Dr. Michael C. Thomas of Gainesville, FL passed away peacefully on Friday, October 4, 2019. He was 71 years old. Dr. Thomas was born in Miami, FL on May 5 1948, son of Charles and June Thomas. Dr. Thomas was the Chief of Entomology at the Florida Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry. He retired in 2013 after 31 years of service. Dr. Thomas was a groundbreaking collector and taxonomist who discovered several new beetle species in his lifetime. Survivors include his loving wife of 49 years, Sheila Thomas, children Andrea Thomas Houston and Erin Thomas, sister Judy Raymond, grandchildren Alex, James, Elizabeth and Grey and many nieces and nephews. Relatives and friends are encouraged to join us at Forest Meadows Funeral Home, 725 NW 23rd Ave, Gainesville, FL on Saturday, Oct 19. We will gather at 1pm and the service will begin at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to either the Center for Systematic Entomology or the Florida Native Plant Society, organizations Dr. Thomas supported for decades
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I’ve met many people in my life. Some are acquaintances, others are friends, and then there are those who are special.
Mike Thomas was special. An amazing artist. A gifted writer and poet. A true intellect. Mike was the quintessential Renaissance man.
With all of his talents and gifts, it might surprise some that he dedicated his life’s work to entomology. Those of us who have known Mike for more than fifty years understand that he viewed his excellence in drawing and writing merely as tools to convey his true passion.
I have always admired those few among us who dedicate their lives to a singular pursuit in a narrow field of study. Particularly in the sciences, where this focus when linked with the broader scientific community becomes the basis for some of man’s most heralded achievements. And while Mike’s work and discoveries in entomology will immortalize him, it is his love of family, compassion for others and cherished friendship that will keep him forever in my heart.
– Alan Urban
Allan thank you so much for your kind words, would you mind if I had this read at the memorial service if you cannot make it?