GALVESTON, Texas (FOX 26) - Former Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas has died, family spokesman Trey Click has confirmed to FOX 26 News. She had been battling a rare form of cancer over the last two years.
Click released the following statement on Wednesday:
Galveston native and former mayor, Lyda Ann Thomas lost her valiant three -year battle, succumbing on April 19, against a rare, difficult to diagnose, and consequently deadly cancer known as Uterine Papillary Serous Carcinoma. A fifth-generation Texan, Lyda Ann Quinn Thomas demonstrated an enduring commitment to family, friends, and community. Her philanthropic activities, like those of her family’s Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund, which she chaired for a number of years, adhered to the Kempner- Blum family’s tradition of service and leadership. Her parents, Art and Lyda Kempner Quinn, each left an indelible imprint on their first child. They taught her the value of work and play and kindness toward all.
Elected to City Council in 1998, she served her three-term limit. In 2004 she was elected Mayor of the City of Galveston, was re-elected in 2006, and was without an opponent to serve her last term, beginning in 2008. She worked tirelessly to make city government and city services more accessible to all citizens. She relished her role as spokeswoman, ambassador, visionary and advocate for Galveston and Galvestonians.
The City of Galveston released the following statement on Wednesday:
It is with great sadness that the City of Galveston learned this afternoon of the passing of Former Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas at her Galveston home.
“Lyda Ann stood tall for Galveston in our darkest hour,” said Mayor James D. Yarbrough. “Most people remember her as Mayor but she had a lifetime of tireless efforts behind the scenes. She truly was one of our heroes.”
Lyda Ann Thomas was first elected to City Council in 1998. In 2004 she was elected Mayor, a post which she held through both Hurricanes Rita and Ike. Her calm nature and strength captured the attention and respect of people around the nation. “When I think of Lyda Ann, I’m reminded of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’. What would Galveston be if Lyda Ann hadn’t crossed our paths?” continued Mayor Yarbrough.
Her leadership and her unstinting work for the community did not go unnoticed. She received many honors, including The Spirit of Elissa Award from Galveston Historical Foundation; The Community Enrichment Award from the Grand 1894 Opera House; the Pacesetter and Quality of Life Awards from Clean Galveston; the People of Vision Award (with her family) from Prevent Blindness; the Brotherhood Award from Reedy Chapel AME Church; and the Helping Hands Award from Public,Incorporated.
She believed in the spirit of Galveston and her passion for making city government and city services accessible to all citizens was evident throughout her leadership roles on City Council. “Lyda Ann was an advocate for the underdog and always made sure they had a level playing field. She was truly a blessing to this City and she will be dearly missed by many,” concluded Mayor Yarbrough.