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Dr. Steven  L. Thomas

Obituary for Dr. Steven L. Thomas

July 14, 1970 - July 12, 2020
Kingston, Pennsylvania | Age 49

Obituary

Dr. Steven Thomas, of Kingston, passed away peacefully on July 12, 2020, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, following complications from a stem cell transplant for acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML). His wife was by his side. Steven had been on leave from Wilkes University, where he was Professor of Music and served as chair of the Division of Performing Arts.

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Steven received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University before earning his master's and doctoral degrees from Yale University. At Wilkes, Steven was the Director of Choral Activities for more than 20 years. In addition to teaching various classes within the music curriculum, he led the University Chorus and the Chamber Singers.

Steven sang in the Lyric Consort and was also the Music Director of the Arcadia Chorale, both based in Scranton. As part of his active performing schedule, Steven continued the Chorale's traditions of hosting a spring Bach Festival and an annual Messiah sing-along, which could be heard on WVIA-FM during the Christmas season. Under his leadership, the Chorale performed at the American Choral Directors Association convention and produced several recordings.

Steven frequently sought opportunities for Wilkes students to collaborate with members of other performing ensembles, such as the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and choirs from Marywood University, Bloomsburg University, and the Choral Society of Northeast Pennsylvania. Collaborations between the Wilkes choral ensembles and the Arcadia Chorale were especially meaningful for him. Most recently, he'd brought together singers and instrumentalists from across the region for a performance of Bach's St. Matthew Passion.

Steven is survived by his wife, Susan Minsavage, of Kingston. Also surviving are his parents, Marian and Timothy Thomas (Kansas); brother, Peter Thomas, sister-in-law Diana Steele, and their daughters, Mariana and Eliza Jane (Ohio); sister Julie Thomas (Kansas); as well as aunts, uncles and cousins. He is deeply mourned as a brother, uncle, nephew and cousin by his Minsavage family as well.

This is merely a list of facts about Steven. There is no obituary that could convey his essence, and no words to express the magnitude of this loss to those who knew and continue to love him.

A private cremation service was held on July 14 at Cavanagh Funeral Home for immediate family members. A public celebration of Steven's life will be planned in the future to honor this gifted and compassionate teacher, musician and friend. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge in Cheltenham: www.cancer.org.

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