Thelma C. Hershey
COOKSVILLE-Thelma C. Hershey, age 102, of Cooksville, Wisconsin (formerly of Elm Grove, Wisconsin), passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family on Monday, June 5, 2017.
Thelma was born on May 23, 1915, to William and Annie Mabelle (Kenyon) Cuthbertson in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. She graduated from Pittsfield High School. After high school, she worked for Berkshire Mutual Fire and Casualty. She met Frank Hershey from Schenectady, New York in the Mount Greylock Ski Club and they married on September 7, 1946. Thelma and Frank built a loving home and raised two daughters, Christine and Martha. She was a home-maker for many years. She loved spending time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
During summers in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, she enjoyed gathering berries and wildflowers from the forest and teaching her grandchildren about the plants and animals. A lover of nature, she honored the earth and the indigenous people of this land; she supervised contests for her grandchildren to see who could walk the quietest like the Native Americans whose values she admired so much. She enjoyed gardening at her home in Elm Grove and prepared healthy, delicious food for her family and friends, including pancakes with berries we gathered, “favorite chicken,” sourdough bread, and Nana’s oatmeal cookies. Thelma loved nature and was an avid protector of the environment. Having lived through the Great Depression, she reused everything, and she refinished and upholstered furniture. An excellent seamstress, she sewed and tailored much of the clothing for her family. She was a talented artist in watercolor, pastels, and oils, and studied Sumi ink painting and Japanese flower arranging. Born in a world before women’s suffrage, she was independent, fearless, and strong, never quiet nor submissive.
She and Frank lived an active life, taking nightly walks, spending time in nature, hiking, ice skating, biking, sailing, and after retirement, spending time in their cabin on Two Sisters Lake in McNaughton, Wisconsin. With Frank she traveled to Russia, Scotland, Alaska, Italy, France, Switzerland, and the Yucatan. They attended many Elder Hostels and camped in national parks across the United States.
Thelma was an active member of Brookfield Congregational Church, Questers Antique Club, and Elm Grove Garden Club. She volunteered for Meals On Wheels and AFS. Due to Frank’s work with General Electric, the couple lived in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. When Frank passed away in 2003, Thelma spent more time with her daughters and moved to Cooksville, Wisconsin to live with Martha and Bob Degner.
Thelma played rummy and bridge, and having been an avid reader for 90 years or more could best anyone in word games until she was over 100. In recent years, she enjoyed reading, exchanging letters with friends and family, and knitting. Thelma was a devoted wife and mother, and she gave the best of her time and energy to her family.
Thelma is preceded in death by her husband Frank, her parents William and Anna Mabelle (Kenyon) Cuthbertson, and her brother William Cuthbertson.
Thelma is survived by her daughters Christine (William) Jordan, Martha (Robert) Degner, grandchildren Victoria Jordan, John Jordan, Clare Jordan (Matthew Gorman), Lorna Jordan (Nathan Foreman) and Sarah Degner Riveros, Luke (Kara Bryn) Degner, Jacob (Hannah Cryder) Degner, Abigail Degner (Marco Aguirre); family friend Ryota Morinaga; as well as great grandchildren Leila, Oliver, Anna, John, Mary, Samuel, Moses, Henry, Wyatt and one on the way.
Private burial will take place for Frank and Thelma Hershey in Cooksville, Wisconsin in August.Memorial gifts in honor of Thelma might be made to Agrace Hospice (agrace.org), Doctors Without Borders (doctors without borders.org), UNICEF (unicefusa.org), or Macular Degeneration Research (support.brightfocus.org).
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