Saying Goodbye to a Fellow Alum

Michelle Thames, a member of LNT Class 2, passed away October 11 after a brief illness. Michelle approached everything with heartfelt dedication and her loss will be felt by the entire North Texas community.

Michelle Melton Thames of Richardson, Texas died on Sunday, October 11, 2015 in Houston, Texas due to complications related to an autoimmune disorder. Michelle was born on June 4, 1969 in Dallas, Texas to Don and Lucy Melton of Duncanville, Texas. She grew up in Duncanville with one brother, Brian Melton now of Frisco, Texas. After graduation from Duncanville High School, she received her Bachelor of Business Administration at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas in 1991 followed with her Masters of Public Administration at University of Texas Arlington, Texas in 1993. She was a dedicated member of the Chi Omega sorority and enjoyed many lasting relationships with her Chi O sisters.

Michelle met her husband, Phil Thames while attending Midwestern State University and they wed on April 8, 1995 at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. They have spent the last 20 years making memories in their home in Richardson. As many a neighbor can attest, they have often made their home a place that welcomes everyone. Michelle began working for the City of Richardson during her internship as a fellow with Urban Management Assistants of North Texas in 1991. She was a dedicated employee for the City of Richardson for 21 years. She put her heart into every day and in each position she held in Public Services, the City Manager’s Office, and in working as the Arts Commission Liaison bringing the arts into Richardson through the Eisemann Center project.

Following God’s direction for her life, Michelle resigned as the Assistant City Manager in September 2012. In December 2013, she accepted a position as the Director of the Prestonwood Pregnancy Center and worked diligently to bring awareness of the program to the surrounding area and expand the reach to touch the hearts and lives of woman and families searching for help. In talking with her about the best part of her job, she would often tear up remembering the work Jesus had done in changing lives through the support services provided through the Pregnancy Center. She would say, “There isn’t a person who comes to us for help that doesn’t hear about the name of Jesus.”

To borrow some words written to Michelle in the proclamation given to her by the City of Richardson on September 14, 2012, “Michelle could always be counted on to take on any project with enthusiasm, determination, and professionalism. Michelle provided her staff with a well-defined focus, kind guidance, and encouragement with a great wink. With so many accolades to her credit, perhaps the most important of all” is that we “will remember her for truly caring for employees professionally and personally”.

Michelle served in children’s, youth and adult ministries in her church home at Prestonwood Baptist Church. She was an active member of many organizations within the Richardson Independent School District including the Legislative and Citizenship Chairman, Budget Review Team, Parent Teacher Association, and Inside RISD. She was also participated in many community organizations including Warren Center for Children with Developmental Differences, Richardson Living magazine, Leadership Richardson, Citizens Police Academy, Citizens Fire Academy, Junior League of Richardson, and Altrusa International of Richardson. Michelle received special recognitions throughout her career including being selected as one of the “21 leaders for the 21st Century” by Collin County Business, being named “Outstanding Woman of the Year” by Altrusa International of Richardson, receiving the “Linda Keithley Award for Women in Public Management” from the North Central Texas Council of Governments, and begin recognized as a “Heart for the Arts Ambassador” by the Richardson Arts Alliance.

Michelle is survived by her husband, Phil Thames and two daughters, Sarah and Katherine Thames. Her parents Don and Lucy Melton. Her brother Brian Melton and her nephews Justin and Christopher. Her brother and sister in law, Marc and Angelia Thames and her nieces Addison, Hanna and Zoe.