Obit: Roosevelt Thomas

Obit: Roosevelt Thomas

May 24th, 2013 in Obituaries
Location: Hamilton county

Dr. Dr. R. Roosevelt Thomas, Jr., 68, passed away on Friday, May 17, 2013 in Decatur, Ga.Dr. Thomas was a native of Chattanooga. He attended Chattanooga Public Schools and was a 1962 Honor Graduate of Howard High School. He enrolled at Morehouse College and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Math. He attended the University Of Chicago Graduate School Of Business Administration where he received an M.B.A. in Finance. He received his D.B.A. in Organizational Behavior from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.As chairman and CEO of R. Thomas & Associates, Dr. Thomas consulted with numerous Fortune 500 companies, professional firms, government entities, non-profit organizations and academic institutions. He served as secretary of Morehouse College, dean of the graduate School of Business Administration at Atlanta University, assistant professor at the Harvard Business School and instructor at Morehouse College. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at Morehouse College.Dr. Thomas was recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top ten consultants in the country on Diversity Management. He was elected as a Fellow by the National Academy of Human Resources, cited by Human Resource Executive as one of HRs Most Influential People, awarded the Distinguished Contribution to Human Resources Development Award by the American Society of Training and Development, honored with the "Trailblazers in Diversity" Award by Bennet College and designated an Inaugural "Legends of Diversity" Honoree by the International Society of Diversity and Inclusion Professionals. Dr. Thomas is the author of seven published books; his most recent, World Class Diversity Management: A Strategic Approach.Dr. Thomas was a former member of St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Chattanooga. In Atlanta, he joined Friendship Baptist Church, where he served as Chairman of the Deacon Board along with various duties at the Church. He has received numerous awards and commendations for his service to his church. He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and many other civic and community organizations.Dr. Thomas was preceded in death by his father, Rufus R. Thomas Sr.; his mother, Icye Potts Thomas; his paternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Thomas; and his maternal grandparents, Ollie Robert Potts and Lela M. Potts.Dr. Thomas is survived by his wife of 42 years, Judge Ruby Thomas, of Decatur; a daughter, April R. Thomas, of Cambridge Mass.; two sons, Shane and Jared Thomas, of Decatur; one grandson, Montrell Thomas, of Decatur; a brother, Robert Potts (Carol) Thomas Sr., of Chattanooga; several nephews and nieces; two devoted cousins, Marla Potts Henderson, of Jacksonville, Fla. and Winona Potts (Davis) Harris, of Clarksville, Tenn.; special family friend, Ruth Thomas, of Chattanooga; a host of other relatives and friends.Home going services for Dr. Thomas will be held at 11 a.m. today, May 24, at Friendship Baptist Church, 437 Mitchell Avenue, SW in Atlanta, with Rev. Emmanuel McCall officiating along with other ministers.The body will lie in state from 10 a.m. until the hour of service. Carl M. Williams Funeral Directors, 492 Larkin St., Atlanta, in charge of the arrangements.This announcement is being made courtesy of John P. Franklin Funeral Home, Chattanooga.