Politics & Government

Lynda Thomas, wife of Lexington state senator, dies at age 60

Lynda Thomas
Lynda Thomas

Lynda Morris Thomas, an educator, civic volunteer and wife of Democratic state Sen. Reginald Thomas of Lexington, died Tuesday morning at University of Kentucky Medical Center. She was 60.

Reginald Thomas said his wife of 35 years died of cancer.

A native of Detroit, Lynda Thomas was active at St. Paul AME Church since her arrival in Lexington in 1980.

She served on the Bryan Station High School site-based council from 1999-2003 and taught courses at the University of Kentucky and worked at the UK Office of Minority Affairs from 1993-1994.

Thomas was a 30-year member of the Frankfort/Lexington Chapter of The Links Inc., a service organization dealing with health, community engagement and educational projects.

At the time of her death, she was a board member of the Lexington Downtown Development Authority and an executive board member of the Lexington Philharmonic.

Her husband said one of his wife’s greatest joys was her work for Kentucky Educational Television for more than 20 years.

She was hired in 1995 to lead research and evaluation for KET’s Professional Development Program. She became director of KET’s Professional Development and Distance Learning in 2006 and forged a partnership with the Kentucky Department of Education to produce online, self-paced professional development for teachers.

She oversaw a technological overhaul of distance learning, moving it into an online course management system, and launched KET’s dual credit option with Morehead State University.

She was a frequent panelist on bookclub@ket and worked as a team member on a variety of other KET productions, including Kentucky’s Underground Railroad – Passage to Freedom, where she worked with the producer to create a project website that included additional information and educational resources.

Thomas grew up in Washington, D.C. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1977 and earned a master of arts in communication from UK in 1991.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by daughter Johanna Rose Thomas and sons Leonard David Thomas and William Philip Thomas.

Visitiation will be 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Paul AME Church, 251 North Upper Street, Lexington. Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that all in memorials go to construction of the UK Cancer Research Center.

Jack Brammer: (502) 227-1198, @BGPolitics