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Ethan Wilson Thomas

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Ethan Wilson Thomas passed away March 7, 2024, in Boston, Massachusetts, after a long battle with cancer.

Ethan was born April 11, 1953, in Yellow Springs, Ohio, to parents Bruce and Janet Thomas, both librarians at the Antioch College library. Ethan attended Yellow Springs High School and spent three years living in Europe after graduation, primarily in Spain. The culture there influenced him for the rest of his life. After returning to Ohio, Ethan attended Antioch College, majoring in literature.

After Ethan graduated from Antioch, he became one of the first bartenders at the Winds Cafe. He then moved to Boston, where he resided for the rest of his life. Ethan worked as a graphic designer for the Harvard Divinity School, and then moved positions to the Harvard Law School as a senior graphic designer for nearly 30 years until his retirement in 2016.

Ethan was an inspiration and made a lasting impact on the gay community in Yellow Springs in the ’70s and ’80s, as he was always open about and embraced his identity, even at a time in which it was not comfortable or safe to do so. His pride in his identity was significant to him.

One of Ethan’s greatest joys in life was his relationships with his nieces, as he served a supportive role for all of them, making an indescribable difference in their lives. Ethan was also passionate about the arts, being a very talented writer, poet, cartoonist and photographer. Ethan enjoyed giving unique tours of Boston to his guests. He had “the perfect” way to go anywhere, even if it made no sense geographically or traffic-wise.

Ethan had a fondness for martinis, good food, swimming, travel, Gendarme cologne, lilies, spending time on his deck in the summer, grapefruit juice, curating his beautiful house and reading and writing poetry.

Ethan was truly special, and our family would not be the same if we had not had him in our lives. The impact that Ethan had on our lives will stay with us forever. He was one of the funniest, kindest and most complex people you would ever meet. Those who knew Ethan know how exceptional he was, and that there is no one quite like him.

Ethan was preceded in death by his parents, Bruce and Janet Thomas; lifelong friend, Winnie Jensen; family friend, Laurel Campbell; and his beloved cat, Irene.

Ethan is survived by his brother, Dirk Thomas, and his wife Judith; his sister, Stefi Thomas Campbell; his boyfriend, Kerm Mogensen; his nephew, Chris Thomas, his wife, Lia, and their children Karli, Christie, Annabelle, John, Fraise, and Madelyn; his niece, Renée Scott, her husband, Dave, and their children Callen, Vivien, and Rowan Scott; niece, Amy Leah, her partner, Jason, and their children, Desmond and Quinn; niece, Ariana Bronwen Thomas; niece, Erin Campbell, and her partner, Ben Hardman; niece, Kate Campbell, and her daughter, Dorian Campbell; lifelong friend, Rachel Hyde, and her husband, Kevin McCarthy; family friends, Jan Campbell, Nina Myatt, and Maria Schuermeyer; his special dog companion, Chester; and many more friends and family members.

“I didn’t want to call it a perfect rainbow, but it was. Me, in the sight of perfection? Is that why I cried? Humble creature under the perfect sky brings to mind a kind of heaven, a place to go when you are done here with this creation.” — Ethan Thomas

Information regarding a service will be provided at a later time.


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