Cynthia H. Thomas, 95, of Damariscotta, passed away on the morning of March 4 at Maine Medical Center in Portland, from complications of an aneurysm. Her sons, granddaughter Megan, and niece Patience were with her until the end.
Cynthia was the devoted wife for 59 years of Charles Edward “Chuck” Thomas, who died in 2010. She was born in Framingham, Mass. to Maurice and Ida Leland. Cynthia was educated at Natick High School, and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from Wellesley College in 1943. During the war, she worked at Standard Oil developing advanced aviation fuel. From 1950 to 1969, she served as the personal assistant to Dr. Miriam Van Waters, a leading women’s rights advocate and penal reformer.
She worked for the Massachusetts Audubon Society from 1969 to 1987. She was appointed the first female director of an Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, the Stony Brook Nature Reserve, in Norfolk, Mass. As director, Cynthia developed a range of innovative environmental and community outreach programs. She also played a key role in developing legislation and leading citizen initiatives to improve water quality, protect wetlands, and ban harmful pesticides in Massachusetts. In 1979, she received a major award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for her work on the Massachusetts clean water legislation.
Cynthia was an avid bird watcher, organic gardener, reader, bridge and mahjong player, and devotee of crossword puzzles and acrostics. She also attended the Midcoast Friends Quaker Meetinghouse. She and Chuck loved their retirement in Damariscotta and their many wonderful friends in Maine.
Cynthia is survived by sons, Dr. David Thomas, Stephen Thomas, Charles Thomas, and Jonathan Thomas; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A celebration of her life will be held at 2 p.m., Sat., April 8 at the Midcoast Friend Meetinghouse, 77 Belvedere Rd., Damariscotta.
Condolences, and messages for the family, may be expressed by visiting www.StrongHancock.com.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main St., Damariscotta.