Jean H. Thurston

Jean H. Thurston, MD
Member Since 1978
St. Louis, MO
Date of Death: April 29, 2017

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Jean H. Thurston, M.D., who passed away peacefully on April 29, 2017, in St. Louis, Missouri, two months short of her 100th birthday. Jean was predeceased by her late husband, Dr. Donald Thurston as well as her three brothers: Walter, Ambrose and Sylvester Holowach, as well as two sisters: Mary Yaholnitsky (Holowach) and Olga Klink (Holowach). She leaves behind her niece, Karen Mollerson (Nels), and grand nieces Mary and Samantha (Stephen), together with nieces Sandra Yaholnitsky, Kate Holowach, and Salena Angell, all of Canada. She is also survived by her nieces, Adrienne Thurston, Janet Hernandez, Julie Donaghy and Sally Thurston, all of the United States. Jean was born in Edmonton, Alberta, the youngest daughter of Samuel and Josephine Holowach.

She graduated from the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine Class in 1941. She practiced pediatrics in both Calgary and Edmonton before returning to a faculty position in pediatrics at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. She and her husband collaborated on multiple research projects until his death in 1987. Her clinical work set standards for pediatric epilepsy research and her knowledge of brain metabolism and neurochemistry was legendary, serving as the basis for many influential papers on childhood metabolic disorders. For the substantial contributions she made to the field of child neurology, Dr. Thurston was awarded the first life-time achievement award by the Child Neurology Society in 2004. Jean was a lifetime learner, an amazing mentor, a brilliant researcher and an exceptional doctor. Dr. Thurston will be greatly missed by her family, colleagues and wonderful friends.

Her passing leaves a void that will be impossible to fill. We would like to thank Dr. Anne Connolly, Dr. Steve Rothman, Dr. Chris Gurnett, Dr. John Zempel, and Dr. Ed Dodson who provided so much support to Jean over many years. We also thank Richard Hauhart, senior research technician who worked with Dr. Jean for over 21 years as well as friend Cindy Marr. The family also wishes to thank Elaine, Darla, Lisa, Annette, Rachelle, Delaina, Yolanda, Marietta, Mary Ann and many other wonderful and compassionate staff at The Gatesworth Extended Care. At Dr. Thurston's request there will be no funeral services. If friends so desire, memorial donations in Dr. Jean Thurston's name may be made directly to Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, Department of Pediatric Neurology.

Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch on May 7, 2017