Obituary of Stuart Denis Thomas
Loving husband, father, and grandfather Stuart Denis Thomas (Denis) passed away at his home on January 25, 2023 surrounded by family. Born in Cheltenham, England on August 15, 1938, he was intensely proud of his British heritage and remained a devoted Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wolves fan after moving to the United States, where he expanded his sporting devotion to the Boston Celtics, Red Sox and New England Patriots.
Denis’ lifelong love of learning began at the Whitgift School in Croydon, England. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Bristol, after which he took an apprenticeship on the Isle of Wight where he aided in the design and creation of the hovercraft - an experience he forever cherished. Soon after, Denis developed a keen interest in the study of business, which led him to pursue a scholarship to Harvard Business School, where he earned both his master’s and doctoral degrees. Combining his passion for the field and academia, Denis served on the faculties of the graduate business schools of both Harvard and London Universities.
As a specialist in family enterprises, Denis received a number of awards throughout his career as a consultant, advisor, and chief executive officer for several family-owned or managed businesses. One of his highest honors was receiving a Royal Warrant by Her Majesty the Queen of England for his leadership of Berol Ltd in the United Kingdom. Denis also served as a non-executive chairman and board member to multiple enterprises - his longest tenure was held with Virginia Hospital Center, which he joyfully served for nearly 20 years.
Denis was preceded in death by his parents Rosamund and Morris, as well as his brother David. He is survived by his wife of 41 years Dayle, his three children Owen, Derek and Samantha Kate, daughter-in-law Cynthia, beloved granddaughter EllaJames, as well as his niece Jacqueline, nephew Richard and their families.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made in his name to The Virginia Hospital Center Foundation (https://vhcfoundation.com/remembering-dr-denis-thomas/) or the Lewy Body Dementia Association (lbda.org).
A private family memorial gathering will be held at a future date.