Tyler Today April/May 2017 : Page 118

tylertoday home style R etReat to ... “We drive through the gates on Friday and we don’t leave the property until Monday morning. In between, we relax and enjoy the country-style living we have at our ranch retreat,” explains Melissa Thomas (née Smith). The retreat to which she is referring is called “Lawless Acres,” so named because when she is there, she is away from her law practice; and therefore, lawless. The home is built on a working ranch that sprawls across approximately 374 acres just outside of historic Jefferson, Texas. Melissa had the original farmhouse built fifteen years ago. Today, the property has expanded greatly and is the place where the Thomas family retreats on the weekends. The Thomas’ have two children — son Roan James (5) and daughter Ransom Dean (3). During the week, the family lives in Tyler. “We chose Tyler because a federal court is located there and because we wanted good schools for our children. The children are enrolled at All Saints School,” says Stephen who spends his time managing the ranching operation at Lawless Acres. Stephen grew up in East Texas, graduating from Winnsboro High School. Before meeting Melissa, he lived in San Diego, California, where he got his commercial pilot’s license. For several years, he worked as a bush pilot in Alaska, ferrying hunters to remote areas of the state, only accessible by air. 118 APRIL / MAY 2017

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