The family of Thelma Louise (Smalley) Schultz is sad to report that she passed away peacefully the morning of December 5, 2021, two months after celebrating her 101st birthday. Thelma was born October 15, 1920 to Neal and Anna (Cooper) Smalley of rural Neodesha, Kansas. At Moorhead High School, she served as the pianist for many of the musical groups, graduating with the Class of 1939. Thelma moved to Independence, enrolled in the Bevins School of Business, and embarked on a 15-year career at Sinclair Oil (ARCO). After a period where she enjoyed being a homemaker, she rejoined the workforce, and was employed by the Independence Credit Bureau until her retirement.
Thelma met her husband-to-be, Julius F. Schultz of Nelson, Wisconsin, at a dance at the local Army Air Force base, where he arrived for military training. They were married on March 4, 1944 and made their home in Independence after Julius’ return from WWII.
An enthusiastic volunteer, Thelma held numerous positions throughout her long life. She was a Riley room mother and a Girl Scout leader. A long-standing member of Zion Lutheran Church, she was a member of the Dorcas Society (Women of Zion). Thelma was a past president of the VFW Post 1186 Ladies Auxiliary, helping with arrangements for the Memorial Day program and folding flags for the annual Avenue of Flags well into her 90’s.
Mom will be remembered for her prodigious skills at sewing and crocheting, and her excellent cooking. She loved to dance, and she loved to travel; in later years, she enjoyed many happy memories made with travel companion Bill Robinson on numerous international tours and cruises, until his passing.
Thelma was predeceased by her husband Julius in 1972, and by her only sister, Floriene. She is survived by her daughter, Carolyn Johnston (husband Sean) and her adored granddaughter, Julia, of whom she was so very proud; they reside in Ottawa, ON Canada.
We would like to thank the staff of Eagle Estates for the care and comfort that they provided to Thelma during her years there, and to Home Hospice for their care in her final days.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorials made to either of Thelma’s two favorite causes: Zion Lutheran Church (specifically for broadcasting); and the VFW’s Avenue of Flags.
Funeral arrangements are being made by Wickham Family Funeral Home. Visitation will be held December 13, 5-7 pm and the funeral service will be December 14 at 10:30 am, at Zion Lutheran Church; it will be broadcast live Zion Lutheran Church - Independence, KS Burial will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery.