Thelma Evelyn (Dempster) Reeves was born July 18, 1920, on the family farm in Union township, Plymouth County, Iowa, the daughter of Henry Thomas and Faye (Burrill) Dempster. She grew up in Union township and received her education in the Union Consolidated schools, graduating in 1938 and making many lifelong friends along the way. Her parents were both 4-H leaders for many years and Thelma was always involved.
Thelma first came to know the Lord Jesus as a young person under the ministry of her youth pastor at the Union Township Presbyterian Church. Her life reflected her love for God and her desire to live a life that was pleasing to Him and productive in His kingdom.
Thelma met Glenn Albert Reeves in 1938 and married him a year and a half later on Jan. 24, 1940. They enjoyed 59 years of marriage, sharing all the hardships and joys of starting life on a shoestring and trusting God to provide for them. Five children blessed their union and were deeply blessed by them, receiving the benefits of growing up on the farm as well. Thelma always worked hard for her family, willing to sacrifice for their benefit. They farmed near Kingsley until their retirement in 1980 when they moved to Le Mars.
Glenn and Thelma were faithful members of the Le Mars Free Methodist church for more than 30 years until it closed in 1976. They became members of the Le Mars Church of the Nazarene after that and both were faithfully involved until the Lord called them home.
Thelma was a very capable, hands-on farm wife. She had a special love for growing beautiful flowers and continued working in her flower beds up until her health no longer permitted her to do so.
She was the "Cookie Queen," baking innumerable batches of cookies and taking special joy in giving them away. She also enjoyed reading, sewing and handwork.
Her favorite times were when her kids and grandkids came to visit. She loved deeply and was loved deeply in return.
In November 2009 Thelma became a resident at Park Place Estates, enjoying the company of the other residents and receiving wonderful care by all the staff.
Grateful to have been blessed by her life are Thelma's children and grandchildren: Marlene (John) Jenkins of Oroville, Wash., and children, John David (Peggy) Jenkins, Patti (David) Zahnow, Stephen (Rhonnda) Jenkins, Julee (Dustin) Christensen; Norma (John) Rempe of Centennial, Colo., and children Kim (Shawn) Kroeger, Michael (Becky) Rempe; Nancy (Ray) Gavi of Aurora, Colo., and children Tammy (Marty) Van Driel, Jeff (Jackie) Gavi; Warren (Chris) Reeves of Kingsley, and children Michelle (Cory) Macumber, Alissa Reeves; Duane (Viv) Reeves of Orange City, and children Eric (Cassy) Reeves, Scott Reeves; 18 great-grandchildren; special friends Pastor Leonard and Twyla Waller and many other friends.
Thelma was preceded in death by her parents; her beloved husband, Glenn Feb. 22, 1999; her brothers and sisters-in-law, Lowell and Pauline (Parks) Dempster and Darrell and Margie (Linderer) Dempster; and one great-granddaughter, Malerie Jenkins.
Visitation and services were held at the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars. Visitation was Sunday, beginning at 2 p.m. with the family present, concluding with a prayer service at 5 p.m. Funeral services were held today (Monday) at 10:30 a.m., at the Carlsen Funeral Home with the Rev. Leonard Waller of the Le Mars Church of the Nazarene officiating, assisted by the Rev. John Jenkins, a son-in-law.
Pallbearers were Jeff Gavi, Marty Van Driel, Cory Macumber, Eric Reeves, Scott Reeves and Roger Dempster. Interment was in Le Mars Memorial Cemetery.
Memorials received by the family will be used to create a standing flower bed at Park Place Estates in memory of Thelma's great love for flower gardening and in honor of the exceptional compassion and care she received there.
Expressions of sympathy can be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.