Wilma

Wilma Mathilda Thaden, the daughter of Henry and Alvina (Kruse) Doerr, passed away on Tuesday, January 4, 2022 at Providence Hospital in Everett, WA.  Born on September 14, 1929, she spent her early years on the family farm east of Creighton.   She learned and shared her love of nature with her father, especially the trees, birds and growing plants.  When she was 18, the family moved to Creighton where she worked as a telephone switchboard operator.   She then moved to Norfolk to work for the Northwest Bell telephone company as a long distance operator and met the love of her life, Dick Otto Thaden, at the Norfolk roller skating rink.  They were married on October 26, 1952.   

Her next 69 years were eventful.  They moved to Omaha where Dick worked as a journeyman electrician and were blessed with three daughters, Jan, Richelle, and Marla.  Wilma stayed home raising the three girls, sewing school clothes using lessons learned from her mom, canning produce from her oversized garden and volunteering at the church and the Lutheran Hospital. When the girls were grown, she worked full time at the Educational Service Unit as an assistantand also took typing classes.  This skill allowed her to stay connected with friends and family through emails and Facebook, even as she turned 90.  

In 1980, they moved from Ralston, NE to Marysville, WA, fulfilling their dream of relocating to the beautiful Northwest.  In Washington, Wilma discovered her passion for creating porcelain art.  With the encouragement and guidance of her close friend and neighbor, Lily, Wilma learned to china paint.  This hobby brought her many new friends and great enjoyment.  After perfecting her technique through art classes at the community college, private lessons and seminars, she was honored when two of her pieces were selected for display at the World Organization of China Painters Museum in Oklahoma City, OK.  Wilma loved reading, crossword puzzles and the daily newspaper.  When asked, she would describe her special interests as her two grandchildren, Joshua and Emily.  Time spent with friends and family (especially her grandchildren) brought her abundant joy and happiness.  

Survivors include her husband, Richard; three daughters, Jan Thaden of Marysville, WA, Richelle (David) Tripp of Arlington, WA, Marla (Robert) Shelbourn of Valentine, NE and two grandchildren, Emily Tripp and Joshua (Courtney) Tripp; her brothers, Norman (Carolyn) and Edward (Pat), both of Creighton, NE; and sister Marge Doerr of Lincoln, NE; and sisters-in-law, Arlene Doerr of Creighton, NE and Melva Doerr of Chamberlain, SD.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her infant sister, Mildred; brothers, Leonard and Donald; and many other loved ones.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

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