Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
A Life Well Lived; Audrey Louise Thomas was born in Washington DC on April 6, 1933. She was the youngest of eleven children born to Harry and Georgia Brown. Doris Romeo, at age 92, is the last surviving sibling.
Audrey was educated in the Washington, D.C. public school system and graduated in 1951 from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, an academically elite school, and the first high school to serve African-Americans in the United States. After graduation, she attended secretarial school and moved to Chicago, where she worked in a law firm. She returned to Washington from Chicago and married Joseph Thomas, Jr. on February 20, 1954. From their union, four wonderful children were born. Joseph preceded her in death in 2009. His last words included the declaration, “I had an incredible wife.”
Audrey is survived by three daughters: her eldest Dr. Lynda Thomas-Mabine (Bruce), Endia Thomas, and Anand Shantam; her son David Thomas (Jennifer), and a bonus daughter, Priscilla A. Ross. Her eldest grandson, Derrick Thomas-Warrick, preceded her in death. She has six living grandchildren: Kia Blakely, Quiana Ross (Larry), Bryan Thomas, Rebecca Thomas, Jared Thomas, and Charles K. Tucker, Jr., and bonus grandchildren: Roberta Hatcher-Drew, Kenneth Mabine, Joanna Mabine, and Supriya Mordecai. She has three great-grandchildren: London Ross, Laren Ross, and Lauryn Ross.
Audrey was a dedicated mother, first and foremost. She cherished every moment with her family, and especially loved her role as grandma and great-grandma. Keenly insightful, with an affiliative sense of humor, she made friends everywhere she went, and all who knew her felt her genuine and unconditional spirit of love and giving. She was transcendent!
Audrey retired in 1995 after 30 years in the Federal Civil Service as a Program Development and Analyst Specialist for VISTA/Peace Corps, now known as AmeriCorps. But Audrey’s unwavering commitment to the service of others extended far beyond her work for the federal government. She volunteered for numerous charitable organizations in her beloved church and community.
A faithful and dedicated parishioner of St. Gabriel Catholic Church for more than six decades, Audrey organized numerous fundraising bus excursions for the church, often providing delicious meals and gifts for participants at her own expense. She was a principal member of St. Gabriel’s credit union since its inception in 1967. She was the CEO/Treasurer at the time of her death. In addition, she was an active member of the St. Gabriel Sodality Group and Rosary Prayer Line. Audrey participated in nearly every St. Gabriel event for more than 60 years, bringing enthusiasm and joy to every gathering. Audrey deeply valued the St. Gabriel community, entrusting the St. Gabriel School with the early education of all four of her children.
A beacon in the Washington community, Audrey served as president and historian of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Auxiliary #341 and as department chairman for the VFW Cancer Aid and Research Program, raising money for grants and community outreach education for cancer prevention. One of her favorite activities involved the VFW’s partnership with Wreaths Across America, to place wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery each year.
Audrey was a soft-spoken, even-tempered community leader whose spirit of giving was boundless. With an open heart, she assisted many who were in need, often allowing people in need to stay in her home until they were able, as she said, “to get on their feet.” Friends and family members recall her bringing groceries and nourishing meals to their homes regularly. Audrey’s culinary skills were amazing – talents that she passed on to Anand, a celebrated chef, and to other children and grandchildren. Her famous lemon pound cake was in great demand at family gatherings.
An accounting whiz, Audrey earned a certificate in management analysis and income tax preparation from Montgomery College and used her skills to help many friends and associates, free of charge, and she worked part-time in an accounting office during peak tax season.
Audrey was a world traveler throughout the United States, Scandinavia, Russia, and other European countries, the Caribbean, and South Africa, spreading love and gathering friends and family wherever she went. She was especially close to her beloved Bermuda family and dear friend Ann Saltus for more than 50 years. She treasured the Hatcher family of Kingston, NY as members of her extended family. She leaves a host of extended family, nieces, nephews, and friends who basked in her limitless love.
Through God’s grace, Audrey remained joyful, generous, and active throughout her wonderful life. She passed away at her home on January 15, 2023. We, her family, are fortunate to have been blessed with her wisdom, guidance and spirit, and to have enjoyed memorable holiday celebrations with her throughout the years, most recently this past Thanksgiving and Christmas.
We love you, Mom!
Lynda, Endia, Anand, David, Jennifer, and Priscilla
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in Memory of Audrey L. Thomas to St. Gabriel Catholic Church 26 Grant Circle NW Washington DC 20011.