Thelma Belle Thomas Ash, 84, of Alma, went to the arms of her Savior on July 19, 2014. Thelma was born Jan. 27, 1930, the first child of Emery Ervin Thomas and Carrie Augusta Wildman Thomas. She was married to James Eli Ash on July 27, 1952.
She was a beautiful, talented woman, a homemaker and the mother of six children. Thelma was a fabulous cook; a skilled quilter, accomplished seamstress and master of needlework such as knitting, crochet, tatting, embroidery and hairpin lace; she raised gardens and canned produce, taking deep satisfaction in providing for her family. For many years she baked bread and sweets and took them to neighbors when she visited.
Thelma was active in community organizations. She and Jim were members of Valley Grange for a long time. They worked together in chairing departments at the Tyler County Fair. Thelma served on the Southern States Women's Committee and the auxiliary of the State Conservation Districts. An activity that she enjoyed for several years was meeting with "the quilting ladies" at the Middlebourne Senior Citizens Center. Being part of the Alma Senior Citizens has been treasured by both Jim and Thelma. Thelma and Jim raised their children in the knowledge of the Lord at Ripley Chapel Church.
Thelma was employed in a variety of positions over the years: she painted milk glassware for Biberthaler Glass Company; worked as a filing clerk at PPG; served as officer-in-charge of the Joseph Mills and Alma Post Offices; and later she managed the Middle Island Federal Credit Union for a number of years.
Thelma is survived by her loving husband, James Eli Ash; children, Bradley James (Linda) Ash, Paula Marie (Russell) Keplinger, Robert Bruce (Brenda) Ash, Bryan Ervin Ash, Pamela Kay (Myron) Moore and William Brent (Shirlyn) Ash; 17 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; sister, Florence Marie Schmidt; two brothers, Paul Edward (Alicia) Thomas and Lawrence Edmand (Donna Jean) Thomas; sister-in-law, Bessie (Harold) Warner; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Supporting education and helping aspiring teachers have been dear to her heart. Thelma requested, in lieu of flowers, that donations be made in her memory to the WV FFA Foundation Scholarship Fund, c/o Don Michael, 860 Bar Run Road, Ravenswood, WV 26164.
Visitation will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, July 25, at Furbee Funeral Home, Alma. Funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, officiated by the Revs. Donald Thomas and Louise Baker. Interment follows at Beechwood Cemetery, Alma.
Thelma's family has been touched by the outpouring of kindness and generosity of friends and community during this time of illness and loss.
Expressions of sympathy may be offered at www.furbeefuneralhome.com.