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Obituaries

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Lis Thompson Fuchs

Heaven got a little more crowded and a lot more fun on November 4, 2015, when Lis Thompson Fuchs, 51, passed away surrounded by her husband and three sons at their Mill Valley home.
Lis was born on July 27, 1964, to Nancy and Josiah "Tink" Thompson. After stops in New Haven, CT, and Haverford, PA, her family resettled to Bolinas, CA, in 1976. She graduated from Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, CA, in 1982, and became an accomplished flutist, winning numerous awards, including the San Francisco Symphony Pepsi Young Musician Award. Lis continued her flute study during college at the Oberlin Conservatory while majoring in German Studies at Oberlin College.
Lis completed a master's in Business Administration in 1988 at Columbia Business School in New York City and began her career in marketing at American Express, where in the cafeteria, she met Michael Fuchs. Lis flashed her infectious smile, bounced her asymmetrical haircut, and changed the course of their lives.
They were married on May 25, 1991, and in July 1993, welcomed their first son, David. Lis absolutely loved being a mother. She soon became a consultant to Visa, advancing her career while still being near her growing family. In 1996, Lis gave birth to their second son, Paul, and Andrew completed their family in 1998.
Nothing gave Lis more pleasure than raising her three sons. She stayed close to them and supported any and all of their interests. Her natural talents allowed her to tackle any volunteer role with ease. Whether acting as "team mom" for a sports team, serving on the Little League board, chairing the organization supporting art in school, or playing in the school pit orchestras — Lis was making friends, getting the job done, and bringing her signature smile and sense of fun to every role.
In 2002, at age 37, Lis was diagnosed with breast cancer. She employed a "no regrets" approach to her treatment and was considered cancer-free for nine years. She felt she had "joined a club" that no one wanted to join, but in it found friendships that would last the rest of her life. She and Michael merged their consulting firms and Lis began living with even greater zest and positivity. The family took up scuba diving and skiing, and Lis found joy in hiking the local trails with her dogs or tending to her garden.
In early 2011, Lis was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Again, her dogged determination to live guided her treatment. Lis found an incredible medical team that she trusted completely. She shared her journey with others so that they could learn from it, piloted trials for experimental drugs, and became an invaluable source of support to countless newly diagnosed women. Through it all, Lis continued to find the joy in every moment. Her contagious smile through it all made her a favorite at the doctors' offices, infusion centers, and hospitals.
Lis's real battle with cancer was not centered on fighting her own disease. Her real focus was on advancing research to make breast cancer a forever-treatable disease. Toward that end, she worked tirelessly to raise awareness and funding for treating metastatic breast cancer. Lis proudly led six Avon Walk teams, raising nearly half a million dollars, of which several hundred thousand were granted to fund research into metastatic disease.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made in Lis's honor to further the research of her oncologist, Dr. Pamela Munster (via UCSF Fund B7392, Department of Medicine/Hematology/Oncology). Memorial gifts can be made payable to the UCSF Foundation. In the memo, please note B7392. The mailing address is UCSF, P.O. Box 45339, San Francisco, CA 94145-0339.
Lis is survived by her husband of 24 years and sons David, Paul and Andrew; her parents, Josiah "Tink" and Nancy (Willis) Thompson of Bolinas, CA; her brother, Josiah "Everson" Thompson and his fiancée, Rachel Buck of San Rafael, CA; her in-laws, J. David and Mary Fuchs of Mequon, WI; her brother-in-law, Mark Fuchs (Dawn) of Mequon, WI; her sister-in-law, Cindy Habig (Bruce) of Larchmont, NY; and eight nieces and nephews.

(Published December 23, 2015)

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