Lifelong Wallace County resident, Thelma Yehle Jennings, departed this life on Sunday, July 9, 2017 at the Greeley County Hospital in Tribune, KS. She was 93 years old.
Thelma was born February 23, 1924 to William and Nina Trusler Yehle, south of the Fort Wallace Cemetery on what was the old Fort Wallace Military Reservation. She was the next to the youngest of six children.
Thelma attended all twelve years of school in Wallace and graduated in 1942. On May 24, 1942, she was united in marriage to Wayne E. Jennings in a civil ceremony at the Wallace County Courthouse. Wayne and Thelma lived with his parents Earl and Mabel Jennings on their farm until Wayne was drafted into the Army in July of 1942. Thelma continued to stay with Wayne’s parents while he was away serving his country.
Wayne finished his tour of duty in 1946. Wayne and Thelma then moved to their farm on Rose Creek and started their family. Together they raised four girls; Judy, Jolene, Janice and Wanda on the farm. Thelma was actively involved with the farming and ranching all of their married life.
Thelma enjoyed raising chickens and a garden. One of her goals was to have fresh fried chicken and fresh tomatoes by the fourth of July.
After her girls were older, Thelma helped with the lunch programs at the Sharon Springs and Wallace Schools. Thelma also cooked for Rotary, and at Prairie Village in Sharon Springs.
Thelma was involved with the Senior Center in Sharon Springs. She was elected president of the Senior Center and was president for several years. She helped plan programs for the Center and helped organize the monthly potluck meal served at the Center.
Thelma became the curator of the Fort Wallace Museum in 1988, and held that position until 2012. Thelma was exceptional as a curator of the museum. She liked to meet new people and because she was born and raised in the community, she retained a wealth of information about the people, places and happenings of Wallace County. She retired as curator of the Fort Wallace Museum at the age of 88.
Preceding her in death were her parents, her husband Wayne, her mother and father-in-law, son-in-law Donnie Teichmer, three brothers, two sisters, one half brother and two grandchildren, Barry Stockamp and Jill Berry.
She is survived by her four daughters; Judy Berry of Sharon Springs, Jolene and Duane Letellier of Tupelo, Oklahoma, Janice and Henry Dinkel of Sharon Springs and Wanda and John Fixsen of Sharon Springs. She is also survived by seven grandchildren; Cory Jennings, Ward Stockamp, Thayne and Tristan Teichmer, Sara Ziegler, Lindsay Hartman and Ellen Fixsen; seventeen great grandchildren, as well as several nieces and nephews. Thelma will be sadly missed by her family and friends.
Sharon Springs Senior Citizen's Center
and may be sent to Koons-Russell Funeral Home, 211 N. Main Ave., Goodland KS 67735