In memoriam: Vanessa Floyd



Vanessa Floyd
Vanessa Floyd

Vanessa Floyd, 51, died Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, following a battle with esophageal cancer. Vanessa served as director of management operations for the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for more than 5 years, overseeing all financial and administrative operations of the department.

She was known as a cheerful and collegial colleague to all.

“I have especially enjoyed working with Vanessa in our academic and administrative roles to serve the BMB research and educational community,” said Rodney Kellems, PhD, chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) and holder of the Bob and Hazel Casey Chair in Biochemistry.  “Vanessa was the principle go-to person for any and all departmental issues.  If anyone came to me with a question or concern, I instinctively and confidently suggested that they check with Vanessa.  For me, she was a trusted colleague who represented our department extremely well when dealing with other members of our academic community or with University administration at any level.  I had utmost confidence in her judgment.  She treated everyone with respect and dignity.”

Vanessa was born July 27, 1969, in Fort Lee, Va., the daughter of the late Maj. Jerry A. Edwards and Mrs. Pilar M. Edwards. She graduated Quitman High School, attended East Texas State University, and graduated with a bachelor’s of science degree from The University of Texas at Tyler.  Vanessa earned a master’s degree in public health from Texas A&M University.

Vanessa was married for 28 years to the love of her life, Dan Floyd, and resided in Houston, most recently in Sugar Land.  Before working at UTHealth, she worked as a program director at MD Anderson Cancer Center for 12 years.

Vanessa is survived by her husband, Dan Floyd; her mother, Mrs. Pilar M. Edwards of Quitman, TX; her sister, Mary Pauline Compton and husband Daniel Lee Compton of Edmonton, KY, their children Sara Johnson, William Compton and Robert Compton; her brother, Dr. Oliver Lee Edwards, his wife Dr. Sharon Edwards and their children Luke and Lauren of El Paso, TX. Vanessa also leaves behind her father-in-law, James Floyd and wife Brenda of Tyler, TX; sister-in-law Angela Floyd and partner Steve Jacobson of Los Angeles, CA and step-daughter, Melonie Floyd of Tyler, TX; and many loving cousins, aunts, and uncles.

A celebration of Life will be held Friday, Dec. 4, 2020 at Lowe’s Funeral Home in Quitman, Texas.  Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to noon.  A Celebration of Vanessa’s life will begin at noon and burial services will follow at Quitman City Cemetery.  Vanessa requested to be buried in Quitman near her late father, Maj. Jerry A. Edwards, USMC.