Teri & your sons & daughters my prayers are with you as you deal with your loss. I loved your Thomas. He will be deeply missed.

  • Terry Myers Posted November 30, 2023 3:38 pm

    Thomas was, not only loved by his family but also by his many many customers of which I was one. He was always kind and thoughtful of the needs of his clients. He will be sorely missed by all. Rest in peace Thomas and may God wrap His wings around your family comforting each and every one.

  • Linda Cagle Posted November 30, 2023 6:25 pm

    Terri, I am at a loss for words. This still doesn’t seem real. Watching you and Thomas work together was always a pleasure. His smile and sense of humor always kept everyone laughing and enjoying our time with you. I will hold you, the children, and all of your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Lynda Green Posted November 30, 2023 10:27 pm

    To Teri & family. Thomas will be greatly missed. I will always remember him and his cheerfulness. He was always joking and happy. He had a beautiful soul & uniqueness that can never be forgotten. He was always willing to help & give suggestions. I will miss him dearly. Prayers for you & your family. Rest in peace Thomas.

  • Amy Murphy Posted December 1, 2023 6:53 am

    I just got to know Thomas and Teri this year and feel so blessed to have known them as a couple. It is incomprehensible that Thomas has left us so young and with so much goodness to share with the world. The world will be a bit emptier without Thomas’ kind smile and quick humor. His family will remain in my prayers and thoughts daily.

  • Gale Castaldi Posted December 1, 2023 12:38 pm

    All who were blessed to know Thomas have experienced a great loss. His family meant the world to him and one can only imagine their grief at this time of sadness. Rest In Peace, Thomas!

  • Sandy Posted December 5, 2023 11:13 pm

    I hope his daughter’s Victoria and Vanessa find peace in their grief. I hope Uncle Tommy looks down and see how beautiful and strong his girls are. Rest in peace uncle. See you on the other side.

  • Susan Schulz Posted December 13, 2023 7:48 pm

    I just learned of this and I am in shock. Thomas was a very special person – so open and friendly, so devoted to his lovely wife and beautiful children, and so skilled (and patient) with his clients. My heart breaks for his family. Much love to all of you . . .

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Fax: (910) 652-2149
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