Jack Thomas, 76, was posted to his final assignment in the early hours of November 4, 2019. He was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 3, 1943, the second child of Ralph and Gertrude (Suzy) Thomas. He moved with his parents and siblings to Washington, D.C. 13 years later and never looked back.
He was a lifelong learner, earning his Bachelor’s Degree from The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. He was very proud of his tenure as a visiting Professor of Public Health at Tulane University in New Orleans.
Jack spent a lifetime traveling and discovering the world with a remarkable lack of bias or expectation. He made new friends wherever he landed, and truly enjoyed discovering new treasures, eating good food, and having a cocktail at the end of a particularly good (or bad) day. He was an artist and musician with wide-ranging tastes: Reggae, Country, Folk, Motown, Latin, Classical, International, Jazz, Rock and Bluegrass were all on his playlist. He was a collector of art and leaves more paintings than wall space and never said “no” to the weirdest primitive piece he could find. He loved tennis, playing his guitar, sailing, watching Tarheels basketball and a good game of backgammon with competitors of all skill levels (though he preferred novices).
Jack left his mark on the world with a long career in Public Health, retiring from the U.S. Agency for International Development after 26 years and work in over 30 countries. He then went to work for the private sector, including an assignment in Iraq as a DoD public health contractor in 2003 following Operation Iraqi Freedom.
He was a pioneer in Social Marketing, heading projects for AIDS prevention, family planning and child survival, maternal and child health, vaccination and oral rehydration programs and other public health initiatives worldwide. He received numerous awards and recognition for his accomplishments, and inspired many to follow a career in public service, including his daughter who chose a career in public safety.
He is predeceased by his parents, Gertrude “Suzy” Havemeyer and Ralph Blake Thomas; niece Erin Thomas and nephew Sean Thomas; and many eccentric and adventurous ancestors including Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts and John Kinzie, one of the first settlers of the city of Chicago.
He is survived by his daughter Gillian and her husband Scott Alcock of Otisfield, ME; daughter Kinzie and her husband Dominic D’Ambrosia of Lombard, IL; brother Blake (Nancy) Thomas; sister Suzy Klein; granddaughter Zoe Anne D’Ambrosia; nieces Sarah Casey Klein and Megan (Buell) Hollister; and nephew Colin (Caroline) Thomas. He is also survived by his former wife and mother of his children, Donnie Thomas; and former wife Maria Rivero Thomas and her daughter, Laura Jimenez.
Our caring professionals are here to assist you and your family during this difficult time. We are available 24 hours, 7 days a week to assist in immediate arrangements or pre-arrangements.
The service from Millennium was outstanding. Rachel was sweet, personable and very comforting. It was important to me that my dad was kept locally where I knew where he would be. Very nice facility, state of the art and quality of my fathers remains were so refined compared to my mothers years ago. I highly recommend this place for an affordable choice for your loved one. Thank you for making an already stressful event easy. With high regards, the Esposito and Keith Family.
Millennium Cremation provided a fantastic service to our family at a difficult time. Our beloved mother passed away in Vero Beach and the rest of the family was in other parts of the country. Due to the Covid health crisis, none of us could get to Vero Beach in person. That's where Millennium took over. They helped us manage everything, coordinated with a cemetery in Maine, managed the obituaries, expedited all the paperwork, and even delivered an important document locally that saved us days. Funeral director Rachel was a godsend, and she made it clear what she was going to do, and what we needed to do. If you know what you want, Millennium is highly recommended, and the savings versus the full service mortuaries is significant.