Virginia Dunn Thomas of Westwood, New Seabury, and Naples, FL, passed away peacefully on October 9, 2018. She is survived by her devoted husband of 72 years Dr. Edwin M. Thomas and her seven children and their families: Cheryl Ann Ribando and her husband Robert (Charlottesville, VA); Virginia Thomas McDermott and her husband Robert (Marlboro, MA); Jacquelyn Thomas McColgan (Long Beach, CA); Dr. Michael Thomas and his wife Rebecca (Abington, MA); Dr. Brian R. Thomas and his wife Nancy (Medfield, MA); Dr. Kevin M. Thomas and his wife Tracy (Cohasset, MA); and Dr. Richard K. Thomas and his wife Patty (Medfield, MA). Her son, Gary D. Thomas predeceased her.
Affectionately known as "Mrs. T," she was much beloved by all, especially her 20 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.
Virginia was born in Boston, MA on July 30,1922 to Thomas Edward Dunn and Margaret Eleanor Donovan Dunn. She attended local schools and was awarded a scholarship to Simmons College upon graduation from Girl's High School. Her first position after graduation in 1943 was as an Assistant Professor in Secretarial Studies at Simmons College, where she taught for two years. While teaching at the college, she studied at Boston University's School of Education earning a Master of Education Degree in guidance and counseling in 1944. She was a member of Phi Lamda Theta Honorary Society. After receiving her graduate degree, she joined the Hampden County Tuberculosis Association in Springfield, MA and was appointed director at age 24.
She and Ed met when they were in seventh grade at the Washington Irving Junior High School in Roslindale. They lost track for years until her mother suggested she respond to his letters when he was a dental student at Georgetown University. They married on October 12,1946 and spent two years at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, MD while he served in the Naval Dental Corps. While there, Virginia worked as the Executive Assistant to the Captain of Supply and War. In that position she became the confidential recorder for the government's investigation of special cases on the naval base. Returning to Massachusetts, they were partners in opening their first dental office in Roslindale and eventually in Mattapan. They resided in Milton, MA for several years before designing and building their family home with a dental office wing in Westwood.
Virginia divided her time between raising her large family and coordinating the schedules and accounting of her husband's group dental practice which in time included offices in Mattapan, Westwood, Milton, Abington and Medfield. Over the years she was active in the community serving as a member of the League of Appollonia in Boston, Simmons Alumnae Association, and on the board of the Xaverian Brothers High School Mothers Guild of Westwood. She enjoyed most of all time with her family, especially summers on Cape Cod in Dennisport, and later New Seabury.
In retirement, she and Ed spent much of the year at their home at The Wilderness in Naples, FL. They also enjoyed traveling in Europe, South America, Australia, Asia and Africa. Virginia was always open to learning, enjoying Spanish and computer classes in her early 80's as well as being a voracious reader. She took up painting and intricate needlework in her later years. She was the heart of our large, extended family and will be sorely missed by all.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Gary Dunn Thomas Memorial Scholarship Fund, Xaverian Brothers High School, 800 Clapboardtree Street, Westwood, MA 02090.
A private family mass of remembrance was held at St. Timothy's Church in Norwood. Her final resting place will be at Knollwood Cemetery in Canton beside her son Gary. Condolences may be shared online at www.hdlfuneralhome.net.