Like a lot of people in Galveston, Daily News editors Thursday were pondering the loss of Lyda Ann Thomas, the civic leader and former mayor who died Wednesday of cancer.

Two things came to mind.

Thomas was a child of wealth and privilege but raised in a tradition that taught those benefits of fortunate birth came with corollary responsibility to serve; to work toward and worry about the greater good.

Wealth, for people like Thomas, didn’t buy exemption or escape from the fray; the wealth was itself a mandate to be engaged.

The other is this: It was possible to disagree with, even criticize, her political work and still maintain a productive relationship. No matter how sharply The Daily News took issue with Lyda Ann Thomas the public servant, she never took it overly personally, never attempted to shut us out.

Those strengths of character she displayed are beginning to feel old-fashioned.

As we mark the passing of this good and dedicated member of our community, we hope the traits that made her so will remain among us.

• Michael A. Smith

Contact Editor Michael A. Smith at 409-683-5206 or michael.smith@galvnews.com.​

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