Thelma Elizabeth Thornhill-Ideus
Thelma was born at 9:10 a.m. June 22, 1925, at home at 357 E. Second N. St. in Green River, Wyo., to her parents, Mabel Sarah Knadler, 35, of Laramie, Wyo., and Samuel Givens Evetts Thornhill, 38, of Benchley, Texas. She was named after the book “Thelma,” by Marie Corelli, a Victorian love story of a Norwegian princess.
Thelma began music instruction at age 3 on a handcrafted violin and at that time, began her performance career, performing concerts and playing violin, saxophone, piano, oboe, bassoon and various percussion instruments in the orchestra pit of the ISIS Theater for accompaniment of silent movies in her hometown. She joined the high school student band, and she was elected homecoming queen and was considered the jitterbug queen.
Thelma attended the University of Wyoming on a music scholarship from 1943 to 1947, receiving a Bachelor of Science in business administration. Thelma enjoyed entertaining the troops during college and WWII.
After college graduation, she married William Thomas Harvey, and they settled in Rawlins, Wyo. Thelma was blessed with her first two daughters, Karen Jo in 1948 and Valerie Jean in 1953.
Thelma returned to Laramie for graduate school with her two girls after a divorce. She completed her graduate studies in business education and became the secretary for the UW dean of admissions, where she met and married Dr. Harvey Siebend Ideus, of Beatrice, Neb. He was the director of placement for UW. Thelma and her family moved to LaCrosse, Wis., where she was blessed with her third daughter, Michelle Leigh, in 1968. While in Wisconsin, Thelma served as regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The family moved to Carbondale, Ill., for about nine years before moving to Indianhead Park, Ill. Thelma divorced Harvey and returned to Colorado and began to connect with retired musicians through the Aurora Senior Center. One of her most proud accomplishments was accompanying the Seniors 88 Annual Review held live annually on the stage of the old Aurora Fox Theater in Denver.
Thelma lived in Katy, Texas, for four years with Valerie until moving to Steamboat Springs to reside at the Doak Walker Care Center. Thelma fell from her wheelchair sustaining a broken femur about six weeks before passing. Thelma requested her family to gather for her on Valentine’s Day, when the family spent time with Thelma reflecting on her life with music, videos and songs. Thelma was 87 at her passing Feb. 15, 2013. Her memorial service was held at 2 p.m. June 22, 2013, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Steamboat Springs.
Thelma is survived by her daughters, Karen Weddle, of Aurora, Valerie O’Leary, of Katy, Texas, and Michelle Ideus-Laird, of Steamboat; grandchildren Lisa Baranzini, Kassi Kielley, Jamie Weddle, Kasey O’Leary, Kelly O’Leary, Kendra O’Leary and Nolan Laird; and great-grandchildren, Sierra and Dakota Fisher and Logan and Hayden Kielley.
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