Christa Thomas, recently retired graduate program coordinator for the Department of Physics in the College of Science, died June 15 at Lewis Gale Hospital-Montgomery, she was 75.

Born in Berlin, Germany, Oct. 8, 1938, Thomas retired from Virginia Tech in 2013 after 38 years of service. In April, she received the Staff Career Achievement Award and in 2009 she earned the President’s Award for Excellence.

She joined the university in 1975 as a clerk typist, moving on to become an accountant in 1981, an executive secretary in 1990, and a program support technician in 1995 before becoming the graduate program coordinator for physics in 1997.

During her time at Virginia Tech, Thomas’ contributions to the Department of Physics positively impacted the lives of all who knew her. Her efforts spanned the tenures of eight department heads and chairs, and helped the graduate careers of many students. She was known by her colleagues as the “soul” of the department.

A private service was held by the family June 16 and a memorial celebration is planned. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made on her behalf to either the Muscular Dystrophy Association, P.O. Box 78960, Phoenix, Arizona, 85062-8960, or to the Tupelo Press Teen Writing Center, both in honor of her granddaughter, Michelle Nicole Miles.

The family has also set up a Facebook page for comments.

Share this story