Thelma Thamke

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Thelma Thamke

February 14, 1915 - October 29, 2018

Thelma E. (Efferding) Thamke passed away October 29, 2018, at the age of 103 years, 8 months and 15 days. She was born in a farm home near Maquoketa, Iowa on February 14, 1915, the daughter of Louis Charles and Florence Regina Blunt Efferding. She was the last surviving member of her and her husband's immediate families.
She was both a city and farm girl, but her love was for the country. She spent her four high school years with her grandparents in town to enable her to graduate from Maquoketa High School in 1934. She met her husband, Leroy Thamke at the home of Alma and Mildred Heidi where they were both employed as hired help. They were happily married for 59 years and raised six children.
During her youth, she shared many happy times with her brothers, Bob and Harlan Efferding. After graduating from high school she hired out in many different roles in neighbors' households. She was never an idle person and did whatever job she was capable of doing.
Before the birth of their first child, they were at different times a maid, cook, butler and chauffer for the Faithorn family in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Most of her married life, Thelma, was a farm wife and mother. Five of their children were born in Wisconsin where they rented and moved from various farms. Because of their faith and the desire for the family to be closer to their church, they sold the farm they had bought and moved from Wisconsin to Centerville, Iowa, on January 15, 1951.
Thelma was a multi-gifted woman. Even with the long hours of caring for her family, she was an artist, a seamstress, a horticulturist, a Sunday school teacher, a story teller, a florist, a biographer, and so much more. Thelma had a great faith in God. As a young woman, she was baptized into the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints church (now known as the Community of Christ). She lived the life of a faithful and generous servant by sharing whatever God provided to bless others; her home always a place of welcome and hospitality. She loved everyone equally, step children, in-laws, close friends, all considered part of the family. Friendships were important to her and lasted throughout their life times. In her last years, she projected her love to all those who cared for her with her happy disposition and appreciation for all they did for her.
Thelma was preceded in death by the loss of her dear husband, Leroy; her first born daughter, Evelyn and Evelyn's husband Dan and her son, Arlen, one of the twins.
Surviving members of her family are: Darlene (Dee) and her husband Bruce Glauberg of Des Moines, Iowa; Leon and wife Martha Thamke of Centerville, Iowa; Annette and husband Jim Trinkle of Bussey, Iowa; Edward and his wife Joanna Thamke of Helena, Montana; daughter-in-law, Florine Murray of Story City, Iowa; 28 grandchildren and their spouses and 22 great grandchildren.
Services will be held on Saturday, November 3, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. with visitation at 10:00 a.m. at the Thomas Funeral Home in Centerville, Iowa with Elder Jim Trinkle officiating. Burial will follow in the Oakland Cemetery in Centerville, Iowa. Memorial contributions may be given to the Golden Age Care Center Courtyard Garden Fund and may be left at or mailed to the Thomas Funeral Home, 501 North 18th Street, Centerville, IA 52544.
Published on October 31, 2018
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2 posts

Kathy Herbst
Nov 05, 2018
Your Mother and our Mother shared a room at Golden Age. There we learned of Thelma's wonderful personality. The two said that they took care of each other. I have a picture of Mother pushing Thelma's chair back to their room....smiling all the way. One day we took a basket of farm animal beanie babies and was enchanted with her choices of animals complete with her making them talk. What a sweet lady....would have been at her services had we known. There was also a day when I pushed them both outside and smiled as they enjoyed the wind blowing their hair. May you be blessed with all of your memories. It was a pleasure to have met her.
Larry Mallett
Nov 02, 2018
Dear Leon and Family,
My condolences on the passing of Thelma. I remember her fondly as we grew up. What a wonderful and Godly life she had. The exceptional legacy she left is apparent in her family. There is a Christian song entitled THIS ONE'S WITH ME. Search for it online - it was written for people like Thelma.

Larry