Laurie Paige Johnston Thomas

April 27, 2020

CHARLOTTE – Laurie Paige Johnston Thomas died from cancer at her home on Monday, April 27, 2020 with her husband Jay by her side.  Paige was born September 17, 1968 in Chapel Hill, NC, moved to Seattle with her family, then to Charlotte, graduating from Myers Park High School in 1986.  In Charlotte, she found a way to focus her love of performance at The Children’s Theatre.  She spent summers at the NC School of the Arts in Winston Salem, NC., attended the College of Charleston, performing at the Emmett Robinson Theatre and a year studying theater at Regents College, London.  She earned her Master’s in fine arts at *UNC-CH.  There she played many roles at Playmakers Repertory Theatre.  After a time in New York, Paige returned to Charlotte to partner with her friend Mitzi Corrigan to form Corrigan and Johnston Casting in 1996. They worked together for twenty years.  Her great joy during these years was teaching and encouraging young people to be confident and successful in their pursuit of art. 

While working at C&J, Paige performed at Theatre Charlotte and CAST and became a Board member of both. She gravitated toward directing and directed numerous plays for these companies. Her last plays were “Three Days of Rain” for Charlotte’s Off Broadway and “OSLO” for Three Bone Theatre. 

In 2004 Paige met her love, Jay Thomas, a film/TV editor, and they married October 28, 2006. Together they formed a team in their support and involvement in the Charlotte arts and theater community, working together on many projects.  They played together, enjoyed their travels to NYC for Broadway, to Europe, Cuba, Iceland, the beach with family, the farm with friends, and Lake Norman for the summers. 

Paige believed theater helped make sense of life.  She loved (almost) everything about it: reading plays, being behind stage, the set designs, the rigor of rehearsals, the frustration of failure, the excitement and thrill of words and performance.  Paige knew her Shakespeare and often had a perfect passage to capture the moment.  Primarily she loved the warmth, wisdom, industry, humor, diversity and talent of her theater friends. She loved her book club friends, old friends and new.   She was a deeply caring wife, friend, sister, daughter, and aunt.  She displayed a special quick wit, practical approach and a genuine way of encouraging the best in people, accepting people as they are and making sure everyone was enjoying the moment.  She loved to play, party and laugh. 

Jay had been her caretaker and treated her with love and tenderness.  The last few weeks she had been surrounded by immediate family, a gift to us all. In the end she was taking care of us. She ordered temporary tattoos that read “It’s going to be okay.” They are on our arms and may stay forever.  We are crushed by her loss of a future and our loss of our Paige, but we will hope in time to honor her wish.

In addition to her beloved husband, Jay Thomas, Paige leaves behind her parents, Laurie and John Johnston; brother, Gardner Johnston and his wife, Sarah and daughters, Riley and Tate, of Hood River, OR; her Uncle Floyd Hurt and Jill Saperstein and cousins Eric Hurt and Morgan Hurt and husband, Gabe Garcia of Charlottesville; Uncle Morry Johnston and wife Ginny; Aunt Jenny Singleton and her husband Rudy, and Aunt Beegie Caviness; also cousins, Brad, Kit, Amanda, Hall, Natalie, Kenna, Scott, Grant, Jay, Johnston, their spouses and children. All were very important to Paige.

Much love and thanks to Beth Pesakoff and Mitzi Corrigan for their love and support as well as to friends who have been so important in her life. Paige wanted to thank Dr. Kunal Kadakia and Dr. Lee Ocuin for their special care. 

A scholarship fund in Paige’s name has been established by Mitzi to benefit performing arts youth who may not otherwise be able to pursue their education. It can be accessed by going to

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at


Share your memories & condolences


  • Bess Forshaw

    I am broken hearted for two loving friends. This loss takes me way back to a time I try not to revisit. Cherish your memories for as much as they hurt now, they will be survival in the future. Sharing your sorrow and sending my love, Bess.

  • Paulette Inman

    Dear Laurie and John,
    I just learned about Paige. I’m heart broken for all of you and want to send my love and sympathy.
    It’s been a long time since Sharon Road days, such a happy time for all of us.
    I don’t know if you remember us meeting after a show at Knight Theater, Paige was there also. It was a joy to see her and both of you.
    You are in our thoughts. I’m sending you a hug, hoping that will add to your strength now.
    Love, Paulette

  • Pamela Brawley

    You are in my prayers ...words are not enough will always be in my heart....Dr. J I miss you ....??????

  • Danny Furry

    So sorry for your loss.

  • Diane Wilkerson

    Dear Laurie and John,
    I was so saddened to read Paige's obiturary in the paper. I remember getting to know her when she and our Beth made their debuts together and she was such a lovely young lady. I can only imagine how difficult this is for you but I know all of your family and friends will be a helpful and wonderful support for all of you. Please accept my love and sympathy and sadness over losing such a beautiful and talented young lady.

  • Bobby & Rhonda Aycock

    Jay, we're so sorry to hear of your loss of the love of your life. We're sending condolences and prayers of comfort to you and your family.
    ~Bobby & Rhonda

  • Judy Bandy

    My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Losing someone is never easy. May your fond memories of Paige live on.

  • Tim & Kim Parati

    Jay, Laurie, John, Gardner, Sarah, Linda and the girls....Know that Kim, Ava Luna and I all send you the deepest love but also the most joyous. As we told you, Paige meant so much to our family. Although we can not fathom a world with out her, know that her presence is strong and will be with us forever. We love you all. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful person that was the center of much, was the inspiration for many and one of the best friends we could have.

  • Russell Weil

    I was so sorry to hear about Paige's passing. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you. She was such a special person and I have such fond memories of our escapades in High School and College. She lit up the room every time she walked into it.


    We love our Paige...She is family to us, we grew up together, and remember the time so fondly that she shared a home with us in Plaza Midwood. I have often remembered sitting on the edge of her bed in her room while she apologized to me for "stopping the clocks." The clock indeed wasn't working...she told me she was basically wired differently...and clocks and watches got very confused and stopped working. I had never heard of such a thing....but Paige was one of a kind....and stopped the clock for a minute, with a beautiful reminder that you are as eternal as love...a part of the sky, sending little birds to remind us of your beautiful energy and love...

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