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Ann Thomas '89 April 20, 2021 11:38 AM updated: April 20, 2021 1:24 PM

Ann Macaulay Thomas
December 29, 1958 - March 19, 2021

Ann (Macaulay) Thomas, 62, passed away on March 19, 2021 surrounded by her family and pets after a three-year battle with cancer.

Ann was born on December 29, 1958 in New Orleans to George and Betty Macaulay. She graduated from Mandeville High School in 1977, Louisiana State University with a B.S. and M.S. in Dairy Science in 1981 and 1983, and then completed a Ph.D. in Animal Science at Texas A&M in 1989 with a dissertation on stress physiology in the castration methods of bulls. Ann accepted a postdoctoral position at Utah State University, becoming the first female instructor in the College of Agriculture. She conducted four years of outdoor cold stress dairy cattle research and received a Presidential Points of Light Award for her work with women in science.

In 1993, Ann returned to Texas to marry Bruce Thomas. She taught math and science at Gatesville State Penitentiary and Connally Middle School. They were blessed with two daughters, Betty and Tori, and relocated from Waco, TX to Lenexa, KS in 1998.

“Miss Ann” taught preschool for 20 years and loved exposing her children to science during nature walks. She was a positive force for change in her community, volunteering and leading mission work at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church of Lenexa for many years.

Ann adored animals. She was vivacious, charismatic, and lived life to the fullest. She always had a crowded table of neighbors and friends to keep her company, and was known for her gumbo and southern hospitality. Ann raised two successful daughters, and served as a confidant and mentor to their many friends. She taught them all to laugh, love hard, cook, and even cuss.

In March 2018, Ann received a triple negative breast cancer diagnosis during her yearly mammogram. She underwent aggressive chemo and radiation therapies as well as numerous surgeries that gave her three years of life with those she loved. We thank her amazing team at KU Cancer Center for their hard work and guidance.

Ann is preceded in death by her father, George. She is survived by her mother, Betty Macaulay; husband, Bruce who is the Chief Meteorologist for the St. Joseph News-Press; daughters Betty and Tori (Kellan Horner); brother, Bruce Macaulay (Cindy); nephew, Erik Macaulay; several pets and countless friends.

The memorial service will be hosted socially distanced, with masks required, and outdoors at the Thomas Family Home on Wednesday, March 24th at 3:30 PM and will be livestreamed on Facebook. For further details, please email her daughter, Betty, at:

In lieu of flowers, please feed the birds, donate to Pawsitive Tails KC Dog Rescue at or to a local animal shelter. It would make Ann smile. Ann reminds everyone to get their mammograms!

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