Thelma B. Matheson
December 26, 2007
Thelma B. Matheson, longtime Kremmling resident and area rancher, passed away at her home on Dec. 5, 2007.
She was born in Allegan, Mich. on Oct. 22, 1920 to Frank and Blanche Butcher. She was the oldest of seven children to Frank and Blanche, but had two step-sisters and one step-brother of Franks’ and one step-brother of Blanches’ that were older than her. All 11 of them grew up on a farm near Allegan and she attended school at North Ward School and finished her formal education upon graduating from the eighth grade.
In 1937, she married James Russell, who did any work he could find in agriculture and his jobs led them to live in Michigan, Colorado, California and Arizona. They became the proud parents of two sons, Frank and Bob. In 1957, while living in Tucson, James died of a heart attack, but Thelma remained living there as she had a job working at Hugh’s Aircraft factory until 1959, when she met Lynn Matheson.
She married Lynn Matheson on May 18, 1959 in Tucson, and then moved to Kremmling, where she became Lynn’s partner and right hand in the ranching operations on the Williams Fork and the Troublesome Valley. They were blessed with two sons, Bill and Don.
Thelma was a beloved mother, rancher’s wife and homemaker. She grew up in a generation where hard work and very little money instilled a work ethic at a young age and a gratitude for what you did have. She worked tirelessly her entire life, never complaining about anything and always made the best out of what she had. No matter the job or the weather, she was always there helping in anyway she could.
She was quiet, unassuming and always put her family first. She absolutely loved her garden, which was huge, and all the fresh produce was enjoyed by many. A common scene at fair time was Thelma trying to get all her blue ribbons in the truck from her garden and cooking entries. She was an avid reader, enjoyed all kinds of puzzles and liked to crochet. She enjoyed feeding and watching birds and rarely missed her daily walk. She delighted endlessly in finding the first May flowers and Columbines each spring. She was a member of the Middle Park Stock Growers, Grand County Historical Society and the Pioneer Society.
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Thelma is preceded in death by her parents, her first husband, James Russell, her second husband, Lynn Matheson, her son, Frank Russell, her sisters, Florence, Beatrice and Dorothy and her brothers Donald, Willard, Kennie, Howard and Gay.
Thelma is survived by her son Bob Russell and his wife Kaye of LaSalle; son Bill Matheson and his wife Diana of Kremmling; son Don Matheson and his wife Nancy of Twin Bridges, Mont.; her daughter-in-law Roberta Russell of Kremmling; brother Art Butcher of Allegan, Mich.; sister Laura Hitchcock and husband Louie of Allegan, Mich.; grandchildren Gary Russell, Jo Ann Read and husband George, Debbie Wood and husband Carl, Tami Russell, Tracy Winterstein and husband Brad, Tanner Matheson; step-grandchildren LJ Pancost and wife Christi, Jackie Bevan and husband Hank and Jake Pancost; 11 great-grandchildren, two step-great-grandchildren and numerous nephews and nieces. She is also survived by many beloved family and friends.
Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29, 2007 at the West Grand High School Auditorium with Carl Wood officiating. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established and contributions can be sent to Foran-Schoenfeld Mortuary, P.O. Box 215, Hot Sulphur Springs, CO 80451. Contributions will go to the Kremmling Memorial Hospital District and the Heart of the Mountains Hospice. Arrangements are entrusted to the care and direction of Foran-Schoenfeld Mortuary – Hot Sulphur Springs.