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Thelma Edith (Bowles) Nelson
January 17, 1942 ~ June 23, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
13 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Thelma's family - View on Tribute Wall
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Thelma Nelson was born on January 17, 1942, in Hancock, Indiana to Walter & Ruth Bowles. Thelma had 2 brothers and four sisters: Albert, James, Pearl, Harry, Carol, Joyce, and Mary. Thelma recalls as a child trying to get to the only outhouse the family had, only to find a Billy goat in the way. The younger kids would always have to go with an older sibling. Eventually, times were either hard or her dad got tired of fighting that Billy goat, so they had him for supper.
One of Thelma’s fondest memories growing up with her siblings was when she was in elementary school, maybe 3rd grade, and she didn’t want to go to school. Carol, her oldest sister, told Thema no, that she had to go to school and told her to get dressed. So, she went to big brother Albert and said she didn’t feel good. Albert said he would take care of it. Under the stairway was a space with a door and big brother Albert put sister Carol in there until it was time for the bus to come and Thelma stayed home.
Her favorite food that her mother would cook was macaroni and tomatoes as well as homemade chicken and noodles. She remembers her mom would chase after a chicken on the farm for that dinner and shewed it about then chopped it’s head off and plucked the feathers while boiling it.
A special memory she had of her dad was remembering that she would pretend to be asleep, and he’d have to carry her to bed.
When she was 10, her parents gave her piano lessons and the family had a little group where her dad played the violin, Albert played bass fiddle and Thelma on the piano which grew into large hoedowns and worshiping the Lord in song at church services. The whole family would sing and praise the Lord in beautiful songs. “Well…. most of them, because a few could only make joyful sound.” Her dad was a great fiddle player. The first time she sang was at church. The song was called Rock of Ages.
New Palestine in Indiana was where she went to school until they moved to Fortville, Indiana in the 8th grade. There she got involved and was a tall and lanky cheerleader. She was proclaimed herself to be a tomboy. She loved climbing trees and playing outside.
The family moved to Florida when she was 15. She went to Edgewater high School and then the family settled in Longwood, Florida. There she went to Longwood High School and joined the choral group. The teacher asked everyone to sing a long in a song just to see where everyone’s pitch was, and the teacher put her in an ensemble always singing alto.
Thelma married the love of her life, Ed Nelson with a combined family of five children; Ivy, Boe, Aaron, Ben, & the princess, Lisa which have grown into 8 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren.
Thelma received the gift of salvation when she was 25 years old. Her testimony had been heard by everyone she met because Jesus saved her life as she was contemplating suicide. She figured she didn’t have control of her life and was in a previous abusive relationship with two young children so why no try God. Thelma’s constant faith and belief in her Lord & Savior kept her family going no matter what as they brought their children up in Florida. Thelma and Ed ministered to children for over 20 years in Florida. In 2010, the Lord opened a door for them to move to Hohenwald, TN. There, they created a lobing home for visits from family and friends. They also found a great church that ministered to them and were allowed to continue their ministry to children and adults.
Everyone that knows Thelma, is certain of her enduring love for all and her love for her Lord Jesus Christ. She was a good and faithful servant to the calling on her life, then the Lord took her home.