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Suzanne Elizabeth Thomas
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Birth: Sep. 25, 1952
Cleveland
Cuyahoga County
Ohio, USA
Death: Jan. 8, 1994
Parma
Cuyahoga County
Ohio, USA

SUZANNE E. THOMAS, 41, WORKED FOR NBC IN CALIF.

Suzanne E. Thomas always wanted a career in television.

While working in the early 1980s as a secretary for Leece-Neville, a Cleveland manufacturer of automobile alternators, the former Seven Hills resident made numerous trips to California. With each visit, she submitted another application for a job in the television industry.

Eight years ago, her persistence paid off. She was offered a job by the NBC network.

"When she finally did land this position at NBC, she was on Cloud Nine," said her mother, Eleanor. "She loved it, and the people loved her back."

Miss Thomas continued working after being diagnosed with cancer five years ago. She underwent a series of operations, the last one in June. A month ago, she left her home in Van Nuys, Calif., and returned to Seven Hills to stay with her parents.

Miss Thomas died Saturday at Parma Community Hospital. She was 41.

At first, Miss Thomas worked with NBC's building services department. Later, she worked in guest relations and, most recently, in audience procurement.

She handled ticket requests for the Tonight Show before Johnny Carson left as star of the popular late-night talk show and after Jay Leno became the host. She also arranged, audiences for various Bob Hope specials, for "Vicki!," starring Vicki Lawrence, and for other shows done at NBC's studios in Burbank, Calif.

Besides filling the NBC bleachers with fans, Miss Thomas worked independently as a "seat filler" for non-network functions, including the Academy Awards show. She held seats for movie stars and other celebrities who left the audience temporarily, so that no one else would take them.

"When a star got out of his seat to accept an award, she would sit there," said Lois Gallina, her supervisor at NBC. "She loved to do that."

"She was vibrant, always a hard worker," said NBC Finance Manager Jan Wildman, Miss Thomas' former supervisor. "She was good at the jobs she did, because she wanted to help people. She always had more to give, more ways to help. She touched a lot of people's lives."

Miss Thomas was born in Cleveland and grew up in Maple Heights and Seven Hills.

After graduating from Marymount High School in Garfield Heights in 1970, she studied for two years at Ohio State University. Then, she worked for a while before completing her studies and earning a bachelor's degree in mass communications and video at Cleveland State University.

Although she loved living in California, she left her co-workers in no doubt about her allegiance to her hometown.

"She was proud of her Cleveland roots," Wildman said. "She was an active member of the Southern California Cleveland Browns Association. And her favorite bakery was Hough Bakery. Anyone who went to Cleveland had to stop there for her."

Miss Thomas is survived by her parents, Emil J. and Eleanor of Seven Hills; and her brother, Stephen of Bay Village.

Besides filling the NBC bleachers with fans, Miss Thomas worked independently as a "seat filler" for non-network functions, including the Academy Awards show. She held seats for movie stars and other celebrities who left the audience temporarily, so that no one else would take them.

Services will be at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Columbkille Catholic Church, 6740 Broadview Rd., Parma. Riczo funeral home in Parma is handling arrangements.

Obituary from The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio) Jan. 11, 1994.
 
 
Burial:
Unknown
 
Created by: Lisa Burks
Record added: Jan 27, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 24202201
 


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