Dr. Carolyn Lee Thomas, Retired Professor of Environmental Science at Ferrum College, passed away on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.
She was preceded in death by her parents Dean and Elizabeth Thomas, and her nephew Brice Swinehart. She is survived by her husband and soulmate Dr. Bob Pohlad, son Chris Pohlad-Thomas, and his wife Adrienne Capollupo and their two daughters, and son Tim Pohlad-Thomas and his wife Alexandria Moore and their son and daughter
Carolyn was born in Orlando, FL on January 18, 1948 to Dean and Elizabeth Thomas. She graduated from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Biology. She received her M.S. in Zoology from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Virginia Tech. Carolyn began her teaching career as a Physical Science Teacher for Franklin County Middle School in 1978. In 1979, Carolyn became a Professor of Environmental Science and Biology at Ferrum where she would shape 41 years of students before retiring in May of 2019.
During her time at Ferrum, Carolyn was the Director of Science Camp as well as the Director of the Smith Mountain Lake Water Quality Program. She was a recipient of the Eugene P. Odum Award for Excellence in Ecological Education along with husband Bob from the Ecological Society of America. She also received the Melvin Johnston Award from the Smith Mountain Lake Association.
Carolyn was a loving soulmate, wonderful mother, devoted grandma, and dedicated teacher who loved the water and made it part of her professional life. She loved to travel and was able to see all 50 states and many different countries with her soulmate Bob and their sons Chris and Tim. Carolyn’s legacy will live on in her family, friends, and all of those students whose lives she had a major impact.
The Celebration of Life for Dr. Carolyn Thomas, a member of St. Peters In the Mountains, Callaway, Va., will be held on Sunday, January 26, 2020, at 2 p.m. in Ferrum College’s Vaughn Chapel. The Reverend John H. Heck will officiate. A reception will follow in the Blue Ridge Mountain Room in upper Franklin Hall on campus.
In lieu of flowers, the Thomas and Pohlad families request individuals make a gift to the Carolyn Thomas Memorial Fund at Ferrum College. Donations will support students in the College's Division of Natural Sciences at: http://bit.ly/CarolynThomasFund