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Thomas Marion Jr.

Westport

When Thomas Marion Jr. attended Diman Regional Vocational Technical School, he studied carpentry and was passionate about heavy-metal music. His study program in house and mill carpentry at the Fall River school prepared him for his job as a furniture manager for Wal-Mart in Raynham. His love of music led Marion, 27, of Westport, to the Great White show at The Station.

"He loved his music," teacher Stephen Marciszyn recalled, "and he loved to play the guitar."

Officials at the school described Marion as quiet and hard-working. Family was important to him, said the principal, Brian Bentley, who was dean of students when Marion graduated in 1994. "He was a great kid, never in trouble," Bentley said.

At the 1,200-student school, Bentley said, the loss of a young life is like a death in the family. "You get very close with kids. You get to know them, you get to know the family. It hits hard," he said.

Besides Marion, Diman lost two other graduates in the fire, Mary Baker and Donna Mitchell, both of Fall River.

Ronald Silvia Sr., who taught Marion cabinetmaking, said he was a bright student who knew how to get the job done. "He was full of energy and followed directions. He was an all-around nice kid," Silvia said.

When his class built a house senior year, Marion worked on the kitchen cabinets.

Dorothy Marion, his mother, passed word through a funeral director Thursday that she was not yet ready to speak about her loss.