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Public Invited To Virtual Memorial For Late Chicago Music Fixture, Activist Christen Thomas

Thomas, 38, died in April after a cardiac arrest. With the pandemic limiting funeral services, her loved ones say this will be a much-needed chance for closure.

Christen Thomas, 38, died in April 2020.
Cathy Shenoy / Provided
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UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — Though the COVID-19 pandemic initially prevented Christen Thomas’ friends and family from grieving the Chicago talent buyer’s death in person, a memorial will take place this weekend — and you can tune in.

The memorial will be broadcast via Facebook Live and YouTube Live, from 2-3 p.m on Saturday.

At 3 p.m., immediately following the memorial service, friends can tune into a virtual afterparty via Zoom. Friends and family will share tributes and stories and toast to Thomas’ life.

To access log-in information for the Zoom call, email Check this Facebook event for updates.

Thomas, 38, died in April after a cardiac arrest. She is survived by her husband Jeff Rice in Chicago, her sister Cathy Shenoy in New York City, and her parents Irene and Lee Thomas in Groveland, Mass.

RELATED: Christen Thomas, A Fixture In Chicago’s Music Scene And ‘Cheerleader’ For The City, Dies At 38: ‘A Huge Loss’

Thomas and Rice had two cats, a calico named Isabella Rossellini and a tuxedo named Pat Benatar. 

Credit: Cathy Shenoy / Provided
Christen Thomas and her husband Jeff Rice.

A talented musician with a passion for helping others — including stray cats — Thomas dedicated her career to being the “tastemaker” for Chicago’s indie music venues, booking talent and scheduling concert line-ups.

She spent several years working at Empty Bottle in Ukrainian Village before moving to the Metro team in Wrigleyville.

A staunch activist, Thomas fought for the rights of women and the LGBTQ community. 

Thomas’ death was not related to coronavirus, but the COVID-19 pandemic restricted travel and limited in-person funeral services.

Credit: Cathy Shenoy / Provided
From left to right, Lee and Irene Thomas, Cathy Shenoy and her husband Sasha, Christen Thomas and Jeff Rice.

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