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February 28, 2021
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Susan Thomas, 65, of Fort Avenue, Cranston, passed away on Sunday, February 28th., at Women and Infants Hospital in Providence. She was the wife of Mychal Gendron and the daughter of Stanley Thomas and Nancy (Walker) Thomas.
Susan was an active orchestral, solo, and chamber musician in the New England area. She was Principal Flute with the Rhode Island Philharmonic since 1992 and a founding member of the Block Ensemble, a prize-winning woodwind quintet. She made solo appearances with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Ocean State Chamber Orchestra, the Cape Ann Symphony, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, and the American Band.
An award-winning soloist, Susan studied with the noted player and pedagogue James Pappoutsakis and also with Sir James Galway in Lucerne, Switzerland. She has garnered prizes in a range of noted competitions, including the Concert Artists Guild, the Performers of Southern Connecticut, and the American Wind Symphony Orchestra.
Susan was a member of the music faculty at the University of Rhode Island since 2003, was appointed to the position of Lecturer in Music in 2004 and Senior Lecturer in Music in 2016.
Aside from her accomplishments as a musician, Susan was a gifted educator, an incredible wife and mother, and a fierce friend. Her optimism and spirit touched the lives of all who knew her, and she shouldered all of her life’s challenges with great dignity and strength. Her mantra, “choose joy,” will guide all those who feel her absence most deeply.
Susan leaves behind a daughter, Adrienne Gendron, a sister, Lynne Thomas, nephew Timothy Lordan, and niece Elizabeth Remington. In lieu of flowers, donations to Shaggy Dog Rescue at houstonshaggydogrescue.org /donations/ in her memory will be appreciated.