Denise Thomas, a medical assistant for 28 years in the Department of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and a student in University College, died July 4, 2017, in St. Louis. Thomas, 52, died several days after suffering a stroke at her home in St. Louis.
Thomas was a medical assistant in the Division of Hematology. She also was working toward a bachelor’s degree in health-care management in University College, the professional and continuing education division of Arts & Sciences, and was on track to earn her degree in December.
University College Dean Mark Rollins said the college planned to award Thomas her degree posthumously.
“Denise Thomas was a respected member of the Washington University staff and an excellent student in University College,” Rollins said. “She exemplified the values that we prize most at Washington University: a love of learning, a desire to make a difference, and the will and great strength it takes to meet the demands that pursuing a degree requires, while working and fulfilling family and community responsibilities.”
In 2010, she was inducted into the Washington University chapter of the Alpha Sigma Lambda honor society, which celebrates the scholarship and leadership of adult students in higher education.
Thomas is survived by her husband, Theo Thomas; her sons, Cory J., Phillip A. and Andrew A. Thomas; her sister, Vinissa Thomas; her brothers, Norval L. Washington, Milton Bell, Lamont Thomas and Frank P. Thomas; and six grandchildren.
A funeral was held July 15 at Kossuth Church of God in Christ in St. Louis.