Yvonne B. Thurmond
Yvonne B. Thurmond (Boas), of Tiburon, CA, passed away peacefully at her home on December 17, 2020, after an extended illness. She was “exactly where she wanted to be,” surrounded by family when she passed. She was 79 years old.
Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1941 to the Rev. Rollo M. and Kathleen H. Boas, Yvonne’s youth was spent on a remote but beautiful island in British Columbia. Between 1944 and 1954, she and her older sister, Louise (Hadley), accompanied their parents on a converted fishing boat named “The Rendezvous” as part of the Anglican Columbia Coast Mission. The Rendezvous allowed them to take the ministry and medical services to the more remote settlements of the Northern Gulf Islands and the central mainland coast of British Columbia.
In 1954, Yvonne moved with her family to Southern California. After high school, she graduated from St. Luke’s Hospital nursing program in San Francisco as a registered nurse. It was during her time at St. Luke’s that she met the love of her life, the late Nicholas “Nick” D. Thurmond, MD.
Yvonne and Nick were married on August 11, 1962. As a resident in obstetrics and gynecology, Nicholas joined the U.S. Air Force and he and Yvonne were first stationed in France at a small air base 50 miles north of Paris. The first of their three children, Jeb, was born there.
They returned stateside in 1965 and settled in Tiburon, where Nick began his residency in diagnostic radiology at Letterman Hospital. Nick and Yvonne were blessed with their second child, Tiffany, in 1967. After a brief time at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, to continue Nick’s radiology training, they returned to Tiburon in 1969 to the house where they would live for over 50 years. Benjamin, the youngest of their three children, was born in 1974.
Yvonne was a warm, welcoming person whose primary focus in life was her family. She was never comfortable until everyone else’s needs were fulfilled. Her resourcefulness, compassion and capacity for empathy were on full display as a wife and mother, but were perhaps most visible during her time as a school nurse at Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, CA. It was here that she shined as an advocate and champion of those students who were most vulnerable.
Yvonne was most happy spending time with her family and friends locally but there were few places where she connected more with her roots and her family than on Cortes Island in British Columbia. Aside from her home in Tiburon, it was her favorite place in the world. Yvonne smiling and waving from her deck as friends waved back from the Whaletown ferry will be a cherished memory for many.
Yvonne will be most remembered for her kindness, empathy and sharp sense of humor. She had a unique ability to remain calm in times of crisis by tending to the things that were most important.
She is survived by her children Jeb, Tiffany and Ben; 10 grandchildren; her older sister Louise; and multiple cousins, nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her parents, her husband Nick, and granddaughter Ava. A post-COVID, private celebration of her life is TBA.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in her name to Special Olympics, 1133 19th St. NW, 12th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20036-3604, www.specialolympics.org, or The Nature Conservancy, Attn: Treasury, 4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 100,
Arlington, VA 22203, www.nature.org.